Lightening the Load

We had a fairly short yet incredibly beautiful drive down from our bush camp in Bighorn National Forest to the sleepy town of Worland, Wyoming, where we’d arranged to meet Witt’s parents (Henry and Kathy) for the great “unloading” of our bicycles and related gear.  The morning (at over ~8000 ft elevation) was crisp and cold.  By the time we arrived in Worland it was almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit!

We weren’t expecting to see Henry and Kathy until later in the afternoon as they had quite a distance to drive, so you can imagine our excitement when we learned that Worland has a brand-new, state-of-the-art aquatics center!  For a sum of $12 the three of us got the privilege of playing and cooling off in one of the best pool areas that we’ve ever seen!  It had a huge slide, excellent kids pool, a lap pool, diving area, hot tub and even an outdoor splash park.  It was wonderful and we were in heaven!

We met up with Henry and Kathy at the Comfort Inn and soon after our happy greetings were exchanged we headed our for dinner on the town.  There weren’t exactly an abundance of dining options but the receptionist at the hotel had recommended a place called Rumors, so that’s where we went.  The decor was a little dated, but they had a respectable selection of microbrews on tap and that tied us over nicely until our dinner arrived.

After dinner we transferred our bikes, racks, helmets, shoes, tools, plus a bunch of other odds and ends from the Sparksmobile to Henry & Kathy’s Jeep Cherokee while Quinn rode his bike around the hotel parking lot. We topped off the evening by doing a load of laundry and then we all snuggled into our beds in the hotel room that Witt’s folks graciously shared with us.

In the morning we shared breakfast together at the hotel, and then parted ways — Henry and Kathy were on the hunt for a coffee shop and we were headed to Yellowstone!

As we headed out of town, we could already tell the difference the lighter load made in the van’s performance.  There was much less roll back and forth on curves and turns and the suspension handled the bumps in the road much better than before.  We immediately felt assured that unloading the bikes was the right decision.  Thank you Henry and Kathy!!

We drove north to Cody and then decided to head for the northeastern entrance to Yellowstone National Park in an effort to avoid the weekend crowds.  The scenery along the way was positively breathtaking and well worth the detour.

Since the campsites were full by the time we arrived we opted to camp in a National Forest campground just outside the park (and on the edge of Montana).  Bear warnings were everywhere but fortunately we didn’t see any while camping.  We even tempted fate a bit by cooking our salmon dinner over our campfire.  It was a beautiful and quiet campsite!

Today we drove back into the park and saw lots of bison, elk, pronghorn and osprey along the way.  We even arrived early enough at Mammoth Hot Springs to secure a campsite for the night.  We took a short hike to a waterfall together and then spent the afternoon lazing by a stream while Quinn playing in the water.


Mmmm. Lunch!





4 Responses to 'Lightening the Load'

  1. Bobbie staggs says:

    Love it!

  2. Bobbie staggs says:

    Sounds like so much fun!

  3. Edie Chudnow says:

    We did the great American road trip when India was about 3 yrs old. Six adults and two kids in a Surburban from Denver to Banff and back.

    Lots of go memories but one of my favorite was coming out of the tent one August morning with everything covered with frost. I found out there was frost on the table when I put my coffee mug down and it went sliding off the other end of the table. Next thing you know my dad and I (only ones awake that early) were having mug races to find the optimal coffe level for the most speed. Lots of laughter.

    I am happy to hear you have good memories as well! Travel safely.

  4. Marcia says:

    what a wonderful photo!