For anyone wondering out there, Louisa and I made it to our new home in Colorado this week. After a pretty uneventful drive cross-country and some Budget truck loading and unloading we now have a bunch of boxes and some living space. I’ll be sure to post some photos once Louisa and I get everything moved in. The important thing is that we got our cable internet access and TV setup. Now on to the update…
We left off the last blurb in the Tetons, where we managed to encounter a bear and not get mauled (always good…). We continued our trip to the Tetons by hiking the Taggert/Bradley lakes trail. This trail offers a great view of mountain tops as well as some great mountain lakes. There was also a couple wildlife sightings on the trail as well, including a couple beavers and a prairie dog. There may have also been a river otter in the mix also. After this nice 5 mile hike, we thought that it was time to drive towards Yellowstone. On the way we had dinner at the Signal Mountain lodge, stopped at the nearby Signal Mountain overlook, and started the long haul into Yellowstone.
Throughout the drive to West Yellowstone, we noticed several snow-covered banks and sites that were burned by wildfires not so many years ago (there have been a couple since the 80’s). We also made a quick stop at Old Faithful before resting at the hotel. The next day was spent checking out the geyser areas at West Thumb and Old Faithful. The number of features there is unbelievable, as is the amount of color that some of these features possess. If you are in the area, you will want to check out the eruption at Old Faithful. The rangers do a pretty good job at predicting the eruption times, so check those out to get an idea of how long the wait is. There were also numerous buffalo sightings and a wolf sighting before the day was over.
The next day at Yellowstone was spent checking out the Canyon Area. The highlights of our day were a 5 mile hike around the North Canyon Rim, a 600ft decent to the lower falls, and a brief stop at Inspiration Point. Again, there were numerous buffalo sighting. Our final day at Yellowstone was spent at the Lake and Fishing Bridge Area. After having our trail closed off due to bear danger, we thought the day was shot. We were pleasantly surprised by a lucky bear sighting however. After pulling out of the trail, we continued our route out of the park to be stopped by a park ranger that wanted to send a grizzly cub across the road right in front of us (ok, there was a cycle in front of us but were right there). After a quick walk on the beach and a long wait through construction (if you are coming in through the East Entrance, beware) we were finally on our way to Cody, WY.
After some debate and after driving a couple miles, Louisa and I decided to spend a night at Cody and check out a night rodeo there. The best parts of the rodeo were the bronc riding, bull riding, and the rodeo clown. He had such one liners as:
- “I have three houses, my wife keeps the best one.”
- “I forgot my wedding anniversary. My wife told me that when she got home, there better be something in the driveway that’s shiny and goes from 0 – 360 in 6 seconds. So I bought her a bathroom scale and left it in the driveway.”
- “This is an Iranian bomb inspector… *eyes are closed, fingers are in his ears, and he’s sweeping one foot across the ground*”
The next day was spent driving east with stops at Devil’s Tower and Mount Rushmore. Not really much to say about these places, but if you are driving in their general vicinity you will definitely want to check them out. The next day was another big driving day, with stops at Wall Drug, Badlands National Park, and a drive by of the Corn Palace in Mitchell. If you are driving through South Dakota, be prepared for no good restaurants between Rapid City and Sioux Falls, with the exception of Mitchell, which had a Dairy Queen and the Corn Palace. The Dairy Queen was the only reason that I got to check out the Corn Palace actually… ;-D
After resting from the tiring drive through South Dakota, it was time to drive to the Sears Tower. Normally driving doesn’t bother me too much, but I-90 through Illinois is one of the worst toll roads in the country right now (mostly due to construction; conditions should improve once the new express toll is finished). The worst conditions on the road were going the other direction, with a 10 mile backup due to toll booth construction. I hope that they weren’t collecting tolls for those folks, I would not be happy if I had to wait in that line. The traffic in Chicago is awful as well. It took us well over an hour to get to the tower once we were in town, and getting out of the city afterwards was almost as bad. The views at the top of the tower were great though, and there were plenty of opportunities for great photos.
The last stop on our Honeymoon was Cedar Point, which is now my favorite amusement park in the country. The number of great roller coasters at the park is unreal, with the newest being the Top Thrill Dragster (well, there are newer ones but that was the best). If you want a kick at the very beginning, wait in line for the front seat of this coaster. You will be launched up a 410 foot tower that reaches a speed 120 mpg in 4 seconds. Our other favorite coaster at the park was the Millennium Force, which has a 310 foot drop and a top speed of 92 mpg. Since the average wait for these rides was over an hour, we had plenty of time to check out the many other coasters in the park. Our favorites were:
- Raptor (a suspended coaster where your feet dangle and you go through many loops)
- Mantis (you stand up for this one and good through loops)
- Iron Dragon (suspended coaster, a classic)
- Corkscrew (another classic)
After our two day stay at Cedar Point, it was time to head back to NY for some rest from driving. While there, we made a quick stop at Stony Brook State Park for some hiking.
Stay tuned for some new updates over the next couple days. I have some photos from NY, PA, and from Matt and Jess’s wedding to put up next.