It’s time for a Summer road trip! The hubs and I got our car seriously packed up just in time to hit the road and kick off the start of Summer with a week of road tripping and camping in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.
We hit the road bright and early to take advantage of the long daylight this time of year, leaving San Diego around 5 a.m. And we actually hauled it all the way up to Idaho. Our goal was to get most of the driving out of the way on our first day, so that we could roll up to Yellowstone at a reasonable time on Day 2. It was definitely a push to drive from San Diego to Idaho Falls (just 2 hours shy of YNP), but it was so worth it.
desert art outside of Las Vegas
best sign ever…and I’m pretty sure if you’re snoozing, you aren’t reading it
Even with a lot of roadside stops to take pictures of the changing scenery, we made it to Idaho Falls by 8:30 p.m. We quickly checked into the Snake River RV and Campsite, and Big Bob got us all set up. Within 30 minutes, we had our tent and campsite set up (thanks to our new handy dandy pop-up tent), fire roaring, and beers cracked. Early enough to enjoy the end of Sunset before calling it an early night.
After a great nights sleep, we both woke up refreshed and were seriously jumping out of our skin excited to pull into Yellowstone. Ever since our first out west trip to the Grand Canyon, we have had the big time National Park and camping itch. Yellowstone has been on our list for years, so we were really excited to arrive.
beautiful bright and warm morning
We ended up making more stops than planned (we needed extra coffee), but we were still able to make it into the Park by 10:30. We headed straight to our campground, Madison, checked in, grabbed a few extra bags of ice and drove to our site to set up camp.
The campsite is beautiful, it is tucked right next to the Firehole River and mountainside. The air is beyond fresh, and we feel like we are being serenaded by the choir of birds living in the forest.
view through the roof of our tent – we love that you can watch the stars
After setting up and getting settled in, we decided to make a quick lunch at camp before heading out for a few afternoon activities. We always look forward to our simple camping lunches, PB & J. (Funny that we never eat it at home, because we both love it!)
After lunch we started driving towards the Old Faithful Visitor Center, but quickly got distracted. First we stopped at the Junior Ranger Station to inquire about a few different swimming options. Unfortunately only one is open this time of year, but fortunately it was just a quick drive from where we were. Since the weather was absolutely gorgeous (80°), we decided to head straight for a swim in the Firehole River.
The backdrop for this swimming spot is idyllic, the water…well, a little on the chilly side for us Californians, but after we swam around for a little bit, we adjusted just fine.
It was beautiful to spend the afternoon just floating away in the river, watching the forest and meadows, and even a Bald Eagle fly above us.
After our swim, we headed to our original destination, the Old Faithful Visitor Center, which seriously took forever to get there (I actually fell asleep for a large part of the drive, but don’t worry I wasn’t snoozing and cruising, the husband was at the wheel). We seemed to be stuck in some sort of traffic jam, which we eventually found out the culprits, a herd of buffalo! I quickly changed my tune about how long the drive was taking. I would happily sit in traffic any day for a glimpse at one of these guys.
Once we arrived at Old Faithful, we were happily greeted with an ice cream parlor, where we split a buffalo chip ice cream cone in honor of our sighting.
After a quick talk with the rangers about our plans for the week, we headed back to camp. We poured a couple glasses of champagne and set off for a walk along the river. The scenery is breathtaking here in Yellowstone. The river is sparkling, and the mountainside is an ombré of greens from all of the different trees.
Once we got back to our site, we got our fire started, and the Mr. got our appetizer started, campfire popcorn. (Another camping favorite of ours.)
After sitting for a bit and enjoying the gorgeous sunny weather, we threw dinner on the fire. Brats, corn and watermelon.
We happily enjoyed our grilled feast, changed into our jammies and pulled our chairs real close around the fire to roast some ‘mallows.
Faces shmeared with marshmallow and graham cracker bits, we both decided to (again) call it an early night and rest up for tomorrow’s adventures. It was a sunny and warm welcome to Yellowstone, and we are both feeling so blessed and grateful to spend the week here.
savoring the last hot embers before bedtime