Planning our Yellowstone Trip

With our remodel firmly behind us (never mind the still arm length punchlist), we set our sights on a nice, long family vacation. Every summer as a child, my 2 brothers and I would climb into the back of the car and away we would go on a camping roadtrip with our parents to see all the great western National Parks. Cramped and fighting for space in the back of a Pinto; having all of our sleeping bags drenched in a thunderstorm; running around in an RV while my dad was driving it - those were some of my fondest childhood memories. Of course, I was going to recreate them for my own 3 kids!!

We planned a two week vacation to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone NP, starting June 14th, 2 days after school got out. The first week we'd be joined by our good friends the Jordans. Mary and Pete used to live just down the street from us; our kids were best friends - Ella and Portia; Nick and Pierce. Both pairs were the same age, in the same grade. Then they abandoned us for Boulder, CO and we've never been the same since. The second week we'd be on our own as Mary and Pete needed to get back to Boulder.

Planning tip: We were fortunate to get camping reservations in both Grand Teton and Yellowstone two months in advance, but if you want a nice hotel room inside either park, plan on reservations at least nine months, preferably a year, in advance.

About 2 weeks out from our departure date, I started checking the weather forecast so we could figure out what clothes to pack. Much to my dismay it was snowing or worse yet, freezing rain and the lows ranged from 24 - 30 degrees Farenheit. Yikes, that wouldn't be much fun to camp in. I pulled out all the winter gloves, mittens, scarves, hats.

A few days before D-day, we decided to do a test pack of the car. I was beginning to be concerned about fitting all our gear into the car. Turns out rightly so. So on Wednesday night, I posted a request for an overhead car cargo box on our school Yahoo! Group. Thankfully, someone responded the next day!! Now we could see out the back window and we wouldn't have to tie Tristan to the roof rack!


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