How the West Was Won – Vacation Edition

After 12 days, 4,800 air miles, 2 national parks, 4 states, and almost 1,500 miles on the rental car, our western vacation is complete.

We’ve been wanting to see the Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks since our kids were small – not exactly an easy or inexpensive jaunt from our home state – so we were really excited to finally be able to go. We cut costs quite a bit by saving a ton on airfare – all 4 of us flew for just over the cost of a single ticket, courtesy of frequent flyer mileage and US Airways’ now-discontinued companion voucher program.

Of course, to take advantage of this deal, we had to fly into Salt Lake City and drive about 5 hours to our first stop in Jackson, Wyoming instead of flying direct into Jackson, but the drive from Utah through southeastern Idaho to Wyoming was pretty easy. This little corner of Idaho was mostly rolling hills of farmland or ranches with an occasional oasis of a (very, very) small town.

Welcome to Idaho
Welcome to Idaho, where there’s nothing else for kids to do other than play by the welcome sign?

It was very rural and rather desolate in places – at one point, we passed a sign notifying us that there were no gas stations for 70 miles. You’d have to be a pretty independent sort to live out that way since there were also no grocery stores, hospitals, or anything much else. You also better hope you don’t have car trouble, since there’s no cell reception, very little traffic, and no one nearby to help you.

Entering Wyoming
Hello, Wyoming!

We finally got to Jackson, Wyoming after being awake since 3am Florida time and traveling for close to 20 hours. We were pretty done by that point, reduced to communicating with grunts and mumbles. After a quick dinner, we staggered off to bed so that we could rest up for the next day’s adventure.

Next up: Grand Teton National Park and Jackson, Wyoming.

The views coming into Wyoming were so pretty, they almost made us forget we had been awake and traveling for almost a full day.



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