Wednesday, December 9, 2015

National Parks Tidbits

The Badlands, Devil's Tower, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton...I did trip recaps on all of them, which you can read by clicking on the word, but there are some little tidbits left as well as some things I'd like to call attention to that might have been lost in the long ass re-cap posts.

1. Lodging varies. How's that for vague? If you need five star, there are few options for you, but if you need five star I don't really see you on a National Parks trip anyway. We had wifi in our room in the Badlands and in Grand Teton, but the strength was weak in most places throughout the trip. All of the rooms we stayed in in the parks were clean, and that's all I was expecting going into this. If you're there to really get the full experience, you are in the room to sleep and use the bathroom and that's about it. My favorite place to stay was Cedar Pass Lodge in the Badlands (I actually wish we spent more than one night there) and Signal Mountain Lodge in Grand Teton. The place I liked the least was Lake Hotel in Yellowstone, and that was the fanciest. Go figure.
2. Huckleberry is everything. I had no idea what it was until I got to Yellowstone. One day I had huckleberry ice cream twice in one day. I also had huckleberry pie, huckleberry candy, and huckleberry pancakes on this trip. And came home with huckleberry chapstick and huckleberry jam, which we ate like ravenous dogs at home. Do not pass up the opportunity to have the huckleberry ice cream if you get it.

3. Speaking of food, the food wasn't bad. It was pricey, but not bad. The pie and ice cream everywhere were freaking amazing.

4. Depending on when you go, you have to be prepared for all kinds of weather in Yellowstone. The afternoon this was taken, I was sweating in capris and a short sleeve shirt. On the whole, it was much warmer in Yellowstone than we thought it would be.

5. People do really stupid shit on the roads in National Parks. I had read about it a lot on Trip Advisor, but when I saw it with my own eyes I was all WTF. Take your time, pull over and let chains of douches on CB radios chasing wolves pass you, and you'll be fine.

6. They're very big on the gathering in the common spaces. There's no TV in the rooms and no wifi hardly anywhere, but there are a lot of places to sit in front of a fire and read a book or play some cards, and a lot of outdoor spaces to enjoy in a central area with others.
7. I was happy with 15 minutes at Mt. Rushmore. Really. See the faces, marvel at them, look at all the flags, walk through the gift shop, go to the bathroom, be on my merry way.

8. I wish we saw Crazy Horse from the road instead of paying to go in. The view is pretty much the same and even the people working there seemed sort of sheepish to be taking the $22 we paid to get in.

9. If I knew how cool the area surrounding Devil's Tower was, I would've skipped that weird town and gone right there instead. Not to mention I would've liked to just sit at the base of the tower a little longer, It was a spiritual place.
10. I still can't believe some of the stuff we saw and the animals we were in close proximity to. The other day we were talking about our upcoming trip to Africa, and MFD said, "I'm still not over the National Parks." Neither am I, and I responded that I hoped I never would be...part of what I love so much about travel is how the experience becomes a part of you.

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Linking up for Wanderlust Wednesdays with Kate, Emily, and Kerri

Wanderlust Wednesdays

26 comments:

  1. My husband and I talk constantly about getting to the national parks out west. We almost did it for our honeymoon but were so overwhelmed with all the choices. I am totally bookmarking this post for the day we get out there. Good to know about the food and I can't wait to see the views you have posted here in person. So gorgeous!

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  2. My family and I did a lot of these parks and they were all so beautiful but you're right, people do a lot of stupid stuff there (well, anywhere really right?). Love your photos--they gave me a little walk down memory lane from our trips!

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  3. Oh that shirt has me laughing! People and nature, it's like they just don't get it sometimes. Your tips are great, I've always wanted to do a road trip out West!

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  4. I love how this trip really makes you disconnect and enjoy everything you're doing! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  5. My husband wants to climb Devils Tower, I will not be joining him on that endeavor. Although I love climbing that's a bit steep for my taste. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. You already know how badly I want to go visit this part of the country and I think it's contributing to my current obsession with books that take place out west.

    These are great tips and I'm saving them for when I finally book our trip.

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  7. I thought Huckleberry was just a word used in the movie Tombstone - not a real thing!

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  8. I'm still so upset that I drove by Mt. Rushmore and didn't get to stop. Like you guys, I really only need about a half hour to enjoy the park. Definitely need to get back out there, and make sure I see it this time!

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  9. The base of Devil's Tower having a spiritual feeling! Who would've thought! I like the profile picture of George. I love that the wonder of things stays with us. I still wonder at the beach and ocean every time I am there. Can't wait to read about and see your Africa trip pictures and will be happiest when you are both home safe and sound from that trip. Love. Your. Momma. Traveling vicariously through you two!!

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  10. I really hope I get the chance to do all the national parks one day. That T-Shirt is pretty awesome lol, why are people so dumb??? Anywhere with good pie is just so Americana... love that!

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  11. I want to visit Yellowstone so badly! I think it's a great idea that they don't have TVs in the rooms to allow for more time with other people and to enjoy the beautiful area your visiting. Those elk right next to that house is so crazy! I could never imagine being that close to wildlife!

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  12. All of these are definitely on my bucket list. Ya'll look like you had a great time. Love the pictures!

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  13. I swear your trip is on my list! Maybe when Jason finishes school - I love the idea of just disconnecting and eating pie <3

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  14. $22 does seem steep for Crazy Horse. Loved reading about your travel adventures to do the different national parks since I haven't done anything of this sort before. Beautiful photos to boot!

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  15. I have never really thought I would care to see the national parks but reading your previous posts and this one has me thinking differently. Your pictures are just so amazing and I can see why you aren't over it! And I want huckleberry ice cream!!! That sounds fantastic!

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  16. I LOVE trip tidbits. those little stories are usually my favorite part. your pics are so great. but good to know about not paying to get closer. Now i'd like some huckleberry.

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  17. I'll have to try Huckleberry everything if I get the opportunity. When we went to Mount Rushmore it was chilly for August, but then again we were traveling from South Carolina.
    XOXO

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  18. I don't think I've had huckleberry anything in my life. Sounds good though! I like the look of the room in the middle picture, top row. That seems exactly like what a national parks hotel should look like.

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  19. I didn't even know huckleberry was a real thing... lololol
    Yellowstone weather sounds a lot like Michigan weather. A roller coaster of emotions.
    I would've shit my pants if I was that close to a big ass bison like that. I'm going to start calling you Dr. Doolittle.

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  20. my family did the typical family vacation, where you pile all the kids in the van and drive when i was about 5 years old. all i remember is refering to mount rushmore as "the faces" as in "mom, why did we drive all this way to see the faces?"
    i also didn't know huckleberry was a real thing. mind = blown.

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  21. Yes, huckleberry everything. I tried a huckleberry beer while in Montana this summer and loved it. I would agree on Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse (although I've only ever seen it from the road.)

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  22. Great post jam packed with tips!!! Love it!
    I had Huckleberry ice cream once and it was amazing. And of course, my mind went right to Huckleberry Finn because I'm weird.

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  23. I really don't ever get tired of your pictures from this adventure. I definitely laughed about the idiots on CB radios doing dumb things... not surprised. Not one bit. I love that picture of you and MFD at Mount Rushmore. It's fantastic and perfect... and now I want pie. Huckleberry pie.

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  24. Thanks (?) to you, my bucket list gets longer and longer. Africa will likely put it in overflow mode!

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  25. As a kid I wanted the theme parks when my dad would always suggest this. Now, it's totally on my list and I'm wondering when I can work it in!

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  26. I seriously loved all your pics from your last state park vacation. Looked soooooo gorgeous and fun. And give me huckleberry anything. Great tips! And yes, like Heather above ^, I always used to complain about these types of trips, now I would loved to go to all state/national parks.

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