If the following doesn’t sound like a trip update, keep reading… and let me use the word SNOW to pique your interest.
I graduated from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, of course) on Mother’s Day 2001. Soon thereafter I boarded a Northwest flight at RDU that took me to London’s Heathrow airport (well, that flight took me to Minneapolis/St. Paul where I changed planes, but you know what I mean). I spent two weeks traveling through London, Scotland, Germany, bits of France, and Switzerland.
One of the highlights of my trip happened on a rainy day in June. Suzanne (my friend that I was visiting in Germany) and I were in a wet Swiss town, and trying to decide what to do. We decided to take a combination airlift up the mountain, to try to get above the weather. I was woefully underprepared for cold weather like that rain!
At the top of the mountain we found we had escaped the rain, into snow! We had a snowball fight with some French kids – in JUNE! – and then huddled in the lodge for some hot chocolate and summer employees practising singing Edelweiss for tourists.
For eight years now, Suzanne and I have commented on that June snowfall in Switzerland. What a Swiss experience we had.
I am not in Switzerland now. I am at the West Yellowstone KOA in Montana. If you’re really bad at geography, that’s in the United States of America. I woke up this morning to two inches of snow, and fat, fluffy flakes freely falling.
Did I mention we were at a campground? I mean, a Kampground, because KOA k-ifies everything. Want a picture?
Observant readers will note that that is not snow outside of a tent. I talked my husband into upgrading to a Kamping Kabin when the cold rain was so persistent last night, and our little heater seemed so inadequate.
Other updates on the trip: Friday we drove from Fillmore, UT to Alpine, WY (just outside of Jackson – we did not see Dick Cheney). On the way we stopped at a WalMart in Provo and Temple Square in Salt Lake City. In SLC we also stopped at a park called Gilgal. More on all of that later.
Yesterday we went through Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons, as well as the west leg of Yellowstone to get to our campground. It was rainy and cloudy, so we’re planning on adding another day so we can see the Tetons when it’s not so cloudy. We did take a cold and wet ride across Jenny Lake to do a cold and wet 1.5 mile hike to and from Hidden Falls. Very awesome and totally worth it!
On our quick(ish) trip through Yellowstone (quick in the sense we just drove straight, no stops, so we could set up camp) we saw cow moose and stopped briefly when I spotted about four bison a hundred yards or so from the car. Not two miles later we had to stop for a huge traffic snarl where hundreds of bison grazed on either side of the roadway, and meandered through the stopped cars, mostly full of tourists clutching cameras and camcords.
I, of course, was one of them.
When we got to the campground we settled into our Kabin, and cranked up the heaters. Kamping Kabin beds are NOT comfortable – I’m bringing in the air mattress tonight! – but I think we slept better than we would have in the tent! And that brings us to now, and now it’s breakfast time.
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