This week was full of nature, nature and more nature. We are not really outdoorsy people, we’d like to be, but walking somewhere seems slow and tedious. And walking for fun? Well, that doesn’t seem fun at all - hiking is a foreign concept. However, most of the people with lifestyles similar to our own are big into the outdoorsy, the hike, the climb, the sit around campfires with guitars, and they wear flannel un-ironically, we would like to be more like them. This week we tried.
After leaving The Badlands, it was a quick trip to Mount Rushmore. It was very HHLE (high hopes low expectations) for me, as I’d heard many people were unimpressed. It was… fine. I don’t know, I guess you look at it for so many years, on so many things, that you’re rather desensitized to it. It was impressive to think about how and when they did it, but overall…meh. We stopped by the Crazy Horse memorial (as always, we’re never people to say no to a crazy), but we didn’t go in as we could see much of it from a parking lot (or google). It’s unbelievable how little progress they’ve made, over so much time, considering they have modern equipment. As per usual we located a free camp site instead, and cozied up for a cold night.
After passing through Deadwood we began the long schlep across Montana to get to Yellowstone. Who lives in these places? Why? What do they do? How do they make money? They haven’t even got cell service, ridiculous. We did stop at the site of Custard’s Last Stand (ed – Custer’s), which admittedly was quite cool, although why he bothered with Montana I don’t quite understand?
We made it to Yellowstone. The holy grail of National Parks to outdoorsy folk, and we came prepared with plans for three days - we were going to force ourselves to spend three days, it needed to be done. Yellowstone in October is quite a good deal, in that there weren’t very many people, the roads were clear, and only a small crowd of people stopped to gawk at each animal (as far I can tell it would be miserable in the summer). It is really good though, with lots of waterfalls and geysers, and we spotted, a wolf, a bear, some elk and even had a bison blocking our path on one of our hikes. We managed to do a hike a day, which to us felt good enough, nothing long, but we topped out at 5 miles to get to the Fairy Falls.
We enjoyed Yellowstone, and when you leave the park to the south it takes you directly to Grand Tetons National Park. We had planned to do a hike there was well, unfortunately the trail was closed for the winter. In truth we were not disappointed, we’re city folk, and were happy to have an excuse to make a straight line to Jackson where we finished out the week. I don’t think we’ll ever be the type of people who will go on multi day hikes, but I like to think we’ll be more…. willing to get out there next time.