2021.06.09 Driving Cross Country

We are headed to Yellowstone National Park.  The very first park of America’s Best Idea.  Mallory, who is a rising senior at Oklahoma State, is working outside West Yellowstone, Montana, for the summer, and we are excited to get to see her!

Today is straight driving.  No touristing.  At least no planned touristing.

I am personally quite excited because we will get to spend the night in Wyoming, which is a state I hold in high esteem.  An example:

Driving from OK into KS: Welcome to Kansas, here’s a toll road.

Driving from KS into CO: Welcome to Colorado, please note the roads got noticeably worse.

Driving from CO into WY: Welcome to Wyoming, here is a Buffalo Ranch and check out these pronghorn walking through a lovely meadow.

It’s no contest!

We left town this morning shortly before 7am.  About an hour later than planned, but hey we’re on vacation.  We did manage to stop just once in our first five hours of driving, which might actually be some kind of record.  We made pretty good time the entire day.

Ready To Roll. You can see all the way to the back window, which is cheating.

We stopped in Goodland, Kansas, for a picnic lunch and a quick peek at the larger-than-life Van Gogh painting on the “Big Easel”.  A high quality attraction for a town like Goodland.

Steve and Marissa and the Big Easel
Picnic in Goodland, Kansas

Right next to the park where we ate lunch, was the High Plains Museum.  Marissa suggested we check it out, so she and I explored it for a few minutes.  It advertised “America’s 1st Patented Helicopter”.  Sure to be a crowd pleaser.

High Plains Museum
The closest Marissa will get to a Bison on this trip
Replica of America’s 1st patented helicopter. You can push a button and the rotors turned!

One goal on this trip is to eat ice cream every day.  We stopped in Denver at their friendly DQ and got 3 blizzards for the road.  We texted a picture of our Blizzards to the family and Scott had the perfect reply: “It’s officially a vacation now!  Cheers to KK!”.  There was no bigger fan of Dairy Queen and Blizzards than KK.  It’s pretty cool that getting some ice cream on vacation can spark a memory!

Cheers to KK!

We finally rolled across the Wyoming state line around 6:30.  I have not even mentioned this yet, but Wyoming has an official pull out lane so you can stop and safely take a picture at their “Welcome to Wyoming” sign.  We pulled over.  (We would have pulled over regardless, but thank you, Wyoming, for thinking of our safety.)

Steve in his Happy Place

We cruised I-80 west from Cheyenne to Rawlins, where we are spending the night, completing 15 hours of driving.  Stephanie heard the desk clerk on the phone tell a caller they were sold out for the night.  It is vacation season in Wyoming and we’re so glad we’re here.

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