Armed with matching road trip tee shirts and (my husband’s) zest for life that could only be likened to Clark Griswald, my family set sail for 43 days in an RV. My husband received a six-week sabbatical from his job, and I am, well, between gigs. So, why not?
My husband has always wanted to recreate the trip his beloved mom and grandma embarked on in 1983 to a family reunion in South Dakota with his siblings, cousins, and him. He planned this trip for two years, with high hopes of making the same treasured memories with our children. Like I said, Clark Griswald. Only very organized. In the best way.
We started out at Crater Lake (which was incredible), Trinity Lake (which was dry), and Lake of the Springs (which was hotter than Hades). This is the leg of the trip I spent more time in a swimsuit that I am comfortable with and even had to buy some shorts. I really had to get over myself on this trip because the heat was just too much. 114 degrees in the shade? Basically.
Next up was our visit to see family in Napa, CA – they’d be joining us in their own RV for the next few stops on our trip. We headed for Nevada and hit our favorite family spots: Lake Tahoe and Virginia City. From there it was onto Salt Lake City, Utah to visit dear friends and see the sites around Temple Square. The Nauvoo Cafe’s Lion House Rolls are so buttery and delicious. Seriously, best rolls I have ever had.
Wyoming is beautiful. The hills look painted and I swear you cannot take a bad picture of this place. Jackson Hole, Cody, Yellowstone, Devils Tower – there was just so much beauty to see.
Finally, we made it to South Dakota. The Palmer Gulch KOA Resort did not disappoint. There was a waterslide, splash pad, pool, live music, restaurant, bar, shops, and so many amenities. There was so much to do even just at our campsite. It was a great spot for all the kids. We visited Mount Rushmore. I have always wanted to see it. But I was especially moved by Crazy Horse. We also hit the famous Wall Drug and Deadwood.
We said goodbye to our family and headed to Montana, and they went onto Colorado. I got to see some dear friends I had not seen in 14 years, vowing to see them again much sooner. Then we hit up Glacier National Park. This KOA was also very nice and had plenty for our very lively, nine-year-old twin boys.
We left Montana with full hearts, and decided to just drive straight home instead of splitting up the drive over two days, resulting in us getting home two days early on accident. Oh well. So, 41 instead of the original 43. Haha!
Truthfully, I was ready to sleep in my bed on the freshly washed sheets I had laundered nearly six weeks since we had departed. It was a magical night.
We have some special needs. And we took those issues on the road. But overall, it was worth it. It was the adventure of a lifetime – seeing things for the first time with my kids. The only question is: where to next?