Note: this was written for our first week and we are obviously a week behind in posting....been enjoying the outdoors too much with limited access to internet.
We are exactly one week into our road trip and so far it’s been incredible! We have been fortunate to visit with old friends along the way and had some great experiences.
We took off from Estes Park, CO on the morning of June 16th for our North American road trip. The dream we’ve had is actually here. The feeling is hard to describe. We are eager for this unknown journey, the vast area we are going to cover, and the experiences we will have along the way but we are also a little intimidated. It’s a very strange feeling but I think a natural one for a trip like this.
We visited Michael’s childhood friend, Nate, who lives in Lander, WY. Nate is the bartender at Lander Brewery and Cowfish - two must dos if you ever find yourself in Lander. Try the Hudson (Nate’s take on a Manhattan), outrageously good.
We couldn’t have asked for a better start to the trip. Day 2 in Lander and we are eating breakfast at Middlefolk (another must do in Lander with a great outside patio) and our close friend from Denver, Anne (who we’ve both know since middle school in St. Louis), walked out to the patio. We hadn’t spoken in a few weeks and had no idea she was touring around WY on a climbing trip. It made our day and was such a perfect way to get things started.
That afternoon, Nate took us on an incredible mountain bike ride down some “unconventional” trails in the Wild Iris region (30 mins outside Lander). Kind of crazy, bushwhacking type riding but a lot of fun! It’s the type of ride I wouldn’t expect to do anywhere else. Nate’s been living in Lander for 8 years and has plotted out a few natural terrain mountain biking routes.
The next day Anne and her friend Todd were headed to Ten Sleep, WY to go rock climbing. With our flexible schedule we joined. Fortunately we had packed rock climbing shoes, even though we are novice climbers at best.
That afternoon we took a river bath in the river next to our camp spot. Michael needed it and used a smooth rock as a loofa for mountainous exfoliation. It was freezing but felt amazing. That night we played moonshadow charades for the first and probably last time :)
The next morning we hiked up to the Ice Park and Circus Walls in Big Horn National Forest. Along the hiking route we came across the Ice Caves that blow out 40-50 degree air. The heat outside was in the mid 90’s so a nice treat.
Rock climbing was great and we both made it to the top of two different routes while Anne and Todd crushed some much more challenging routes.
Next we were off to Billings, MT to visit an old co-worker and friend from Colorado Springs, Scott. We had a great time BBQing, hanging around town, doing some needed errands, and a Solstice picnic on Rimrock.
Now we are in Bozeman, MT visiting a friend from PT school, Sara. Bozeman is a great town surrounded by farmland and mountains in every direction. It is beautiful. Sara took us on a mountain bike ride up through Cottonwood Canyon. It was her first ride and she rocked it!
Overall, we couldn’t have asked for a better first week. We saw new places, mountain biked two new spots, rock climbed, met some new friends, reunited with old friends, put the truck to use and fully appreciate all the hard work we did to build it out (it’s definitely luxurious camping), and all the good fortune we have a had along the way!
Till next time,
-Katy and Michael