Growing up, my grandfather (my oldest son’s namesake), used to tell us that we should explore beyond our own backyard. This summer, we would have made him very proud. The day after school ended, we loaded up the minivan – 2 little boys, my husband, my dad, and I – and started a 3 week journey to Montana for my sister’s wedding and back. And if you’re not already thinking we’re crazy for driving that distance, we spent our nights in a tent. That’s right. A TENT. To be entirely accurate, two tents (my dad didn’t share).
Our first couple of days were long drives, with less than exciting camp grounds. But then we hit Badland’s National Park. Don’t let the name deceive you. Even though my 3 year old kept shouting, ‘This land is bad!’, it was amazing! Next we hit Mount Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, and stayed 3 days in Yellowstone before heading to Montana. Yellowstone is one of the most unique landscapes I’ve ever seen. If you have it on your bucket list, let me tell you, 3 days is not enough!
In Montana, we got a nice little break from the tent. My sister’s wedding was perfect. I realize I may be biased, but I can’t come up with words that seem to do the day justice.
Heading home, we spent two days in Grand Teton, stopped at Agate Fossil Beds, and then finally Cuyahoga National Park. We experienced sleeping in a tent with lows of 33° and highs of 98°. We saw big horned sheep, bison, elk, and even a mama grizzly bear with her two cubs. There were some incredibly stressful moments, (not surprising!), but it was an amazing adventure and I am so lucky we were all able to get away and show our kids a little chunk of this world. And of course, being a photographer, I had camera at hand every step of the way, so I can show you as well!