Long time readers may recall that shortly after completing our MS degrees (er…we were both so close to finishing, it counts) in the summer of 2012, we embarked on a celebratory adventure lovingly referred to as the Amazing Besties National Park Road Trip. At first, we were blogging contemporaneously, then we were slowly catching up, then… The last post in the series was written in October 2014, fully two years after we got back from our two month stent of life on the road!
Like all good Type As, this incomplete set of posts has been bugging us for ages. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the time to go back through our journals to recall details, and the days without journal entries have gotten fuzzy around the edges. We still wanted to share our amazing experience exploring public lands with you all! To this end, over the next few months we will periodically be putting up posts that are mostly pictures from our trip with a few bits of memories that come to mind as we put together the images. This was one of the most epic friend adventures either of us have ever had, so if you like best friend hijinks these posts are for you. If you’re into pretty photos of natural wonders, you have come to the right place! 10 states. 9 National Parks and 1 National Monument. One summer of fun!
Want to catch up? Check out the rest of the series here.
Yellowstone National Park
Homeland of the Cheyenne, Apsaalooké, Shoshone-Bannock, Eastern Shoshone, Salish-Kootenai***
When last you left us, we were tired after a day spent watching wildlife, checking out lakes, and learning about early tourists in the park. Today, on the recommendation of our all time favorite park rangers, the married couple Jim and Dot, we were going to climb two different mountains. (More heart eyes about Dot and Jim here.)
First up, Avalanche Peak.
The wildflower displays in this area of the park were fully out of control. Breathtaking, truly. This may also have been the hike were were were struggle busing on the way to the peak and were passed by an older couple who we decided were #lifegoals.
If memory serves, this is Meridith being a bird in these amazing rock nests. These little nests were a great place to catch your breath and get out of the wind when on the top of the mountain.
Ridge walking is every hikers delight.
Rachel could not even with these flowers.
Next up, we wanted to climb up to the fire lookout tower on Mt. Washburn. Apparently Jim and Dot had some sort of competition going to see who could send more people to see the person stationed in the tower. We decided the only fair thing was for one of us to be Team Dot and the other Team Jim. Turns out, watch tower person was not around when we reached the top so we left them what was (probably) and outrageous note about how much we loved both Jim and Dot.
Again, because Dot told us it would be totally safe, we opted to hike through the whole trail and hitch hike back to our car. For the record, she was right. It was totally fine.
In our next installment, we leave Yellowstone and head to Glacier National Park. Stay tuned!
***Know whose land you are hiking on when you visit National Parks and other public lands. Check out this resource.