Yesterday was a long driving day—all the way across the state of Wyoming, the tenth largest state in the country, but also the least populated.
In the morning, before we left Hill City (SD), we decided to try our hand at geocaching since there was an easy geocache located in the Hill City Cemetery. If you aren’t familiar with geocaching, there’s a great little video introduction on the geocaching.com website. Basically, they call it the world’s biggest treasure hunt. You follow the geogaching app much like you do your GPS, and you search for the geocaching containers. Inside each container you find a site log, to which you add your name, your hometown, and the date. You may even find some little treasures. You can trade one of the treasures in the box for one of your own that you leave behind.
It took us a little while to find the Hill City Cemetery geocache. We’re novices, after all. But it was good fun and quite rewarding when we finally uncovered the little box.
After that, we hit the road.
For much of yesterday’s drive, we were on Interstate 90 and could make really good time. We did get off the highway, though, to see Devils Tower—the strange “tooth” (as Amelia called it) sticking up out of the ground. We went into the Devils Tower Monument Park and walked the trail around its base. It’s a really nice walk and a great way to stretch after hours in the car. The skies were clear, and the temperature was 83 degrees. We couldn’t have asked for a better day.
Then it was back into the car. We decided to take the more scenic route to Cody, Wyoming. And that took us through the southern end of Big Horn National Forest. The pictures in no way do it justice. And I apologize that some of them were taking through a buggy windshield.
Perhaps I could also say a word about all those hours on the road. Yesterday our kids did very well. But of course, they get antsy, so we try to vary what we do in the car. Even though our siteseeing has departed from the Little House on the Prairie theme for now, we are still reading the books as we drive. I also checked out several kids’ travel books from the library. Yesterday we read a couple of books about Wyoming, and Peter (ever the elementary social studies teacher) always enjoys making up little quizzes on what he’s reading. We do a lot of singing, and since we purchased a new Kia Soul just before this trip, we have free satellite radio for three months. We’re enjoying that more than I thought we would. Commercial free radio and several channels just for kids. We do allow limited “screen time,” but we also have some time when we are all just silent and enjoying the view.
I had booked us a cabin called Tatum’s Haven outside of Cody, Wyoming. The pictures looked charming. And truthfully, since I wasn’t able to plan our trip until just a few weeks ago, it was one of the few affordable places I could find within striking distance of Yellowstone.
It was pitch black (10:30 p.m.) when we were finally trying to find the cabin. It’s actually located 30 minutes north of Cody. For all of my “planning,” I missed this detail. Thankfully, our GPS kept working. (I had written out the directions by hand in case of technology failure.) And it finally led us to turn off the narrow county road and onto a dirt path. Only a small red sign with “125” on it marked the trail entrance. We drove for about a mile down the dusty “road” until our headlights finally picked out the little brown cabin. We went to sleep, having no idea what sort of view we would find in the morning.