I just finished eating Chinese food on my couch while watching climbing documentaries on Netflix trying to process the last week and a half. There are a few things I know to be true right now.
- I feel very strange not being inside of Echo right now.
- Being a good 1,000+ miles away from The Rockies has me feeling sad in a way that I’ve never felt before.
- I’m so happy to be home with my animals.
- Chicago Diner has the most delicious vegan food I’ve ever had. Period.
If you have never spent time in western Wyoming, you are missing out. I honestly never gave the state much thought when planning trips other than going to Yellowstone. The people are great, the landscape is spectacular, and the wildlife is abundant. Seeing bison walking down the side of highways is something I don’t think I would ever get tired of seeing. Driving out of Dubois, Wyoming and seeing the Teton Mountain Range come into view is one of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen. While we had hoped to get permits to hike the Teton Crest Trail, the fires in and outside of the park put that to rest pretty quickly. Instead we spent our days hiking up to some spectacular vista points, sitting by the lake, and eating delicious food. As sad as it is to see wildfires completely wreck an area, there was something so surreal about sitting at our campsite having a campfire and watching wildfires come over a ridge and burn through an area right across the lake from our campsite.
Since our thru-hike was a no go, we headed into Yellowstone after the roads opened back up and spent a day sight seeing in our car. While I am glad to have crossed that park off the list, I would be fine making that a one and done park. There is definitely really cool things to see and do there, it just lacks the type of hiking and exploring we typically enjoy (as well as what seemed like 100,000 tourists everywhere you looked.) We left the park on the eastern side and headed down to Cody, Wyoming for a night before starting the trek back home. The further away we got from western Wyoming, the more I wished I didn’t have to go back to Ohio. Don’t get me wrong. I love Ohio. I love my family, my friends, my career. There is just something about waking up to the sun cresting the peak of a mountain, or taking in a deep breath or crisp mountain air that makes me feel whole.
I had worried that I would be sick of sitting inside of a van for days on end, and there were stretches of time that I wanted to be out of Echo, but overall it was amazing. The feeling of crossing state line after state line in a van that we spent the last few months building into our home on wheels is indescribable. There may come a time in the future that we make van living a permanent lifestyle. But first, we’d need a bigger van…
Now it’s time to start saving and planning for our next adventure. Who knows where we will end up!