Epic Road Trip - Week Four
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” - John Muir
Day Twenty-Two: We woke up so excited to spend some time walking along the Pacific Ocean at Enderts Beach. The kids had a blast finding sand dollars and other cool items. After our walk, it was off to Oregon Caves National Monument for a cave tour. Our tour guide did a great job and we learned a lot. It takes quite a bit of time to reach Oregon Caves from Cave Junction. The website says it takes 60 minutes and it definitely took at least that much time. The last few miles are narrow, steep, and winding. We spent the night at the historic Oregon Caves Chateau. It had so much charm and character. Our whole trip was budgeted out, but I did allow for a splurge night while we were staying here. For one reason, our options were limited. But also because it is fun to eat fancy every now and then. Steak and pasta and desserts for all.
Day Twenty-Three - Twenty-Five: The next morning we went for a quick hike after breakfast on the No-Name Trail (I guess they ran out of trail names, hehe). Then we had a much needed day off in California before we were off to Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is also in my top 5 of our trip. We spent 3 fun nights at another KOA, this time in West Yellowstone.
Day Twenty-Six and Twenty-Seven: The next two days were spent exploring a small part of Yellowstone. The first day was spent exploring the Upper Geyser Basin and trying to catch as many of the geysers erupt as we could. We managed to catch Old Faithful, Grand Geyser, and Riverside Geyser. We also drove the Firehole Canyon Drive and the Firehole Lake Drive. The second day we explored the Midway Geyser Basin, hiked to the Grand Prismatic Overlook, checked out the Fountain Paint Pots (Ava’s favorite), and Gibbon Falls. We only saw a fraction of what Yellowstone has to offer!
Day Twenty-Eight: We were at the last few days of our trip and I was very sad. I was definitely not ready for it to be over, but as Dr. Seuss said, “Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.” So that is what I decided to do! We packed ourselves up and headed to South Dakota.
Day Twenty-Nine: I’m pretty sure I needed a vacation after this vacation. Everyday was full of new adventures and lots of steps on my Fitbit! We started this day out with our third and final cave tour (at least for this trip) at Jewel Cave National Monument. If you ever find yourself at Jewel Cave, after you park your car and check in, you have to walk to get to where the tour actually starts. We did not know this and almost missed our tour. Our group was at the elevators getting the intro when we got there. Oops, not good planning on my part. Jewel Cave is the third longest cave system in the world. It got its name from the Calcite crystals that sparkled like Jewels.
Next it was off to the Crazy Horse Memorial. The sculptor of Crazy Horse, Korczak Ziolkowski, assisted the sculptor of Mount Rushmore before agreeing to create Crazy Horse. It will probably not be completed in my life time. But possibly when my son is in his 80s. He was very fascinated by it all and said he wanted to be living in South Dakota when it is finished. We shall see!
Our last stop of the day was Mount Rushmore. It was chilly and wet, but we had a good time exploring and learning. And we really enjoyed the Mount Rushmore Illumination.
Day Thirty and Thirty-One: The next day was spent on the road to Wisconsin to checkout Ryan’s top stop on his bucket list, Dr. Evermore’s Forevertron. Forevertron was our last stop before heading home. It is a sculpture park created by one man and it is completely free to explore.
Well with that stop we have come to the end of our trip! There were a lot of reoccurring themes on this trip…caves, art installations built single handedly, early mornings, short stays, and lots of hours in the car. It was a crazy, fun trip and we are so blessed to have had the opportunity to go. Thanks for following along!