I realize it's been a long time since I've posted and I'm glad to see the site still going strong thanks to the work of all the great people involved.
This year I had the opportunity to take some time and explore some of my favorite places. It's been three years since my significant other started her business and the first time since 2012 that we were able to take a trip of any length together. While I've done some solo touring since then, it's always better to have a travel buddy!
This is also the first trip where we packed our camping gear for a flight. Sometimes things just align perfectly for a trip. Twenty years ago we took our first long road trip together from Massachusetts out to Yellowstone National Park and back again. I had always planned to go back there and when I realized the full solar eclipse would be viewable nearby this year, I didn't need much convincing to start all of the necessary planning.
Day 1 - We flew into Denver and picked up our rental car. Dealing with our multiple bags was difficult, especially the one with our sleeping bags. That one wanted to keep falling over. Our goal for the day was to end up at our reserved camping space near Devils Tower National Monument. This first day would require around 400 miles of travel, at an average of 50mph we would be at our site right at sunset. A quick lunch and then back on our way. Supplies were needed so our next stop was to pick up some groceries, etc. in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Time was moving quickly and we were standing still...back on the road!
A friend of ours had often mentioned the jackalope in conversations about old road trips; knowing there was one that previously claimed to be the largest nearby, I had to stop and get its picture.
By this time the sun was getting ready for bed and we still had around 175 miles to travel. We entered Thunder Basin National Grassland just as the sun was setting.
Needless to say, when we got to the campground - after some backtracking and looking at the map a few times - it was well past dark. It being the weekend before the new moon, and the campground having minimal lighting, setting up the tent was rather difficult. But the view of the sky was absolutely incredible. The lack of nearby street lights gave us a glimpse of the Milky Way. That made me quickly forget the fact I had almost driven into a fire pit that was dug into the ground and apparently had been used earlier in the day because it still felt quite warm.
We had been hoping to see Devils Tower at sunset but we weren't going to see it that day. After spending some time enjoying the view of the night sky, we set off to sleep.