We planned to leave Boulder at 8am and rendezvous in Thermopolis for our first night.
I remember rolling into Thermopolis with Malone on that first trip through Teton. I have vague memories of the Star Plunge and camping in the public park that smelled of sulphur.
It has changed for the better since my last visit. Everything is a little nicer without being too nice. It still has that delightful kitschy feel while having a few more options.
I figured that MPT wouldn’t make it out of Boulder on time given that she isn’t a morning person. She also decided THE DAY BEFORE that she was going to rent a camper off of Craigslist for the trip.
I cannot tell you how goes against every single one of my instincts. I’m not like Nina when it comes to obsessive planning but I try to wrap up details surrounding the rental and towing OF HOUSES a little more in advance.
But what can I say, MPT isn’t much of a planner.
We were an hour late leaving because my car battery decided to shit the bed. I figured it was preferable for it to happen with my favorite mechanic down the street rather in some dusty campground. But still, our excitement was barely restrained.
I brought way too much stuff, too.
Loony and I passed the time on our drive wondering how in the hell they were going to pull a 31 foot trailer behind an Audi Quattro.
Loony obsessed about high winds and stopping distances while I envisioned MPT in the front seat with a strained expression on her face as they chugged along at 40 miles per hour with two kids, her niece, and a dog crammed in the back.
Against all our predictions, they actually made it! Granted, it was around 9pm so they didn’t get to take advantage of the pool or the hot springs.
Itchy and Scratchy were at the Day’s Inn pool before we put our luggage down. The pool was just outside our door and Loony astutely observed that we weren’t immediately needed because there was the equivalent of an entire 5th grade class of kids out there.
Our boys immediately assimilated into the group and commenced with playing aquatic dodge ball while we commenced with a celebratory cocktail and quickie. TMI? Too bad. That shit would never have happened on past trips.
We met up with Alana and Ben for dinner and a little Thai place (meh) and got back just as MPT rolled in.
The charm of the Day’s Inn chain is that each location is privately owned and has its own particular flavor, like the presidential themed Day’s Inn White House in Bangor, Maine.
This one had an, um, dead animal theme.
Let’s just say that no animal was too majestic, endangered, intelligent, or cute to escape the now deceased owner’s rifle.
The motel was a monument to big game hunting. We tried to adopt a sociological mindset as we looked at photos of gorgeous creatures propped up next the triumphant shooter. I kept reminding myself that big game hunting often supports conservationist causes, at least I hoped so.
There was some literature about the hunter being a great conservationist (possibly) and eventually took to darting the animals while traveling with a vet to wake them up (complete and utter bullshit).
I imagine it was more of a PR move to satisfy bleeding heart liberal tree huggers such as myself because those mounted heads looked dead as hell to me.
I decided to take Scheissehund with us on this trip while leaving Blue at home. Checking out new places with scary new surfaces just isn’t for Blue. He’s much happier in his familiar environment. But as for as Scheissenhund is concerned, home home is where the crotch is.
He’s super easy to travel with because I can easily hide him in a backpack or tote him around in his Sleepypod.
Even when we took him to places where dogs were explicitly not allowed, no one seemed to mind him as long as he was contained. So while the boys figured out how to achieve maximum speed on the waterslides, Scheissehund took in the healing vapors from the comfort of his own cabana.
Aside from having a drink with MPT in the Safari Lounge, we were hopelessly out of sync with each other. They slept in the next morning, going so far as to hang Do Not Disturb signs on their doors (message received!) so we swam, saw a bison herd, walked around the hot spring park.
Alana, Ben, Lex and my family had lunch at dog friendly Black Bear Café, topped off with lemon meringue and apple pie a la mode before pushing on to Teton.
It really was a gorgeous ride, NOT THAT MY KIDS WOULD NOTICE, but I certainly enjoyed it.