Let's go, shall we,
on through the majesty.
Let's go, you'd never know it.
This was made for you and me.
-Texas Ride Song, by Kurt Neumann/BoDeans
On August 4th, 2012, the Isbell 5 set out on a two-week road trip that would take us to some great places like Custer State Park and Yellowstone National Park. It's a pretty simple premise, load up the trailer, hook it to the truck and head out for the great countryside. There was something very freeing about locking up the house and leaving it for 2 weeks. As the miles rolled by, I kept thinking about the phrase "God Bless America" and how obvious it was that God did bless America with the things it was given. America is a beautiful, awesome, amazing place and we were very fortunate to be able to see so much of it on this trip.
Yellowstone has an elevation of around 7,000 feet and it gets cool at night. We enjoyed the cooler weather, obviously. But one morning while I'm still sort of sleeping, I here this muffled voice beside me say "You idiot, I'm cold. Aren't you cold?" Truth is, I was too cold to get up and fix what was making me so cold in the first place. Know what I mean? But I just said, "No, I'm fine." Well we shivered for another 30 minutes before she finally got up and realized that I had gone to sleep and left all of the windows open, on a night when the temperature got down to 39, in the middle of bear country, where they require the campers to be "hard sided" to deter bears from trying to get in. Luckily the only bear I had to deal with was Kristi once she realized whose fault it was that she was so cold.
When we pulled into our campsite in the Grand Tetons the ranger informed us that they had an "800 pound grizzly" and that we should "use caution." No shit? I'm glad she told us it was only 800 pounds, because if it would have been 825 or 850, we wouldn't have stayed there. Anyway, there are very specific rules about camping in bear country. Rules like don't leave trash out, lock up your food, don't leave things lying around that have a strong odor, etc. So the next morning I threw a roast in the slow-cooker to let it cook all day. When we came back to the campground that afternoon, pretty much the whole place smelled like Grandma's house on Sunday after church. Oops. We still didn't see any hint of that stupid bear, but the ranger was sure glad to see us go.
I can't truly say that the trip went off without a hitch, though, because we were towing a trailer. ... (get it?) But we really had no big issues, at least until we were 5 miles from home and one of the leaf springs on the trailer busted.
Yep, 5 miles. How lucky is that? Limped home without any problem.
All in all, we put 3,912 miles on the Suburban driving through 9 states. It was an amazing trip and I invite you to view below some of the nearly 1,000 photos we took.
A few favorites
This hawk was not afraid
You've got to look close, but Alvin decided to photobomb us.
This is Grant being victorious as he enters Gardiner, Montana after riding from Wyoming (6 miles).
This isn't Mars or Saturn, it's Wyoming.
I never would have thought that poodles and Harleys go together. This dog was a total ham!
Yes, we were staying at Grace Coolidge Campground.
The places we parked the Lake House
Republican City, Nebraska Custer State Park, South Dakota Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming Chatfield State Park, Colorado Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas
Some of the wildlife we saw
Pictures of the freeloaders who came along but brought very little money
Some of the scenery