Despite a complete absence of the wildlife we had been hoping to spot, yesterday rewarded us with a beautifully crisp, overcast day with just a bit of rain over lunch.
Today was our first hiking endurance test for the ankle-biters. After exploring Jackson Lake Lodge for a few minutes, we headed out on an easy (and even paved) trail called Lunch Tree Hill. The kids were fairing so well that we headed further out onto the dirt road leading to Colter Bay in order to explore a beautiful creek with a picture perfect foot bridge.
Turns out, as long as you pack some fruity gum, enough water, and some snacks, these kids can go about 2-3 miles before insisting on a piggy back ride back to the car.
The prior night had been quite cold, around 40 degrees, and we have realized that we did not pack enough blankets. So after stopping at Mormon Row to get pictures of the most photographed barn in America, we trucked back to Jackson to the stupid Kmart.
Again we were met with frustration. The only affordable blankets available were thread bare brand new. Not wanting to part with cash for such crap, we gave up in hopes of surviving another night and finding a better retail stop near Yellowstone.
Frugality has its limits.
Now the morning of Day 4, I rolled out of bed quite cranky, having gotten no sleep at all and with seriously achy joints from huddling under the blankets all night trying to create an iota of warmth. The kids slept like rocks somehow.
We will be purchasing some sleeping bags in West Yellowstone before bed tonight.
After some coffee and breakfast, we loaded up the van. Unfortunately the good-ole VW did not start. With a slightly inclined dirt road next to us and a lot of pushing, Kevin popped the clutch and we were off, fairly certain that the thick oil that makes these old vans run uphill on hot days was just too cold to turn the engine over.
Roadtrip Lesson #3: Always park near a hill.