A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving
-Lao Tzu (should’ve listened to the quote on the Amika travel blow dryer box)

I promise not to turn this into a travel blog but I thought I’d at least let you know how I fared in the wilderness. So many of you were so supportive with my lame and inflated fears. Well, maybe they were just misdirected. What I’ve learned about fear is that Murphy’s Law is inaccurate. It’s not necessarily that what you fear will happen will but that what will happen may be way worse than what you feared. Let me explain.

I have never, despite a close call at Eagle airport in Colorado, missed a flight. Just to be safe, we arrived two hours early for our flight to Chicago where we intended to connect to Jackson Hole. After an ambiguous gate change, when we were about to board the flight at the new gate we were told, “this is another Chicago flight, your flight left.” To make a long story short, we spent the night in Denver (actually Aurora, creepy), flew to Jackson Hole in the morning where our bags spent the night and took a taxi up to Yellowstone (3 hours) to meet our trip.
Wait, it gets worse. Remember my over preparation? Somewhere between Jackson Hole and Yellowstone, Marc checked our bags. He had packed an extra bag but never informed me so when I counted our bags, I assumed we had everything. All our supplies? They were in a suitcase that never left NY. I am sure our taxi driver will be talking about a crazy lady from NYC for many years to come. We sorted out to have bag FedExed to our campsite. Remind me to “like” FedEx on Facebook or send a thank you note.

My “reward” for all of this rushing and arranging was that we met our group in time for lunch in Yellowstone just as everyone was getting fitted with their bikes. Yellowstone doesn’t have a bike path per se so we were instructed to stay all the way to the side and watch out for RVs and bison. As the late family, there was no way I could completely express my biking fears though I did hop in the van and start the ride after the “biggest hill of the week.” Did I mention we were at 10,000 feet elevation?
When you’re tense or worried, you zero in on what can go wrong. As we started to bike, I realized why we were there and I almost crashed my bike taking in the view. Yellowstone, aside from wildlife, is best distinguished for its thermal features (can you name the 4 types of thermal features?). We rode past hot springs and geysers and finished at Old Faithful.
Do we really need to see this?
According to this photo it’s not that special, in person it is. 
After waiting and waiting for Old Faithful to do its thing, we were shuttled to our campground. Many of you wished me wine while camping. Along with our tent assignments, there was hors d’oeurvres and wine greeting us. Cheers. 
I will not lie, the first night in the tent, without our pillows, in the missing bag, I was awake listening to the noise from other campsites and convinced myself I was not cut out for camping but that quickly changed. 
Day 2 was a hiking day around “Grand Canyon” of Yellowstone. It was breathtaking.
 After lunch, the kids were swiped up for their own activity and the adults hiked on. 
We were rewarded with showers at our second campsite, clean showers no less. It’s amazing what can turn into a treat when you’re stripped of luxuries.

camping legs, I’ll save the chipped tooth story for another day

 Our bag arrived and surprisingly the only thing I had missed was our inflatable pillows (sweatshirts don’t cut it) and toothbrushes. I slept like a baby.

We kayaked on the third day and enjoyed a delicious Mexican dinner at night. For many of the days, we packed our lunches from a spread the camp crew presented us. They were great about gluten (three of the women were gluten free) but without bread my lunch was often some tuna or turkey with avocado or a slice of cheese and some veggies. This would seem small-ish at home but we were eating regularly and it was really satisfying. The only food “tools” I ended up using were my probiotics and some mornings cocochia,also contains probtioics, over fruit (stay tuned for a future post on probitoics and weight). Though some complained, I lost a couple while away.

The next day was “OYO” or our on your own time. We bid farewell to Yellowstone and arranged fishing on Jackson Lake in the Tetons or “the ladies of the lake” as our fisherman guide Phil called them. With the wildfires in Idaho the view was hazy and the fishing had been affected (the fire kills the bugs and the fish eat them).

Nonetheless, our boys pulled in enough lake trout for all of our new friends at the campsite to taste.

After an hour of nothing and many great stories from our captain Phil…lake trout

For a trip full of “highlights” stopping our bike ride in the Tetons for a herd of bison may have topped the list. We had to stay back and wait as 1000 bison crossed the road (hopefully not to get to “lunch” on the other side).

bison jam

After lunch we finished the 25-mile route in Jackson Hole. We somehow ended up at the Cowboy Bar where our time was limited. I had never suggested a tequila shot as a post-exercise beverage and I don’t think I will start to any time soon.

We were all sad for the week to end. Andrea, in a blog comment before I departed, articulated things so well “I like the contrast camping provides to my “normal life.” I like appreciating all the little conveniences again and also realizing that I don’t need certain things.” We were outside all day, every day. We were with families from all over the country with 13 combined children who never complained. There’s nothing like ending the day around a campfire although I have enjoyed crawling into my bed. In a nerdy way I feel sort of proud of myself. Mission enjoyed.

I know many of you mentioned you’re not the tenting type, would you ever try it? Your kids would love…Have you been to any of the National Parks? Do you have any sports-related fears biking or skiing etc. you want to face?

Oh and the 4 types of thermal features are geysers, hot springs, mudpots and fumaroles (if you’re on Jeopardy you’ll thank me).


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