Inside of Knoxville Goes Inside of the Wild West

Grand Tetons, Wyoming, May 2017

It’s been about six years since the Urbans got away from Knoxville for more than a few days. It’s hard to leave behind what I do for any significant amount of time. And it’s expensive to travel. That said, there’s nothing we love more than travel and it’s been an important part of my life since I was a child and my parents took me from the coast of Alabama to the Smoky Mountains and I told them I would move up here.

Grand Teton National Park, May 2017

Grand Tetons, Wyoming, May 2017

Grand Tetons, Wyoming, May 2017

Grand Tetons, Wyoming, May 2017

Last winter, Urban Father suggested (strongly) that we should drive to Wyoming this summer. After some thought, we agreed for five of us – Urban Father (age 83) and his wife, Urban Woman and myself and Urban Girl (age 7) – would fly to Denver, rent a van and head north for two weeks. May 24 (Bob Dylan’s birthday) marked the start of our trip.

Moose, Victor Idaho Area, June 2017

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, May 2017

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, May 2017

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, May 2017

After a five hour delay in the Knoxville airport (Urban Girl declared the airport Ruby Tuesday’s to be the, “best restaurant ever!”) we arrived in Denver and drove to Boulder for the night. The following day we drove to Jackson, Wyoming, the focal point for Urban Father who has enjoyed a number of trips there and wanted one more.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, May 2017

Snow Woman on (frozen) Lake Lewis, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, May 2017

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, May 2017

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, June 2017

Four days and five nights there got us into Idaho, to Old Faithful in Yellowstone, a day in the Grand Teton National Park, a bit of time in Jackson, Wyoming and a brief trip into Idaho. We saw buffalo, eagles, Elk, a moose, lots of antelopes and marmots and even a few camels along the way. Yes. Camels. Though not in a national park. We had a close encounter with a black bear, snowball fights at 14,400 feet above sea level and a horseback ride.

Teton Village, June 2017

Teton Village, June 2017

Teton Village, June 2017

Driving north after six days, we drove through Yellowstone, seeing many of the incredible hot springs. It’s really like another planet in some of those spots. We also had close encounters with a couple of buffalo before driving out the north end. A night in Bozeman, Montana, another in Missoula and then we drove north through the Flathead Reservation to Whitefish, Montana where we spent three nights.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, June 2017

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, June 2017

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, June 2017

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, June 2017

While there we got acquainted with the cool little town on the edge of Glacier National Park, where Urban Girl completed her trifecta of badges as a Junior Ranger at each of the national parks we visited. We slipped into Canada via the Blackfoot Reservation, saw some beautiful eagles and had a windy picnic. After another day in Glacier, we said goodbye to kin (Urban Woman’s Cousin and his wife live there) and started south.

Flathead Reservation, Montana, June 2017

Glacier National Park and Nearby Area, June 2017

Glacier National Park and Nearby Area, June 2017

Glacier National Park and Nearby Area, June 2017

A night in Billings, Montana was followed by a stop at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. Located on the Crow Reservation, the monument includes the battlefield where Custer engaged too many Sioux and Cheyenne warriors. The spot where he fell is marked and a Crow guide told the story as we looked out to the spots where the action happened. It’s a powerful place for those of us who have studied the history.

Glacier National Park and Nearby Area, June 2017

Glacier National Park and Nearby Area, June 2017

Glacier National Park and Nearby Area, June 2017

After a night in Casper, Wyoming, we ended the trip where we started: Boulder, Colorado. I’ll have more on Boulder, later, as we got to spend an evening there, and it really has a lot of parallels to Knoxville. The flight home was, thankfully, uneventful and we returned a week ago today.

Little Bighorn Monument, Montana, June 2017

Marker for the Spot Where Custer was Found, Little Bighorn Monument, Montana, June 2017

Urban Girl, on the final morning, said she felt, “happy and sad.” I told her that’s the perfect way to end any trip. I hope you have a chance to getaway this summer, as well. We have a great city, but there’s a great world out there and it’s so important to experience it in all its wild and crazy glory.

Comments

  1. Chuck King says:

    “Outside of Knoxville” is as good of a blog as “Inside”! beautiful.

  2. Oslo Cole says:

    Looks like it was an awesome trip!

  3. tnrainmaker says:

    You beat us to it.. We’re headed to the same places in September.

  4. Wonderful trip! The Grand Tetons are the most beautiful range in the US in my opinion. Thanks for the travelogue and photos.

  5. Lori Chmielewski says:

    My husband and I were just talking about going back to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Cody, WY, etc.! Love your photos, and am now SUPER inspired to start that planning!! Thank you for sharing.

  6. What a great looking trip. Have to put that on my list for the future.

  7. Karen S says:

    Wow! Three Junior Ranger badges. But so many more to go – better start planning that next trip. Loved the close up animal pics.

  8. Great pics!

    Did you fly on Frontier? The direct flights out of Knoxville on the cheap airlines are enticing, but I haven’t tried any yet.

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says:

      We did and thought it was fine. Not fancy, not cushy, but fine. We also needed wheelchair assistance through the airport and they were great with that.

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