Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, & Crater of the Moon
This part of the trip was spontaneous. We were with our friends in Sheridan Montana and the next place we had to be at was Boise for a photoshoot about a week away. We looked at the map and realized we can easily go through Yellowstone on our way to Boise. To say I was beyond excited was an understatement. I had never been before and have always wanted to! If you follow our adventures on Instagram at all (@olivethevan), then you might have seen the post where I mentioned how I cried when I watched Old Faithful. That moment was what this adventure was about. Traveling to new places and witnessing events I've been dying to see. It was really really amazing and very overwhelming. Temperatures were cold and it started to snow while we were in the park, which made it pretty magical. And we saw lots of Bison!
Next stop was Jackson Hole and The Grand Tetons. We drove straight to Jackson Hole, ate dinner, walked around the town for a bit and then, after lots of driving, found a place on the street to park the van for the night. Smaller mountain towns aren't very welcoming to overnight parkers. So it took us a while to find a place to park the van for the night. And the next morning the plan was to wake up before the sun and drive to the Grand Tetons and make breakfast while we watched the sunrise. But it was FREEZING! We still woke up before the sun, got coffee and warmed up a little bit (that was probably the coldest night sleeping in the van), and drove to the Tetons. We didn't make breakfast because it was too cold outside, so we instead just enjoyed the sunrise from inside the van and then quickly took lots of pictures before my hands fell off. Watching the beautiful sunrise was a pretty spiritual experience. It made us stop and thank God for this adventure and the opportunity to soak in the beauty around us. It's an experience that is hard to put into words.... But we finally gave in to the cold and turned back to Jackson Hole to find breakfast. We ended up eating at Persephone Bakery and it was AMAZING! I would go back to Jackson Hole just to eat there again. Then we went for a hike which about killed me because of the altitude! It was pretty sad... I felt very out of shape. But the views from the top made it all worth it.
We then made a gamble going to a place we have never heard of... Craters of the Moon. Mike randomly found it on the map and it was on the way to Boise, so we said what the heck and decided to give the place a try without knowing anything about it. I think this stop might be Mike's favorite place so far. It was insane. We parked the van at a campsite for the night surrounded by shrubs, dirt, and black rocks. And we got REALLY excited to explore the next day! I took a ton of pictures just trying to give this place justice! It was pretty unreal. Walking through lava fields and reading about the volcanos surrounding us was totally Mike's jam. He loves reading about history and what happened in that exact location however many years ago. So I let him read while I take lots of pictures (mostly of him), and then I make him tell me what he read about:) It's a win win for me. I wish I could describe the place better, but words are failing me right now... so instead just take a look at all the pictures:)