And they are off again!

The Asheville Austins are on the way to Alaska! This time we are taking the kids and meeting the Austin grandmother. We are very excited but anxious to get there.

Ringo has to stay behind this time.

How can we leave this face?

Sadira is on her way back from Costa Rica to meet us. Hot to cold! Here’s a picture of her and Cora with a volcano in Costa Rica.

I’ve spent the last week at home preparing for our exchange student (Helena) from Spain 🇪🇸. She arrives in the states on the same day we arrive back from Alaska. I just have to show off the cleaned closet. No other closets in the house have ever been cleaned like this in our 20 years of living there.

White painted closet. I keep forgetting to take a before shot.

Next stop anchorage!

5:30 we loaded the plane in Chicago to Anchorage. 7 pm. Having to switch planes in due to technical difficulties. I guess we’re lucky they found it before we took off. Anchorage will have to wait.

Badlands & Family fun!

Left Custer State Park and headed towards Yankton where my cousin Lisa vacations. First stop Badlands after our #campgroundschef breakfast.

After leaving Badlands, we headed towards Yankton, SD to meet my aunt and cousins. My shame of the entire trip is that I was rated third at doing donuts (behind my Morgan age 16 and George). It was apparently so bad that it was rated a burnout and not even a donut. #roomfordonutimprovement

Custar State Park. Black hills

We left devil’s tower early. We wanted to try some caves. (jewel and wind) but that was a Ringo bust. We got to Custer state park. What a surprise!

Needles eye tunnel, we pulled the mirrors in. 8 feet wide.

Then we headed to sylvan lake, what a lovely surprise.

Center lake campgrounds site 13.

Devil’s tower

Primarily a travel day. We left Big Tetons and spent 9 hrs in Frank. I even legally traveled 81 mph! George says, I technically legally drove 80 miles per hour. The extra 1 MPH is just me living on the wild side. Devil’s Tower / Bears Teepee is a worthy visit. Check out their campground at the base of the tower.

Big tetons: Day 2

Since Ringo can’t go on the trails, it was just torture sitting around thinking about all the good hikes we couldn’t take. Rather than just sit around in the campsite feeling sorry for ourselves, we decided to take a trip into Jackson Hole and re-provision and check if Jackson Hole still had a brewery. Mission accomplished and another scenic route traveled.

We showered up and we got another fine sunset on Mt. Moran from the campground. While sitting there, a bald eagle flew right in front of us. We both decided it was the closest either of us had seen an eagle in the wild. #cagesDontCount

For those of you concerned, Ringo is still running loose, but #notintheT@g.

Your Tetons are showing

We started in Yellowstone so here are the west thumb pics before our ynp departure… And after our Ringo 2 hour squirt timer. If we look exhausted in these pics, well, we are.

Black Spring

The tetons are just amazing. Dogs can’t go on the trails so we just took a scenic drive and took lots of pictures. I’m just going to put lots of pictures up probably without a lot of description because #pictureWorth1000words

Then from the campsite we went to see the sunset over Mt. Moran.

Late night Ringo

Woke up very early and got our Yellowstone on. Good thing! We pulled into the nearly empty Old Faithful parking lot at 8 and by 10am, the parking lot was full and we were hitting the road back to campground to switch sites.

While there, Ringo got to see old faithful from afar. And we took turns going into the inn. We visited the geyser basin too. I have lots of pictures of Yellowstone that just can’t convey how weird Yellowstone is. It’s the sounds, the smells the colors, the deep hot bubbling pools of water /mud that you just can’t capture in a picture.

Inside the old faithful inn. This place never ceases to amaze me. It’s like a tree house.

We got back to the campsite and then after lunch drove to the canyon. It was beautiful. We found a trail to the top of the waterfall that was really cool.

Sorry about my finger…

We had dinner and took Ringo for a walk around the Yellowstone Lake. Pretty sure this lake water made him sick. He’s had diarrhea every 2 hours every night since this photo, but at the time I took it, he was just another cute wet dog and we were dog owners without a care in the world.

First night in Yellowstone

We left craters of the Moon and trraveled to Yellowstone NP. It was pretty easy driving but took about 5 hrs. We stopped at Cascades waterfall on the way to our campspot. Then we stopped dropped and rolled to another historic building, the Yellowstone Lake Inn. Somehow we missed this area on our last visit.

#CampgroundChef outdid himself with some tuna smothered with chimichuri with a side of rice and beans. We eat better in the campground than we do at home…

Craters of the moon

We were going to stay a while longer in the Sawtooth mtns and Skip our Yellowstone reservations since dogs can’t hike in Yellowstone, but the smoke was so dense we couldn’t justify staying.

Them mntns are hiding

We got to craters of the Moon and wow! I 😍 volcanos. We slept in the lava field and took a perfect evening walk to the top of a cinder cone.

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Two new things I saw were splatter cones and lava tubes/caves which were really cool.

We had a late dinner but check out this campsite. #campgroundschef made trout which was delicious.

CampgroundChef hard at work.

Sawtooth mnts

Woke up to gorgeous views and got good intel from a native in hikers. Woke up in sunny gulch with this cute t@g view. Then we drove to redfish Sandy Beach to catch the shuttle. Pics of lots of pointing.

Best Campsite view
PointerFest 2021

We walked up the valley a ways before turning back to bench lakes. The hike was great but we probably all over heated a bit. Here are some of those amazing Sawtooth pics.

The Trail to bench lakes was super dusty with that fine grain dust. I tried to catch it in a picture. The horse flies were an added nuisance but we made it to the beach and even had a pretty amazing sunset at the campsite. All on all a fantastic day even though Ringo found a dead fish at the salmon River and decided to roll around on it. So, we had to wash him under the water pump. We’ve probably scarred him for life. Oh well.

Ringo looks like pigpen