Pics of our latest trip to and around Wyoming!

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Wanderlost

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Caledonia, Illinois
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The following are pictures, along with brief descriptions and details, of our latest trip. We hope you enjoy them. We'll be adding to it during the next few days when we have time. Here's the first day:
We started from our home base in north-central Illinois heading west, through Wisconsin, Minnesota, and eventually South Dakota where we spent our first night. Ft Pierre National Grasslands is our favorite spot to stop when traveling that way. It's a full ten+ hour drive from home and is close enough to the Interstate to be convenient, but far enough away to be quiet and peaceful. Along the way we cooked a crock-pot full of baked beans. (You can find the full recipe video on our YouTube channel.)
Important tip: When in tall grass like this ALWAYS be aware that grass touching your hot exhaust can easily catch fire. Keep a very close eye underneath for at least an hour after parking, looking for any sign of danger.
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With NO trees anywhere in sight, a tarp makes a friendly amount of shade to get out of the sun. Temps were hovering around 90+ all day. As soon as the sun dropped low the temps quickly dropped to a more reasonable 75 or so.

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We're not huge fans of artificial lights at dusk or even deep into the night hours. We find we use our rock lights far more for ambient lighting in camp, rather then night driving.

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Morning brought some interesting weather. This cloud produced a really strong "storm surge", but only produced a couple hours of light rain. We lucked out!

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Wanderlost

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Caledonia, Illinois
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Day Two; Continuing West.
About an hour's drive west got us to Badlands National Park. We've been there so much over the years that we don't spend much time sightseeing. There is a really nice drive through the heart of the park though. They have a very healthy herd of Bison.

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By afternoon we were deep into the Black Hills National Forest. We've spent a lot of time here as well. Mostly taking advantage of the multitude of challenging offroad trails. This trip however was meant to be much more laid back, just miles and miles of two track forest roads.

But first we found this alongside the road.

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And look who we found just hanging around on the side of a cliff.

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Remember, if you find it closed, close it behind you. If it's open, leave it open.

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Camp for the night. Another great dispersed place we found up high to catch a nice cool breeze.

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Wanderlost

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Day Three, Devil's Tower and the Bighorn Mountains!
Got up with the sun, packed up, made coffee, on the road within 30 minutes. (We don't like wasting time.)
First stop; Devil's Tower. After a short hike around the base we hit the road again towards the west. After a quick stop to look around the Fort Phil Kearny Historic Site we began the climb up a "not so well traveled" path into the Bighorns. A full day of exploring eventually lead us to an EPIC dispersed campsite. You'll have to wait till our next post to see what we saw there!
MORE TO COME SO STAY TUNED!

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Wanderlost

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End of day three, and one of the best dispersed campsites ever!
We made it to the far NW corner of the Bighorn National Forest and were privileged to find a campsite with two tremendous views. Down the valley to our right we saw mountain peaks continue on to the east. To the left, the great expanse of the plains that laid between us and the Yellowstone Country.
STAY TUNED! There's a whole lot more to this story!

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Wanderlost

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Day 4, on to Yellowstone!

We aired back up and hit the highway west towards (what we consider) the greatest wonder of the world; Yellowstone National Park. It's been a few years since we've been through the area. This trip we actually made a reservation at one of the larger campgrounds, Canyon Village. It was nice to know we had a place to sleep that night, and getting a shower was nice but, we really hate campgrounds. They're loud, people shine flashlights at your tent all night long, outhouse doors slamming, and of course we were right next to the one dumpster for our loop.
The place is absolutely beautiful though. That is, if you can get anywhere near the sights. There are so many people there that during the day, there's a two mile hike along the road just to get to a popular trailhead. We finally gave up on battling the crowds, lack of parking, and spent the rest of the day in camp, under our tarp. Tomorrow's another day.

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justjames

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Day 4, on to Yellowstone!

We aired back up and hit the highway west towards (what we consider) the greatest wonder of the world; Yellowstone National Park. It's been a few years since we've been through the area. This trip we actually made a reservation at one of the larger campgrounds, Canyon Village. It was nice to know we had a place to sleep that night, and getting a shower was nice but, we really hate campgrounds. They're loud, people shine flashlights at your tent all night long, outhouse doors slamming, and of course we were right next to the one dumpster for our loop.
The place is absolutely beautiful though. That is, if you can get anywhere near the sights. There are so many people there that during the day, there's a two mile hike along the road just to get to a popular trailhead. We finally gave up on battling the crowds, lack of parking, and spent the rest of the day in camp, under our tarp. Tomorrow's another day.

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Enjoying your trip report. Yellowstone is always pretty incredible as is Zion NP, my favorite. We came thru Zion in mid-June and the crowds were out of control. We didn't see a single overlook that wasn't over-packed with cars etc. Fortunately, the dirt roads just outside the park were mostly deserted and almost as scenic since there were many areas looking into the park.
 
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Wanderlost

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Advocate I

1,836
Caledonia, Illinois
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8490

Day 5, Escaping Yellowstone

We got up and packed way early, when the sky was just beginning to get light. Having visited most of our National Parks over the decades we've been exploring, we've learned that the vast majority of tourists don't get out and about until well after 9:AM. This morning was no different. We shared the park with just a small handful of people that have learned the same lesson. We stopped off at a few of the nicer volcanic attractions then headed south to the Tetons. The peaks there are some of the most rugged and jagged in the country but the swarms of people looking up at them where a distraction. After finally making our way past the town of Jackson we made a beeline for the Shoshone National Forest and its solitude, in part, created by adversity. Our next post will show yet another epic dispersed campsite we found.

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Wanderlost

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Advocate I

1,836
Caledonia, Illinois
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On To Day 6!
We began the day by driving southeast in Wyoming, through the most desolate, arid region we've found. It was strangely beautiful and exciting!
When late afternoon arrived we found ourselves entering the Medicine Bow National Forest from the north. Judging by the trails, it immediately became obvious this isn't the way most travelers, if any, take.
We found another fantastic dispersed camp and settled in for the night.
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