Idaho & Wyoming

When we woke up the next day after returning from Alaska, we checked out of our yucky hotel room in southern Seattle and did some last minute tourist stuff before heading to Idaho.

First thing we needed was some coffee, so we headed to a Starbucks down the street to get a brew and a bagel and some fast wifi to plan our stay in Idaho. For lunch we headed across the plaza had an affordable teriyaki chicken at Sunny Teriyaki.

We then headed the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle. We watched a special batch of beans get roasted and we had a cold brew sampler along with an affogato, which is a scoop of ice cream served with a shot of espresso to pour over.

Next, we drove to theDr. José Rizal Park and Bridge to take in the views of the city.

After our visit to the park was done, it was time to skedaddle out of Seattle. We headed towards a town called Post Falls, Idaho to our Airbnb we booked for the night. On the way there, we decided to visit Snoqualmie Falls. During our drive to the falls, we finally got to see the elusive Mt. Rainer!

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Snoqualmie falls were impressive and powerful. The falls fall from a height of 270 feet and have 2 powerhouses to harness electric energy.

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We arrived in Post Falls after 9pm and were totally pooped. Our host was very nice and we were grateful for the cozy bed. The next morning, we got ready to leave and had the chance to spend some time with the hosts cute pup, Lady. It was awesome to get some doggy snuggles. We are pretty sure she liked us too, because when we left she went to the window, barked a lot, and watched us load our car and drive off.

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Originally, we wanted to stay in Coeur d’Alene, but we were not able to snag last minute lodging there at a price that fit our budget. So we decided to have breakfast there. Our plan was for a quick breakfast, but the Iron Horse did not oblige. Thankfully, the food was decent but the service was so incredibly slow.

We had to get from the panhandle of Idaho to the south eastern area, so we had a long drive ahead of us. One of the stops we made sure to make along with way was in a historic mining town named Wallace. We had one of their famous huckleberry shakes, visited their space capsule, saw their historic hotel, and stood at the center of the universe.

Due to the way the highways run, we ended up entering Montana and driving through it most of our way to our destination. When we re-entered Idaho, we were able to stop and take a picture of the welcome sign.

When we arrived at the Airbnb the hosts were not home yet, so we started a load of laundry. They arrived right before we started folding and we had a nice conversation with them and talked to them about our trip. Turns out the hosts husband is from Thousand Oaks – small world!

The next morning, we started our day and we were out of the Airbnb about 7:30am. Our first stop on this busy day was Mesa Falls.

Our next stop was Grand Teton Brewing Company where we sampled some delicious craft beers and enjoyed the unlimited bowls of fresh popcorn.

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Idaho is infamous for their potatoes… we didn’t see a single spud. All we saw was hay. Miles and miles of hay. Here is Marlaina saying, “Hey, hay!”

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Then we drove in to the legendary Grand Teton National Park. The road to the Tetons brought us to the small but very busy town of Jackson Hole (Where big screen hero and real life hero, Harrison Ford lives). The streets were full of cars with out-of-state plates, and the sidewalks were filled to the brim with tourists. Somehow we managed to get a parking spot so we could walk around a bit and check out the town square.

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The views of the Grand Tetons were quite grand! While in the park we stopped at Oxbow Bend, Colter Bay, and Jackson Lake. While driving through those locations, we noticed a forrest fire in the distance!

 

We drove out of the Tetons and into the world famous Yellowstone National Park. Our first stop was Geyser Basin and it blew our minds! Remember, back at Lassen National Park where we were extremely impressed with the geothermal activity? Well, Yellowstone takes the cake and the whole bakery for that matter.

As we began to run out of daylight, we started to head to our campsite at Rex Hale Campground. The drive was scenic and we ended up driving alongside a bison! Time for a bison selfie!

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After the bison encounter, the road became a bit windy as we made our way out of Yellowstone and into the Shoshone National Forest. Most of the campsites were occupied, but the sites there are large and spread out, so there was plenty of peace and quiet. We set up our tent and we were happy to see that the tent pad was soft and was not lumpy with rocks.

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The sun set behind the mountains behind us but there was plenty of ambient light for us to enjoy our dinner. We got ready for bed and we were in the tent as soon as it was dark. The weather was perfectly cold and our tent felt so comfortable – the best sleep we both had in the tent the entire trip!

We woke up the next morning feeling rested and ready for an adventure : Yellowstone!

Our first stop was Upper Geyser Basin. From there, we walked over to  to the Old Faithfull Inn, which sits just yards from Old Faithful herself. However, we found out first hand, that she is not really living up to her namesake these days.

The estimated eruption time for Old Faithful, came and went. So we went into the inn for a sweet treat.

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When we exited the inn with our cones in hand, a huge crowd of people were walking away from the geyser… she erupted while we were getting ice cream! Well, at least that meant we could find a seat at the viewing area since it was now empty and we just waited it out until she decided to erupt again. Needless to say, she is well worth the wait!

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Next, we visited Midway Geyser Basin, home of the Grand Prismatic Spring – the 3rd largest mineral hot spring in the entire world.

On our way to our next stop, we pulled over to see the run off from one of the three falls of Yellowstone.

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Then we paid a visit to Noris Basin to see Steamboat Geyser.

Then we headed to Mammoth Hot Springs. On our way there we got into a bison traffic jam! The bison would not let anyone on the road!

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When we got to Mammoth Hot Springs we were wowed by the amazing mineral formations!

Just outside of Mammoth Hot Springs, we saw some deer.

Driving out of the park, right before sunset, we saw more deer!

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Once we left the park it became very dark very fast.  And before we knew it, we left Wyoming and we were in Montana. The route to our remote campground was kind of spooky. The narrow road was not paved, and it was pitch black. When we got to the Pine Creek campground it was silent! Most of the sites were empty and on top of that, the sites were huge and isolated from one another. We were so pooped and it was so dark that we were tempted to sleep in the car, but in the end we decided to set up our tent and we put it up fast!

Our next post will start off with our first day in Montana, waking up at Pine Creek Campground.

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