Our first night in Wyoming was spent in the countryside, watching a meteor shower from a trailer by a red-rock cliff.
We took advantage of the trailer‘s amenities and did some much-needed laundry while grabbing hot showers and heating up dinner in a real kitchen – quite a change from the camp grill that we’d been growing accustomed to. Then, after cozying up in our pj’s at nightfall, we brought some blankets out to the lawn chairs on the private deck and laid back to watch some shooting stars zip across that dark and unbelievably starry Wyoming sky.
The day had been spent first at Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota. Oh, how we’ll miss South Dakota! What a beautiful landscape and rich history it has. Crazy Horse was such an inspiring monument. We loved watching the video about the man who had taken on the Native Americans’ request to have Chief Crazy Horse carved into the cliff face: a way to show the world that the North American Indians have great heroes too. The sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski, may be unconventional but he certainly has an encouraging and inspiring story about dedication, boldness, fortitude, and honor. We highly recommend this monument if you are ever in the area.
From our countryside trailer, we made our way out to the Grand Tetons. Those majestic mountains had such an eeriness to them as we approached under a cloudy, threatening sky. We had found an opera station on Sirius XM and laughed at the intensity that we felt approaching the mountains that were reminiscent of the Dwarven mountain mines in the Lord of the Rings.
What to say about the Grand Tetons but that they were grand.
and a place to settle down for eight full nights.
It was so great to take a pause and stay somewhere long enough to feel rested. We stayed in Grand Tetons National Park for eight full nights so that we could 1. See the Tetons themselves, 2. Take a couple of daytrips to Yellowstone, 3. Meet up with some of our favorite friends, and 4. Have a place to see the Solar Eclipse… in TOTALITY.
The Total Solar Eclipse was so much more than we had expected. What. A. Spectacle. The widespread, communal gasp that came from the nearby crowd upon totality was somehow both grounding and lifting at once. Hearing the distant yelling that began around the park within seconds before the moon took its place square in front of the sun was as strangely and mystically frightening as the world going so rapidly dark around us at midday. A magical feat of nature that I’ll never forget- looking at that white, glistening ring in a dark, surreal sky in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming.
Being joined earlier in the week by the always-hilarious Benjamin Pitzer was such a treat. Laying in our sleeping bags on (unbeknownst to us) the night of his arrival, we were almost asleep when we heard a whisper in the darkness outside of our tent.
Given that we hadn’t yet introduced ourselves to anyone at the campsite and we weren’t expecting Ben Pitzer to arrive until the next day at the very earliest, neither of us moved. ‘Who in the world…. What the….’ I thought. And then:
‘Could Ben have really gotten here, all the way from South Dakota today without letting us know?’ I thought, lying in silence. I finally whispered back:
“Yeah, hey it’s me!”
We opened the door to see none other than Ben Pitzer crouched there in the dark, headlamp glaring toward us. Ben has been on a similar cross-country trip over these past weeks and we had been so excited to get to meet up for the solar eclipse in Wyoming. We invited him into our tent and heard all about his travels up to that point and we recapped ours. What fun to share in such an adventurous spirit with an old friend.
After spending the next day out on Ben’s raft, enjoying the water amidst those grand mountains, we were happy to be joined by one of Andy’s oldest friends and one of our beloved groomsmen, Daniel Grubbs. During the rest of the week, we enjoyed Ben and Daniel’s company through hikes, dinners, and experiencing the solar eclipse together.
We’ll never forget the fun that was had during our week in Wyoming, rafting across tranquil waters below majestic mountains, hiking across lush and scenic landscapes, and playing cards by a campfire with such great friends. Wyoming, we will always cherish you.