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We always have to get up early. The morning of leaving for Wyoming starts around 3:30 in the morning. Of course, if there are weather troubles, then we would probably leave earlier. We have all our cloths and snowmobile equipment in their appropriate bags, with some already in the car. As we are leaving the house, my brother and I, and usually my dad, all get comfortable and fall back asleep.
I usually wake up when we get past the cities, about 7 a.m. We do not eat breakfast until about Worthington Minnesota, which is McDonald’s. Occasionally, we take a bathroom break. Sitting in the car for a whole day with stops in between can be boring. But when lunchtime comes around, we stop at Mitchell South Dakota. We have choices of Dairy Queen, Arby’s, Hardee’s and McDonald’s.
Our next stop is a gas station in Rapid City, South Dakota. This is not your ordinary gas station, for it is a museum. A museum for taxidermy animals from all around the world. There are lions, buffalos, elephants, monkeys, deer, elk, moose, wolves, antelope, alligators, hippopotamus, zebras and many more. Every time we stop here, my brother and I are always amazed at the creatures of the room.
Recently, the museum is closing. The gas station is closing for space for a restaurant. This disappoints me. Disappointing to my family because we enjoyed looking at all the different animal species. I think my brother will be most affected by it, for his passion of animals. Whenever we were there, he was always the last and hardest one to get out of there. When we were there, his eyes always got wider, and he went into his own little zone while in the room. He would pace back and forth around the room, gazing at all the animals from all around the world.
We make a pit stop in Shoshoni, Wyoming. Fill the gas tank and take our second to last bathroom break. This feels like the longest part of the trip, because we are on the final stretch. After an hour, we are on the outskirts of the nearby town, Dubois, Wyoming. To our left, are parts of the Rocky Mountain range. The cliff sides are filled with big horn rams, and mule deer in valleys, grazing the field. When we reach Dubois, and we are instantly filled with relief and joy.
We stop at a gas station that we always go to, and fill up gas. Outside is a statue of a ridable jackalope. On the inside is another ridable jackalope with fur that sets what the jackalope might look like. The outside jackalope is made of plastic in order to fight with the different types of weather at 6,946 feet. We take picture of us on the jackalope, and head for the cabin. We drive 5 miles to an old junkyard, and head up the steep slope. The twists and turns make you lose sight of which direction is which, but the view is amazing.
The view of the sun setting in the distance is beautiful. All the red, orange and partial yellow colors. The colors reflecting off the snow, looking like a mirror. The sunlight coming through the clearing of trees, making the sight look like the sun in between two skyscrapers in a bustling city.
We finally make it to the cabin at 8 p.m., after our 17-hour drive. We start unpacking the back of our jeep, putting our cloths bags into the far left room. Putting the snowmobile suits on the racks, and boots under our suits. We eat supper, and call it a day.
The next morning we eat breakfast about eight, mainly eggs or pancakes. We figure out where we are going on the snowmobiles and head out. We get the snowmobiles ready, filling them up with gas, and starting them. Everybody gets his or her suits on, and we figure out which snowmobile we will take for the day, and head out. We go down the hill, go across a frozen pond, and go to Crooked Creek Ski doo ranch, and register the snowmobiles.
We finally head out on the trails. My aunt leads normally, with my mom in the back. We take our time, going on CD, a popular trail for us. On this trail, we could go to the overlook of the Grand Tetons, or down to the elk feeding grounds. At times, we switch trails, depending on where we are going. When we get to an open field, and my aunt says, “Go play in the powder,” and we do. My brother, dad, my mom’s cousin, and aunt all go “playing” in the powder, while my mom and I sit and watch. To me, playing in the powder is not as much fun, but to everybody that is playing, it is fun.
There are shelters to warm up, and use a building toilet. We spend time in to relax and have snacks, or to find out where we are going next. I always remember the Strawberry Safety shelter, maybe because of the open fields close by, or the creek down the hill. This shelter is the last building structure on the way to the elk.
The elk feeding grounds is mind blowing. The mile and a half trail showing the beautiful animals is breath taking. Sometimes having the elk one-hundred feet or farther away from the trail. Depending on the time of year, we will see the difference between the males and females, the horns. Elk horns are counted by side. Therefore, if there is five horns on the left and six on the right, it is called a five by six. Reading the horns left to right.
We spend three or four days with this same cycle, riding trails, playing in fields, and going to the elk. On the final day before we leave the next morning, we pack up all of our cloths, boots, suits, and helmets into their proper box. The suits and helmets in a container for a trailer put onto the back hitch of the jeep. We put everything else into the jeep the next morning after we get ready. We wake up at the same time we left earlier in the week, at about 3 o’clock in the morning, eat breakfast, say our goodbyes and head off.
We watch down the mountain, the view not as great as the one on the way to the cabin, because there is no sun to see. However, we see the lights of the nearby town, Dubois, Wyoming. Our first stop is for breakfast in Casper, Wyoming. We make it to the gas station with the taxidermitized animals in Rapid City, South Dakota. We have lunch in Chamberlain, South Dakota.
On both car rides, my brother and I do not have much to do. We play on our phones at times, but we mainly watch movies on our DVD players. They fit perfectly on the seats in front of us, with no discomfort for the person in the seat ahead. These DVD players have helped us be quiet for our parents on long car trips, and lifesavers for my brother and I, making trips not as boring.
We make it into Minnesota, around 5 o’clock. This is the part where I fall asleep. I don’t know what happens during this time, but I wake up when we get home, and in the garage. It’s 11 o’clock at night. I go straight to my bed and fall asleep there. My parents unload the Jeep while my brother and I go straight to bed. We wake up the next morning later than usual because of the long day before.
The trip to Wyoming not only is a vacation for our family. However, it is another way to get closer as a family. During the week, we do not have enough time spending time together due to sports. This trip helps us get closer as a family while enjoying ourselves.