Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Grand Teton National Park--biking

 

We've been so excited about our summer vacation this year! We've decided to drive to Yellowstone and stay for the 4th of July. As the departure date approached, we realized our kids were old enough for longer driving days now, so we could carve out a few extra days at the beginning of our trip. We decided to try to reach the Grand Tetons and stay overnight there for two nights. It's been a dream of mine to visit the Tetons ever since hearing about their beauty from my (now) husband when we first started dating.

I'm not even gonna bore you with the first day of travel. Driving through the "high desert" was not exactly the most picturesque drive in my humble opinion. But, it got us to our beautiful destination, and that was well worth it!

The long-awaited drive day to the Tetons finally arrived, and we left from our rv park at about 4:30 am. The trip started out great, but soon we hit some major traffic. Turned out to be a big rig that came over the center divide and ended up sprawled across our side of the highway! Thankfully, it appeared that no one was hurt!


 Several hours later (as we waited an hour for our turn for a one-lane bridge) I feasted my eyes on these beauties. So sweet! While I was taking in all of the horses, and the gorgeous mountains; our little guy exclaimed, "Look at how GREEN that grass is!" haha. So funny what kids notice, but he was absolutely right. The girls and I ooh-ed and ahh-ed and sighed at the sweet foals with their mommies.
And in a few minutes, I caught my first glimpse of the Tetons. What magnificent mountains! We were amazed to see all of the snow on the peaks still. Just breathtakingly beautiful. It was a gorgeous drive along these mountains to our campground.
  

I mean, the landscape was like a painting we were living in. Just amazing.
 
Due to the traffic accident, and closed bridge, we got to our campground pretty late (for us) at about 7:45. We had been driving since 4:30 that morning, so we were incredibly impressed that our kiddos were in such great spirits. They have come a long way...and we are thrilled that they're such good little riders now.

Since we had decided sort of last-minute to add the Tetons to our itinerary, a friend recommended the Gros Ventre Campground which is only available on first-come-first serve basis (no reservations) and "never" fills up. We rolled in that evening, and true to his word, there were plenty of spaces available. We decided on an electric site since we wouldn't have any hook-ups in Yellowstone, so we wanted to utilize the hookups while we could. This also makes cooking simpler, leaving more time for hiking, biking, and exploring--yee-haw!

Here is the view across the street from the campground.
 
 And here was our Winnie driving in the campground.
 The kids were thrilled to get out and run around after such a long drive.
  
 The camping spots were simple, a little rugged, but paved and with an option of electric or without. There are also several tent-only spots, and group camping spaces available too.

 We slept well that night, and rose the next morning ready to explore. We hopped on the bikes and started peddling around the campground.

This is what we look like on bikes now---
For me, it's such a change from when we first started biking as a family here. No more baby seat! And our smallest kiddo is on the tag-along now. Our middle girl has been on her own bike for a long time now. Look at her go!
 I haven't taken the tyke-toter off of my bike yet, as it's proven extremely useful for us still. For example, when biking in heavy traffic, or if one of our younger kids gets worn out, we just lock up their individual bike (even in the middle of a ride--we can pick it up on the way back) and pop them on my bike. I've also used it to pick up fire-wood or groceries in the campgrounds. I'm telling you, this thing is handy!

Riding right around Gros Ventre was a little tricky, since the only route down to the amazing paved bike trails meant a 4.5 mile ride along the highway. Not ideal for a family with small kids. We put our little girl on my tyke-toter, and pedaled down to the river. It was about a 4 mile ride round trip. But it took us much longer than normal, because I rode in the back, and called out to everyone each time a car approached so we could pull off the road. Every car/trailer/rv that passed us drove widely around us, and was very careful, but it still was not comfortable for me. I much prefer not to ride along the roads.

K has her legs over the tyke-toter handles here (fooling around while we stopped) but you can see how easy it is to pop her on my bike. This really helped my sanity riding on the highway.

Riding through the campground on our way to the highway.
Gorgeous views, but riding along the highway wasn't quite as relaxing as some of our rides.


Look at my big girl go! I think she's almost ready for a bigger bike. This little trooper pedals everywhere we go...and without gears! One tough biker. 

We stopped along the way for some photos. I couldn't resist this gorgeous backdrop. Oh, and I happen to love these people I'm with too. 
 But just look at these beautiful peaks. Obviously I couldn't get enough photos of them.



 The views obviously inspired my little peanut too. Love this girl!

When we got to the river, our littlest guy was in heaven. I know I have a million pics of him throwing rocks in water, but he just can't get enough of it. So here he is again!

Again, I can't say enough how much I love my bike. It makes riding so easy and so much fun. Electra is not paying me for this, it's just the truth! I'm sold. We've been everywhere with these things, and definitely feel like we've gotten more than our money's worth.
 Sweet girl is forever picking wildflower (or flowering weed) bouquets for all of us.
Off-roading. :)
 On the way home...
 Love these guys! It was a great day's ride!

5 comments:

  1. I'm interested in your experience with the Tyke Toter and how safe it is? I was so excited to see it existed, then disappointed by the scary reviews of kids' feet getting stuck in the wheels. We currently have a ibert, but my daughter is going to outgrow it very shortly. I'm having a hard time giving up on the front mounted seat, but not seeing many alternatives.
    Also, when did you feel confident having your child on the tag along?

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    1. I'm so sorry I didn't see your comment until now, it was lost in my Spam folder. I really apologize. We LOVED the Tyke Toter. Used it for two kids until they both outgrew it, then used it for about a year afterwards to schlep firewood at our campground. :) Our kids never ever got their feet stuck in the wheels, but I suppose it depends on the kids. My kids always LOVED having that front-seat view and happily kept their feet on the pegs.
      Our son is pictured here at 4 on the tag-along, but he rode on it for the first time at 3 years old. BUT, he was very, very strong and loved to ride and could definitely hold on well. Again, I think that depends on the kid. I don't think I'd feel that comfortable with my middle child at three, because she was much more easily distracted and I could see her letting go while looking at something. Good luck. I hope you find something you like! :)

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    2. Well, I take that back. My middle daughter rode the tag-along at 3 years old too! haha. These kids are making me lose my mind.

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  2. Hah! Thanks for writing back. I did go ahead and get the tyke toter a few weeks ago. We took it for a quick ride to the playground and it was the most natural thing ever. She didn't even bat an eye. And actually it was easier for me to deal with getting on and off with her than the ibert. So glad to still have her in front of me. Can't wait for the weather to cooperate to go out again with it.
    Thanks again!

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    1. Oh great! So glad it's working out. Yes, I love having them in front. So much fun to be able to talk and look at sights together. It's a great design Happy biking. :)

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