Day 9 — Leg 1 Round-Up: Boise, ID to Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, OR

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Today marks an important milestone: The end of Leg 1! We had originally planned two weeks for each leg, but then we got a late start since our platforms refused to get less fume-y. We were initially concerned that we were not going to have enough time to complete our first leg since it was so long, and that we were going to start off way behind, but apparently that was not the case! We wanted to complete this portion of our adventure by Saturday, September 2nd to stay on track, so despite our late start, we still finished five days early.

The purpose of this trip is not to see how quick we can get through everything, but to be honest it feels pretty good to have gotten done with the first leg so quickly. Although we saw some really cool things, the first leg was filled with a ton of driving, and a lot of (ongoing) adjusting to a drastically different lifestyle. Neither of us expected the beginning to go perfectly smooth, and to be honest — it didn’t. There were some really great moments, and overall we both definitely enjoyed it, but there were certainly some bumps in the road (no pun intended). Traveling around the country with another person, two dogs, and living out of your vehicle is by no means glamorous, or easy, but so far it’s been worth it.

By the way, Leg 1 officially ended with a drive through Hell’s Canyon (which is rightfully named considering it was 101 degrees), a drive to a tiny town with a nonexistent campground, and an added hour plus of driving to actually find a place to stay. Maps led us astray and took us to the wrong location for camping, so instead of backtracking for a half hour, we decided to continue another hour in the right direction and settled down for the night in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in Oregon. The campground was a no-frills place, but it was pretty. We couldn’t drive our vehicle to any of the tent sites, but the host let us set up camp in the parking lot, which was ok with us because we basically just needed a place to stay.

Now that the first leg is officially complete, we thought we would recap some of the highs and lows of the first nine days:

Favorite Moment/Place:

  • K: We’ll go with Devil’s Tower, it was awesome.
  • L: My favorite moment and place are the same — standing with Kyle looking at the mountains at Grand Teton National Park. It was beautiful.

Favorite Camping Location:

  • K: Camping in Badlands amongst the buffalo
  • L: Badlands is still my number one so far.

Favorite Food:

  • K: Boise Fry Company.
  • L: The salted caramel ice cream from Victory Taco in Bozeman, and the french fries from Boise Fry Company. Nomz.

Most Important Thing Learned:

  • K: Plan for the night. It’s important to have plans in place, otherwise you can get into stressful situations.
  • L: I second what Kyle said. It really sucks to get into a town and then go sit in a parking lot for an hour trying to find a place we can go stay for the night, which has happened multiple times. One very important aspect of finding a place to stay is making sure that the available spot can accommodate our setup — I learned that mistake the hard way in Jackson Hole, and I will not let that one happen again!!!

Biggest Obstacle:

  • K: Time management/connecting to the world wide web.
  • L: Ummm, where to begin… Just kidding, but not really. I would say the biggest obstacle has been adjusting to this lifestyle in terms of the fact that nothing is simple. Things that are simple at home like going to the restroom, getting ready for bed, doing dishes, doing laundry, taking care of the dogs… are all big tasks out here. We’ve stayed at places where the bathroom has been probably about a quarter of a mile away, so just running to the restroom is time consuming, and on nights that we don’t put the awning room up we have to go to the bathroom to change clothes, brush our teeth… things that we mindlessly do at home. Besides that — I would say that finding places to stay each night has been difficult. One major problem has been our lack of network/internet. There are also a lot of little details to consider when choosing a place, and a lot of places are ridiculously overpriced. We spend A LOT of time searching for places to stay.

Most Surprising Thing:

  • K: The dogs behavior. Especially in the vehicle. Just need to break Cooper’s habit of freaking out when it’s time to get out of the car.
  • L: How well the pups have adjusted (knock on wood)! They still occasionally freak out at people, but typically only first thing in the morning, or after they’ve been cooped up for a long time. Before the trip Lucy refused to relax in the vehicle, and now she settles right in and goes to sleep. They also plop right down and just hang out in the awning, and in the tent. The biggest struggle was getting them to eat regularly, which I’m still not entirely sure they’re eating enough, but they’re finally starting to pig out on their own.

Biggest Boo-Boo:

  • Laura was beat up by the water container in Yellowstone. She opened the trunk to get the dogs some water at a picnic area, and the water container came barreling out. Her shin and big toe broke the fall — and she has a bump/bruise, and a broken toe nail to show for it. To be fair, the water container didn’t exactly make it out unharmed. It sprung a leak and sprayed a miniature fountain of water. Nothing a little Gorilla Tape couldn’t fix, though! Her first comment after the brawl: “At least not all of our stuff looks brand new anymore!”

Biggest Meltdown:

  • Laura (shocking) in Jackson Hole after we found out we wouldn’t be able to stay at the KOA. We were so tired and Jackson Hole was so busy — finding another place just felt so impossible in the moment. We also desperately wanted to get the dogs out so they could eat, drink, and relax. They had been in the car literally all day and we felt horrible that we were prolonging that.

Longest Time Gone Without Showering:

  • 10 days. Just Kidding. 3 days (but in 90 — 100 degree weather all 3 days, ew.)

Leg 1 Stats:

  • Total Miles Traveled: 2,304
  • Average Miles Traveled per Day: 256
  • States Visited: Minnesota / South Dakota / Wyoming / Montana / Idaho / Oregon / Washington
  • People who Commented/Took Random Photos of Our Set-Up: 6
  • Time Taken to Set-Up Camp: ~14 minutes (This includes: Setting up tent, opening windows in tent, laying out sleeping bags, putting pillows and blanket in tent, setting up awning, adding awning walls, getting out cooler, chairs, dog bed, and dog bag)
  • Number of Campfires: Sadly, 0. Throughout this entire first leg we could have only had a fire one time, which was in Palisades on our first night. Everywhere has been so dry that they’ve banned fires. This (partially) also led us to return the little grill be bought and exchange it for a propane tank stove — otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to cook anything.

Feel free to let us know if you have any questions about anything!!! We’d be happy to discuss! :)

Pine & Fur 🌲🐶

Miles Traveled

261 today / 2,304 total

States Visited

Idaho / Oregon