Yellowstone Weeklong Trip!

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

Day 1

Good Evening Camp Courageous,

Courageous Travelers are on their way to Yellowstone! Camp hasn’t been to Yellowstone since 2013, it is about time to head back. The travelers are pumped up and loving the trip already. We started our drive at 5:45am, leaving directly from Camp Morales House. We didn’t have any traveler pickups from here, but we did have our volunteers ReAnna Davis-Spracklin and Penny Schoon meet us and we were off. Our first stop was in Walcott, stopping at the I-80 Truck stop to pick up three travelers from HDC. Jeremiah White, Karen Frutiger, and Linda Kemp aka Grandma.
We then made our way to Coralville. We picked up Lynn Airey, Tony Cavin, David Chapman, LeAnne Mayhew, Alex Morarie, and Tyler Peterson fromm the McDonalds in Coralville. We hopped on the road and made our way to Cedar Rapids, where we picked up Traveler Aaron Reid. Our final pick-up was in Janesville, IA where we picked up Thomas McMillan. We have an all star group and they are all ready to travel.
We stopped at Arby’s for lunch, and continued our drive to Mitchell, SD. When we arrived in Mitchell, we made our way to the famous Corn Palace. It was a great visit. The Corn Palace, is a free place to visit, where there are pictures on the palace that is made from Corn! That’s right, corn. It’s all over the building, creating a beautiful picture. The Corn Palace and the area businesses were preparing for the Corn Palace festival that will start this Thursday. We did this festival on a past trip, it was a great time.
After we visited the Corn Palace, we did some shopping and explored a Cotten Candy store, that has 15 different flavors and a Fresh squeezed lemonade Store, that almost every traveler took part in, because their lemonade was very delicious! Once we were done shopping, we made our way to Whiskey Creek Wood-Fire Grill. It was a delicious BBQ restaurant, that had some tender BBQ. It was delicious.
Our hotel was right across the street, so we made our way to the hotel right after the dinner. We are now resting and getting ready for the drive tomorrow to the Badlands and Wall Drug! It is already a great trip, with some awesome travelers. Stay tuned to more fun.


Day 2

Good Evening Camp Courageous,

We started our drive at 830 this morning. Melissa took over the wheel and it was smooth driving the 3 hours too badlands! Well, it was smooth for most of it, we decided to wish a thunderstorm upon us. So around 10am we were hit with a lot of rain. We were in it for about 5 miles and then we pulled over at a rest stop. Perfect timing! Melissa did a very good job, driving and then pulling off.

We got back on the road and were about an hour from the badlands. Can’t wait to explore this unique national park! On our drive, we also ran into fog and saw snow on the ground! The temperature has dropped suddenly. The weather is very bizarre today!

By the time we made it to the Badlands, the weather had cleared up. There were no clouds in the sky and we arrived just in time for the eclipse!! We stopped for a group picture. The travelers were amazed by the beauty of the Badlands. At this first stop, we met a member of the Sill family. Members of her family donated Sill Barn.

We hopped back in the bus and made our way to the visitor’s center. On our way, we saw a big horn goat hanging out in the side of the road!! He was REALLY close to the bus! We spooked him when we opened the bus doors for a picture. We snapped a few pictures and then continued to the visitor’s center.

We stopped at the visitor’ center for brief moment to grab some free glasses to view the eclipse! We then made our way next door to the gift shop. We all got out of the bus and marveled at the view of the eclipse!! It was such a cool experience! We did our shopping then had a picnic lunch right outside the building. We continued to marvel at the eclipse.

Once we finished lunch we hopped back on the bus and explored more of the Badlands, looking for more wildlife. We saw a hawk and lots of prairie dogs!!

When we were finished exploring the Bandlands, we made our way to the famous WALL DRUG!!! On our drive on Rt 90 in Minnesota through the Badlands and to Wall Drug, we saw around 60 billboards for Wall Drug! So we had to check this place out!! After we did some shopping, smelled the delicious donuts and drooled over the ice cream, we started our drive to Billings, MT.

We watched a couple of movies on our drive, listened to music and enjoyed the beautiful scenery! We stopped for dinner at Taco Johns. At Taco Johns, we met a man from Dyersville whose uncle flies his helicopter to Camp Courageous for the festivals!!

After dinner, we continued our drive to Billings, MT. We are now resting for the night at our hotel! Tomorrow we venture to the North East entrance of Yellowstone!!!



Day 3

Good Evening Camp Courageous,

The travel group made it to Yellowstone! What a great day it has been! We started our drive in Billings, Montana. It was our first trip through Billings and it was worth it. We hopped on Highway 212 and it took us up some beautiful mountains. Our elevation was over 10,000. It was incredible and Henry(bus) did an awesome job with those turns. You will find a lot of pictures on the blog from the beautiful scenery. The traffic wasn’t heavy, like the other routes we take to get to Yellowstone. We took our time and enjoyed the scenery.
We made good time getting to Yellowstone. Once we saw that Yellowstone sign, we pulled over and took a group pictures and some individual pictures. I shouted, “Welcome to Yellowstone!” and everyone cheered! They were super excited about finally making it to Yellowstone.
Once we arrived, we greeted the Park Ranger and made our way to a picnic location. Yes, we had another picnic and it was awesome, because we were in Yellowstone. But don’t worry, Yogi Bear or other bears didn’t join us. Traveler LeAnne Mayhew loves Yogi Bear and keeps saying, she can’t wait to see him! I hope we do.
After our picnic, we continued our drive. We entered the North Eastern Entrance of the park, so if you look on the map, you will know where we have been. We made our way towards Tower-Roosevelt. On our way, we saw LOTS of Bison! There were herds all over the place. We saw some deer and some Elk. We all enjoyed seeing all these animals.
We arrived at Tower-Roosevelt, where we did some shopping. We hopped back on the bus and made our way to Mammoth Springs. When we arrived, we shopped at the gift shop and then explored Mammoth Springs. Mammoth Springs is always a highlight, and it didn’t let us down. We even had a surprise. A herd of Elk were sitting right on the Springs, just relaxing. These herds are so use to people, they don’t even get spooked. It’s pretty cool.
This day has been going quick. We were already ready to head out to West Yellowstone. So we drove south passed Norris Geyser, and went west past Madison, and entered West Yellowstone. We were stuck in traffic today, but it wasn’t for animal traffic. There were some road construction going on, so we joked and said we even saw bobcats, caterpillar, deere, and a traffic light, in the mountains! We couldn’t get enough of this humor.
It was our first time in West Yellowstone, and we spent it eating dinner at a delicious restaurant called Bullwinkle’s. So we saw a moose ;)! I have a feeling we are going to see a moose. Yesterday we met somebody nicknamed moose and today we ate at Bullwinkle’s! So we know we are going to see one! After dinner we did a little shopping and then made our way to our next lodging. This time in some cabin houses. The place is called Jared’s Wild Rose Resort.
We are now settled in our cabins and enjoying the cabin life! Tomorrow we visit Old Faithful, the Grand Tetons, and see a surprise dinner show. Stay tuned to our final visit.


Day 4

Good Evening Camp Courageous!

Waking up to a majestic lake and surrounded by mountains, we really made the right choice by staying in these cabins! We had a continental breakfast ready, Chef Melissa helped prepare the meal while everyone was getting ready for the day. After our breakfast, we headed out around 8:30am to make our way to see Old Faithful. One thing that was pretty cool about heading back into Yellowstone is driving through 3 different states just to get to Old Faithful! We traveled through Idaho, Montana and Wyoming! We didn’t see much wildlife on our drive, but we did see a ton of geysers spitting out water. It was so cool driving through that.
We arrived at Old Faithful around 10am and it was already packed with people! Yesterday, a clerk told Melissa that they had to shut the Old Faithful parking lot down for an hour because it was so busy. This had never happened before so it must have been pretty packed!! After we parked, we walked straight to Old Faithful and made it just in time for the eruption!! We will post the video on Camp’s Facebook page later. It was a pretty cool experience watching the geyser go off!! We were told yesterday that the geyser erupts about every 90 minutes so we were pretty lucky to have arrived just in time! Old Faithful erupted for about 5 minutes. After it was finished we took a group picture then headed to the gift shop. After we did a little shopping we went on to the lodge restaurant where we had a delicious lunch. Afterwords, we had a little treat to go with it! Why not have ice cream and enjoy Old Faithful?!? We ended up getting to see Old Faithful erupt for a second time while we were enjoying our ice cream!
Once we were done, we made our way to the visitors center where we learned more about Old Faithful and the other geysers and hot springs. Did you know that Yellowstone is a volcano? The last time it erupted was 640,000 years ago! It was awesome hanging out on a volcano that last couple of days!
Before we knew it, it was time to head out! So we started our drive towards that South Entrance of Yellowstone. We saw a couple more buffalo and an elk. We made it to the South Entrance in no time…with a little traffic jam before we got there. That’s were we made up a game! We tried to see who could shout out the states on the license plates and the cars passed by. Thanks to ReAnna for giving us the idea. Everyone was playing along and had a great time. Once we passed the South Entrance we went right into the Grand Tetons National Park. We only stopped a couple of times along our drive. Once to take small group pictures in front of the mountains and to visit the visitors center. We then made our way passed the Grand Tetons, taking lots of pictures. We will share our great shots on the blog so be sure to check it out!
Our next stop was Jackson, WY, also known as Jackson Hole. Our destination was the Jackson Playhouse dinner and show. When we were arrived we were greeted by Western Folk in their fancy dresses. There were two guys and two ladies who helped serve our food and they also sang to us!!  They each had a song they performed for us and at the end they all joined in. After our dinner and show, we walked a couple of blocks to the town square where they had a shootout performance. The shootout started a little early,  the performers blocked off a section of the road and a crowd gathered to watch the show.
The performance started with a bang, literally! We all jumped! There were male and female performers involved in the shoot out! The performers used real guns but they were shooting blanks. They were fighting over rights to some land! Both sides fought back and forth but in the end, the good guys won! The travelers really enjoyed the show! Traveler Tom McMillan was really into this performance! He loved this experience!
It was a great way to end our fun trip to Yellowstone! Even tho, there was a lot of driving to be had, the travelers really enjoyed everything that we did, especially this last performance. It was the cherry on the cake! After a quick bathroom stop, we made our way to Rock Sprigs, WY to stay at our second to last hotel. Remember yesterday when I mentioned yesterday that we would see a moose today and that the 3rd time is the charm?? Well, we saw a moose alright and it was big…but it was fake! I didn’t say we would see a real moose. haha. Even tho we didn’t see a real moose we had a good laugh about it! Even though we didn’t see a moose, we did see Lama’s!! Tons of them!! It was a Lama Ranch. Who knew!? Anyways, here is the agenda for tomorrow.
Thursday we will start our drive back to Iowa. We will be staying in Nebraska Thursday night and finishing up our drive around 4pm on Friday. Have a great night and we will talk again tomorrow night.



Day 5

Good Evening Camp Courageous!!

We had a fun filled day of driving!! From Rock Springs, WY to Lincoln, NE. If you have ever driven that stretch, you know how entertaining it is. You can see for miles! The drive actually went pretty quick. The travelers listened to some good music and watched two movies, Mrs. Doubtfire (a traveling classic) and Little Rascals. We had lunch on the road and stopped for dinner at a new place that volunteer counselor, ReAnna suggested. A Nebraskan favorite, Runza. It’s a fast food restaurant and the food was really good! I recommend trying their original Runza! We made it to Lincoln, NE in good time! We will stay the night at the Holiday Inn Express and start our drive back to Iowa first thing in the morning.

Have a great night! See you all in the afternoon.


The Travel Team


2 Responses

  1. Robert McMillan says:

    “the cowboy looks extremely happy”

  2. Frances says:

    You all are amazing! Love the fun pictures ♥️