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Monday, November 26, 2012

Honeymoon Road Trip Part 1 (Days 1-4)

Okay. With an almost three-week long trip, I thought I'd break this puppy down in chunks rather than by days... cuz that would be a lot of posts, let's be honest.

Let's get started!

Day One (Monday, October 29):

The first day of our honeymoon trip went by very fast. Like, very very fast. We spent most of the morning renting our car (which took a little longer than we expected).

Our rental car!

Then we went and ran some errands back in our home town (like cashing my paychecks), and then headed towards the Black Hills, our favorite vacation spot! Most of you who've been following me for a while are rolling your eyes. We fell in love in the Black Hills, got engaged in the Black Hills... it's a good place.

Ah, South Dakota. On the way to the Black Hills
We didn't get in to the Hills until around 7:30, and we went out to eat in Rapid City with a Zeke's buddy and his wife, and then went back to their home just outside the city. We slept great, thanks to the wonderful company and the long day!

Day Two (Tuesday, October 30):
We started off our day by driving on Highway 16 in the Black Hills. We've been here in the summer (almost every year since we began dating) and also in the winter (when we got engaged), but never in the fall. The willow trees were all changing colors. So beautiful!

And, with fewer people traveling the roads, there was lots of wildlife to see, including these big ole buffalo, licking the road.

And with that, we headed towards Salt Lake. Zeke and I had planned on staying at a KOA campground along the way somewhere in Wyoming, but when we called, they said they were closed. Instead, they suggested that we stop at Teton Reservoir Campground outside of Rawlins, Wyoming, a free (!) campsite. We followed the directions to the campsite, down about 20 miles of gravel road... this place was seriously in the middle of nowhere. There weren't any other people around when we set up our tent, but someone had left some firewood, so we were able to have a little campfire before bed. We couldn't see a whole lot of the scenery because it was pretty dark when we set up, but it was so quiet and calm. The night got pretty cold, but all bundled up with Zeke, it was fine.
Day Three (Wednesday, October 31):

In the morning, we got to see a lot more of the beautiful location of the Teton Reservoir Campground.

Our campsite
View from our campsite
It really was a lovely, if remote, place. I felt a little like something out of an old Western... I could definitely picture some cowboys out there!

We continued on toward Salt Lake, seeing lots of beautiful Wyoming and Utah scenery along the way.

We had done a little research about campgrounds around Salt Lake, and decided on Antelope Island. It's a pretty cool place- located on the southeast part of the lake, it's a pretty big island that boasts a lot of... you guessed it, antelope. Oh, and buffalo, too. We camped at the Bridger Bay campground.

Our campsite on Great Salt Lake at Antelope Island

View from inside the tent


This buffalo is one of the Antelope Island "residents"-  he was walking through campsites when I got this picture.
It was about 65 degrees, and after setting up our tent, we couldn't help but take a little walk in the lake.

 The weather cooled down considerably at night, but didn't get nearly as cold as it did at Teton Reservior. We slept pretty well, only interrupted by a bunch of coyotes howling nearby.

 Day Four (Thursday, November 1):

We started out our day by driving around Antelope Island a little more and seeing Great Salt Lake as the sun was rising. 
Great Salt Lake from Antelope Island
Great Salt Lake, UT
Pretty soon after we left Antelope Island, toward Washington State, our "maintenance required" light came on in the rental car. We called the rental company, and they told us that as long as it wasn't doing anything too funny and we still felt comfortable driving it, we could keep going in the rental car, or we could switch out cars. We were pondering what to do and eating a quick snack... Zeke said, "I wish the car would just give out now or be fine- one or the other- so we know what to do and don't get stuck somewhere." As soon as he started up the car again, all the warning lights came on and the car stopped telling us what gear we were in. Well, if that isn't "giving out," what is?

The biggest and nearest dealership was at the Salt Lake Airport, and with little delay, we picked up our second rental car!

Our rental car #2!
We took off towards Washington State. Along the way (somewhere in Idaho), it started to rain a little, and we saw this little rainbow!

After a long day of driving (we didn't get really going until about noon, with tearing down camp and the car switch), and the fact that it started getting pretty chilly, we decided to stop at a hotel in Bakers City, Oregon. We got a chance to relax in the hot tub, and sleep on a real mattress instead of just an air mattress, and the free breakfast wasn't bad either!

Click here for Days 5-9!

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