The first traveling experience my sister and I went on with our grandfather, Hoot, was to the wild state of Wyoming.
The view from my cramped airplane seat is one that I will never forget. Even before we landed on the air strip, all I could see was the craggy mountains and the sun that slowly dipped down behind them. Once we stepped out of the plane, the wind picked up and had nearly knocked me off my feet, it was so strong. Frosted air escaped my lips which mingled with the cold, crisp night. As the warmth of the airport seeped into my limbs and coat, jet lag finally decided to find the time to slap me in the face. Being on two separate planes for gosh knows how long kinda does that to a person.
It took about thirty freezing minutes to find the car we had rented for the week and about two hours to locate the high-end hotel in the town of Jackson Hole. Our addled brains decided that food wasn't that important that night, so we slept till the dismal hour of seven.
On our first official day, the only thing we accomplished was sightseeing. We saw the town that seemed to be frozen in a time of wilderness and settlers. We saw the jagged beauty of the snow peaked Teton mountains before us. We saw baby geysers lined up on the side of the parkway like sleeping soldiers. We found and ate along our sightseeing adventure.
The second and third days were much more...strenuous. Now, you have to know that when we took this trip, I was a lazy, book loving eleven year old who avoided exercise like my life depended on it. So, it was a rather big shock when I found out that I had to do our exploring on foot. I climbed steep, worn wooden steps to see cavernous rock formations and descended an iron death trap of stairs to visit a cascading waterfall. We encountered three bison that third day. They caused a big traffic jam that, to me, was well worth the trouble.
The fourth day was devoted to the gifts Hoot got my sister, Rae, and I for our birthdays. Horseback riding for two hours straight was his gift to me. We trotted along the beaten trail through the thick woods, across a rushing river, and up to a grass green foothill. We rode through a glen filled to the brim with yellow wild flowers before we went back to the horse camp. The experience left me with aching muscles and a grudge against the seemingly innocent horse I was assigned. I haven't ridden a horse since then.
Whitewater rafting was what entertained us for the rest of the evening. I was wet, freezing cold, and had nearly fallen out of the raft, but in the end I experienced something I never thought I would ever do.
Two flights stuffed between Hoot and Raegan, one pit stop in Chicago, and the boredom of about five hours of mind numbing air travel greeted me the last day we were in Wyoming. Our big trip had finally ended and the mundane routine for the summer reached for the three of us with open arms.
I have been on several other adventures with my sister and grandfather, but this trip was the one that I felt the need to write about the most. It was an experience that I will never forget.