Simple Sunday | Yellowstone to Badlands and Everything in Between

It’s been a while since I’ve written a Simple Sunday recap post… like since before the Eclipse, which was ah-mazing by the way. A lot has happened since then, so I’ll just hit the highlights.

Yellowstone National Park

We spent close to three weeks in and around Yellowstone. It’s such a diverse National Park… a busy one, for sure, but there’s so much to see. We had a killer boondocking spot in West Yellowstone (get the coordinates here).

Midway Geyser Basin

We saw bison, hot springs, geysers, waterfalls, and elk. Luke caught some nice Yellowstone Cutthroat trout in the Yellowstone River. I practiced water coloring – practiced being the key word… haha. Maybe one day I’ll share them… #practicemakesperfect.

Get our full recap of Yellowstone and our must-see list here.

Grand Teton National Park

Life on the road full-time

You guys! Grand Teton National Park was a dream. It’s already on our list to go back to. We loved the park and Jackson, WY. Again, we had an awesome boondocking spot.

This happened! Holy cow! We were floating the river in a drift boat with a friend from home who was in Jackson for the summer, and a mama grizzly and her two cubs decided to join us in the river. This grizzly encounter is second only to the eclipse in amazing things that have happened on this trip.

We also saw more elk, black bears, and some moose in Grand Teton. Unfortunately, we had to leave early due to a snow storm moving in… our RV (and we) are not prepared for snow.

Rocky Mountain National Park

From Grand Teton, we headed to Rocky Mountain National Park. At this point, I don’t think we had paid for camping in over a month. However, this ended our stint of free camping, but for good reason… we couldn’t find a good boondocking location, and Luke’s family was coming to stay with us.

We figured electricity and more importantly, a water supply would be well worth it (and it was)! Six people and three dogs in one RV. We got some much needed family time. We even had a campfire, which is rare for us.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park was another stunning park. The mountains are incredible, and the Aspen’s leaves were starting to change. We did some hiking, saw so many Elk, and Luke caught some fish.

Boulder + Colorado Springs

From Rocky Mountain National Park, we went to Boulder. It rained for like the first 4 or 5 days, but I really liked Boulder. There are hikes nearby, great restaurants, and plenty of things to do.

Boulder Arches Hike

My mom came to stay with us while we were in Boulder, so we had a few days of “vacation” including a little spa day. As any full-time RVer could tell you, a nice shower and a little pampering after living “in the woods” is a great thing!

Kaitlin Boyer Colorado Springs Fishing

Boulder and Colorado Springs were also full of friend time. We got to grab brunch with a friend from home who was here for work, met up with some other full-time RVers, and went fishing with one of our “Instagram friends.”

Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs

We didn’t end up exploring Colorado Springs as much as I thought we would – weather, work, ya know. But we did go to Garden of the Gods on the way out of town. It’s pretty amazing and worth spending some time exploring.

Hudson had Surgery

After CO Springs, we headed back to Boulder to get a lump on Hudson’s leg checked out. Thankfully, our friend we met up with earlier in the month (who happens to be a vet) knew of a great doctor near Boulder. And since I often refer to Hudson as my firstborn, I wasn’t taking him just anywhere.

RVing with Dogs

The vet was able to get us in on Saturday to take a look, and unfortunately, the tumor needed to be removed. We set up an appointment for Tuesday. We were so thankful the could get it taken care of so soon. And they gave us a bottle of wine. Best vet ever!

We hung in Boulder for the weekend… got snowed on in October, and dropped Huds off of surgery Tuesday morning. All went well with the surgery, and we got good news that he’s dog cancer free.

Now, we just have to find a vet to take his stitches out this week.

Custer State Park + Mount Rushmore + Badlands

As you may have guessed, we’re currently in South Dakota. (More to come on our road trip through South Dakota soon.) We started in Custer State Park, which might be the greatest State Park of all State Parks. It’s beautiful. Plus, there is plenty of wildlife including bison.

Custer State Park Bison

Knowing it was going to get cold, we opted to stay in Custer State Park, so we could have an electrical hook up to run the space heater. We had no idea how wonderful the State Park campgroud would be. Ready for this?!

  • The sites were huge. I felt like we had our own yard with a fire pit, picnic table, and creek.
  • The leaves were changing, so it was beautiful.
  • They had laundry at the campground, and we desperately need to do laundry. It was great to throw it in and go back to the RV – no hanging out at the laundromat this time!
  • The showers! Oh, the showers! They were tiled… like nicely tiled and clean. It was great.
  • There were 3 bison who hung out by the campground.

While we were staying at Custer State Park, we drove over to Mount Rushmore. American road trip classic. It’s incredible. The craftsmanship, the time it took, and how they did it… so crazy. If you go to Mount Rushmore, make sure you visit the museum.

Alright, so we’re caught up… we’re in the Badlands now.

I love this place. I knew it would be cool from seeing pictures, but there’s no way to describe how beautiful, yet confusing, the landscape in the Badlands is. Someone commented on our Instagram post saying it’s like walking on the ocean floor during the day and walking on the moon at night. That’s the best description I’ve heard.

Hiking the Badlands

Plus, our boondocking spot is probably the best of our trip. We’re like 5 minutes from the entrance of the park. We have an incredible view. We have cell service, which means we can work from the RV and enjoy that view. There are no trees, which means plenty of solar power. There’s a field right outside the door, so the dogs can run free. And, shockingly, our digital antenna picked up a few normal channels. We’ve actually watched TV, which is rare. Luke’s gotten to watch football for the first time this season.

Badlands National Park

We’ll move to our next spot sometime this week, and I’m going to be more consistent with our Sunday posts. I can’t believe how fast time seems to go while on the road, but we’ve done SO much. The original plan for the Sunday posts was to document the little moments, so they don’t slip by.

Happy Sunday, friends!
-Laura

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