Thanks for all the info

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Posted by Rick ( on 15:02:36 07/28/13

In Reply to: Throwing out a few random ideas posted by Ballpark Frank

Thanks Frank. A visit to Cody is actually already part of the plan--believe it or not, I've never been there. No real reason why, just never made it, and none of the occasions I've driven out have led me in that entrance.

This trip is meant to be a little different from our last one two years ago. That trip, their first to the area, was more of an "introduction" to the scenery and land of the parks, with an emphasis on all of the "main" viewpoints and stops, with some short-to-medium length hikes thrown in. (Plus a short horseback excursion, ha.) There will still be a lot of that this time, of course, but I'm expecting us to do it in a more "relaxed" manner, if that makes sense. That includes spending more time just meandering around some of the towns, including Jackson, Cody, and Gardiner (West Yellowstone has never been to my taste for some reason). That, I think, will be more to their current tastes--with everything we did last time, one of their favorite memories is the evening we arrived early back in Cooke City and I pretty much tossed them out of the motel and told them to go explore for an hour or two. They wandered up and down the street "shopping" (to the limited extent that's possible in Cooke!) and just poking around. They made a friend, a lady who ran some sort of crafts and jewelry store with a "museum" of sorts, who gave them "deals" on some earrings and bracelets. They had themselves a ball. That was about as much as I wanted to send them out on their own at age 12 (how lost can you get in Cooke City, especially when I could look out the window of the Super 8 and see where they were the whole time?), but by next summer they'll be 15, and I know they'll enjoy wandering through some of the other towns as well--both with and without Dad, ha.

Staying a few nights in Cooke City worked fine last time, but I've pretty much decided to switch to Gardiner this time for a couple of reasons: first, Cooke is just so stinkin' far of a drive from nearly everything in the park; and second, we have to go in June this time (because of high school band commitments), so that Gardiner shouldn't be nearly as toasty as it would typically be in, say, August. Plus, while I would never call Gardiner a metropolis, there's certainly more to see and do there than in Cooke City or Silver Gate. :^)

I've stayed often in the park, and have considered doing that this time, but honestly trying to deal with Xanterra and get things booked in the park drives me crazy. Not to mention that most of the places I can think of that could accommodate us are still awfully small. I've never worried too much about things like evening programs or hanging out in the Inn lobby after dark even if I'm staying elsewhere, because I don't mind the driving.

I would LOVE the RV rental idea, but you're right, it would just be way out of our budget. Flying all four of us is out of the question, although I am in the middle of trying to convince Mom to fly out by herself and have us meet her in Billings or wherever. She's got some back issues, and the 3-day drive wasn't pleasant for her last time. She is being a little resistant to the idea initially--she says she doesn't like flying, but as I pointed out, would she rather be unhappy about flying for 5 hours or unhappily uncomfortable about driving for 3 days?--but I'm pretty sure that will work out.

I'll have to call Colter Bay about the semi-private cabins. I saw them and noticed that we could get two of them and be in our price range, but I got the impression from the website that they were more of a dormitory sort of arrangement, so that you're sharing bathroom facilities with a number of other cabins. If it's just a paired situation with two cabins sharing that would be perfect--I just know Mom wouldn't be happy about a whole big communal sort of arrangement, ha.

Thanks again for all the info. One way or another I'm planning on this working unless something just flat-out prevents it. You're right, there aren't too many years left where we'll be able to do something like this. The last trip was a good one, but there's still plenty left to see and do!

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