I’m also combing through our pictures and realizing that if I don’t start recording memories soon, they will vanish forever! Therefore, I’m going to be sharing everything we did on our trip with you in the coming weeks.
When it was all said and done, we were on the road for 41 days and clocked right at 4,500 miles around the USA. Though everything didn’t go as planned, we had a blast and it was worth it all!
Also, I should mention that the goal of our trip was to experience what God has created. It wasn’t to fit in every activity a city had to offer. We aren’t rolling in money, which meant our activities had to be frugal. Read: free or less than $10 for the family.
There were definitely things we did that cost a little more, which I’ll be sharing about, but we were VERY picky about what got our money. Road tripping doesn’t have to be expensive.
Southeast Wyoming was a great midway point to Hot Springs, SD, and we didn’t spend a penny while there. Well, we did buy our National Parks Pass, but that’s because we forgot to get it before we left home and would need it on our trip.
We started our trip mid-morning, packed to the brim with everything we would need for a month on the road. We were all very excited and a little bit anxious.
By the time we got to Laramie, WY, we needed to stretch our legs, but before we did we decided to drive by the “time out place for big people.” Also known as the Wyoming Territorial Prison, which is a state historic site.
The entry fee to tour the building is just $5 a person and children 11 and under are free, but we didn’t take a tour because we weren’t ready to explain to our children about prison. My oldest already struggles with fear, and although this wasn’t something “spooky,” we were afraid he wouldn’t quite understand.
Nevertheless, the prison was much smaller than I expected it to be, and I found it interesting to see the place where Butch Cassidy and Clark “the kid” Pelton was held. You go through years of school hearing these names, and then seeing what seems like only a storybook setting in person just brings history alive.
We plan to return here for a homeschool field trip in the future.
Next, we stopped at the UW Geological Museum. It is free, but they do accept donations.
Since Sam recently became curious about dinosaurs, we thought this would be a fun stop to stretch our legs. They had enormous dinosaur bones to look at and even some to touch.
Samuel (3.5 years old) was mesmerized and Timmy (13 months) was indifferent. He smiled and pointed, but Sam was ecstatic. I was surprised, but so happy to watch his little face as his mind made sense of all that he was seeing.
We met another family while we were there whose youngest is 3 as well. They are road tripping just like us, but they were on the final leg of their journey before heading home. We were just getting started. Meeting people along the road was probably the highlight of our overall trip. We met so many interesting people, and we really enjoyed sharing our story!
Laramie wasn’t what I expected it to be, but the UW campus was beautiful. We saw several college campuses on our trip. It was neat to see the various cultures on display at each one.
We made lunch in the car, and got back on the road so we could get to Hot Springs, SD by bed time.
The drive up to Hot Springs, SD was amazing. The terrain was breathtaking and so unlike anything I had ever seen before.
We got to see a herd of elk and even a random bison hanging out by the river.
The kids slept through our “oohs” and “aahhhs.” The wildlife on this drive up to South Dakota was abundant and the scenery gorgeous.
Southeast Wyoming was a great start to our USA road trip! Next I’ll share what we did in South Dakota!