WARNING: This weekend was filled with so much fun and adventure that I feel like it’s going to take 2-3 posts to tell you about it… It’s worth it though, trust me!
Okay so here’s what the weekend was all about.
There are 5 of us from school that were sent out to Utah somewhere…. we decided it would be fun if all of us could get together and go camping one weekend. So four of us got together… and then one of the girls from school has two other students at her clinic from another school on one of their internships so one of them came with us AND THEN I found out that one of my high school friends has been living in Salt Lake City for the past two years doing a residency for podiatry, so we invited her to come along too and she brought along one of her co-residents. So there were 7 of us total. Chelsea, Stephanie, Kyle, Elise, Beth, Spencer and myself.
Okay- so we decided to go camping up in Grand Teton National Park which is in Wyoming and a couple hour drive for all of us. All of the campsites in the national park are first come-first served style which means… GET THERE EARLY if you want a campsite. Well, here’s the problem…. we all work all day long (well, except for me… I’ve been working half days on Fridays). So our dilemma was… go up Friday night and take our chances or wait and go up Saturday morning but then have less time to go exploring in the area. So we decided we would take our chances. I actually ended up having the day off and my roommate, Kyle, thought he’d be able to get off work early (and he works the furthest north which is the direction of the park) so perfect… I’ll swing by and pick Kyle up when he’s done with work…. we’ll head up there, grab a site, set up the tent and wait for everyone else to come! Yeah….. if only.
Kyle ended up getting out of work a little bit later than he anticipated. I left our place at 2 and got to his work by 3… we left right away and drove the 4 hours up to Grand Teton. We get to Jackson, WY (the last town before the park) around 6:45, grab some food and head towards the park entrance. We get to the park entrance and, GUESS WHAT… 4 of the 5 campgrounds are FULL! The one that wasn’t full was 30 miles back… towards Jackson… where we just came from…. seriously?!?!?! Ok, fine…. so we turn around and head back towards Jackson. It takes about 25 minutes… we pull into the campground aaaaaaaaand FULL! Yeah…. ok…..so, now what? We drove through the campground to see if it really was full… sometimes there’s a random spot open but no such luck with this one. So we decide that maybe we should head back towards the other campgrounds to take a drive through to see if there were random spots open at any of those (they were all much bigger than this first campground we were at so we thought there might be a chance). On our way back towards the entrance, we were making some phone calls to see what other campgrounds were in the area. One person that we were talking to told us that we could set up a tent anywhere we found just as long as it was not in the boundaries of the Grand Teton National Park…. so we went past the park entrance to see what we could find…. which was nothing. Yeah… great. So we drove back 30 miles towards the entrance for NOOOOOOTHING! Our only option was to go BACK towards Jackson and check out some of the campgrounds in that area.
By this point it’s after 8:30. It’s dark. I’m like 15 steps BEYOND annoyed at the amount of driving, the time and the fact that we have nowhere to sleep! The other 5 people were on their way up… planning to be in the area between 11:30 and 12:30 (they got of work much later than we did and started from way further south than we did too). Jackson was probably 10 miles further south than that first campground we checked out so it took about 45 minutes to get there. We checked out one campground and when we found out that was full we said “EFF IT!” We pulled into the first hotel we saw and asked for a room. There was ONE room left… for a hefty price. Kyle walked into the lobby to check and about 45 seconds after he walked in to check for a room, this big guy on a motorcycle pulls up and walks in asking for a room too. Kyle quick calls me and asks if we want to take it or not because this big, scary, biker guy is behind him looking for a room. I told him we should take it… Kyle told me later that he actually started talking to the biker guy and he was super nice… he told us to take the room since we had been in town since 6:45 looking for a place to sleep for the night!
So we took the room and figured since we all have sleeping bags and sleeping pads, that it wouldn’t be a problem to have a few people sleep on the floor. We get to the room and Kyle goes, “oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, it’s got just one full sized bed and that’s it.” We walk in and I kid you not…. smallest. hotel room. EVER! There was barely room to walk in it around the bed let alone sleep. And with one full sized bed… that’s two people… which leaves 5 people to try to cram in on the floor… which wasn’t even carpeted. But… we did it. We all got there and had a drink together and then passed out… two people on the floor on each side of the bed, two people on the bed, and one person on the floor at the foot of the bed. We made it work and we were cozy, that’s for sure. We decided we would wake up early the next morning and head up to the campgrounds to see if we could snag a spot before doing some exploring.
And that’s where this story ends… to be continued with the adventures of Saturday!