Since taking these photos, this moment has grown to something so much sweeter and more precious than I ever realized in the moment. What unfolded in a day was something that has changed not just our lives, but our kids lives as well. It is a moment our hearts and this journey shifted entirely.
Let me start from the beginning. We knew that after we left Yellowstone we wanted to at least see the Grand Tetons on our way back to Idaho. However, Cody was fine with making no plans what so ever since there had to be boondocking spots along the way. I am a planner (in the most extreme way) so this figuring it out as we go process was stretching me to say the least. In an effort to have some control I posted in our members only Full-time Families Facebook page. If you are a traveler and don't know what Full-time Families is, please do yourself a favor and check it out asap. It's worth an entirely separate blog, but trust me it's a game changer. Anyways, I posted that we were headed to Grand Tetons in a few days looking for a spot to boondock our giant 41' RV and dully long bed truck. A family quickly responded and said they were just below the mountains and would love to save us a spot. Quickly we started chatting and the very net afternoon we packed up after seeing Grand Prismatic to head out of the south entrance.
The drive was a bit long and we needed to stop to dump our tanks. After a VERY close call to getting stuck in the wrong camping loop we were back on the road. Luckily we made it just before sunset. We were told repeatedly NOT to go in the back entrance to the campground. Once we arrived we saw 6" to 1' deep uneven road and were so grateful we listened. Our giant setup fit with absolutely no extra room to spare.
The following is literally everything I dreamed of when I thought about meeting people on the road. I know this isn't always what happens, but it has been so far one of the greatest experiences we've had to date. The adults all stood around and talked about everything under the sun without any awkward reservation. You could literally see the community form instantaneously. The moment our kids met they became instant friends. They're all travelers so they were beyond excited to be staying near another kiddo and ran off to play without any hesitation. We didn't pull out all their toys or anything. They found laughter in each other and entertainment in the nature around them. We all watched as the most epic evening of childhood unfolded. I love that not one of us even tried to stop it. Instead we all just soaked it in to the deepest parts of our hearts. Everything was perfect: the friendship, the laughter, the mountains, the sunset, the smell of the untouched outdoors. It all just lingered in magic. They played and we chatted until long after the sun went down. When the stars filled the sky and the cold breeze blew through we finally dragged ourselves in for a quick wipe hours past bedtime. They drifted off to Neverland faster than I have ever seen.
We stayed for as long as we could the next day. As much as we wanted to do something adventurous with the few hours we had, sometimes you have to let go for the sake of childhood. Our kids played from the second their eyes opened. All morning we sat sipping coffee, growing in friendship and laughing ourselves into tears. All while surrounded by the most picturesque landscape we later found out was the "location" of the movie The Good Dinosaur (now that we know you can see SO many locations). Saying goodbye was hard, but we were beyond grateful for the friendship we made and the decision to just enjoy the scenery after a very busy few days.
And in case you're wondering...this is not the end of the story for this friendship. It was the first time we met some of our dearest friends. More to come.
Happy Adventuring Friends!