Monday, July 23, 2012

Pinedale, Meet Zoey

This summer should be titled, Wyoming Roadtippin' as we, once again, found ourselves in the cowboy state. My parents are constantly referring to the Green River Mountain Main Rendezvous as "the thing to do," and with Zoey being such a nature lover, we figured this was the perfect opportunity to visit Camp Pinedale. Plus, by the time the weekend rolled around, Jacob and I were burnt out and ready for a chance of scenery anyway.

Our plan was to leave Friday after work; our goal was to be out of the house by 6pm. We didn't articulate it but I'm pretty sure we both knew this was a lofty goal and just wasn't going to happen. We were out of the house at 7pm, and walking into the Laurel Wal-Mart by 7:30pm. The last year we drove to Pinedale - 2 years ago, when I was still pregnant - we left around 11pm since Jacob worked until 9pm, so our more serious goal was to be on the road before then. We managed to finally get serious about driving at 8:45pm, when we realized we hadn't done anything about dinner. Even though we had just spent almost an hour in Wal-Mart. Think on that for awhile.....

We pulled into the Quick Stop Drive-In just as they were shutting down to close. But the order-taking lady said it was fine and served us up the last 16 of their gargantuan chicken strips and about 8 containers of Ranch dressing.

Zoey was amazing. She talked and sang to herself - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - until she fell asleep just before 10pm. She slept most of the night, waking when the car slowed down, as most people - and dogs - do. But she was always smiley and chipper, excited to be on a "nigh nigh drive."

Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house all us children - both fur and non - go!

Got the tunes ready!

Jacob did amazing at the driving, and, yes, once again refused to let me help in any way besides giving him water and Monster drinks (which we agreed tasted like liquefied Sucrets cough drops). He had to stop and take a break around 2am but that was, unfortunately, when the dogs and Zoey decided it was play-time. The break only lasted an hour, with very little sleep involved, but at least he got to rest his eyes for a bit. And as it happened, everything we had bought at Walmart to sleep in the car remained wrapped, as we curled up in the passenger seat and driver seat, left Zoey in her car seat and let the dogs duke it out over the back.

I dozed here and there but didn't sleep for any length of time until around 4am. I woke up just as we pulled into Pinedale, around 5am. After not having been there in two years, and the place undergoing some noticeable subdividing changes, Jacob impressively found my parent's house in the extremely-difficult-to-see pre-dawn light. The dogs started whining as soon as we turned on the dirt road; thank goodness it only lasts 15 minutes....

We got the necessities into the house then settled down for a nap. I was worried Zoey wouldn't sleep since she was the only one who got any real Zzzz;s in the car, but, thankfully, she laid down in her big-girl bed, and fell asleep until we all woke up later around 10am.

 View out the side of the guest room where us McIntyre's piled in.

View from the driveway.

On Saturday morning, we relaxed and had breakfast - my mom so sweetly makes me my faves when I visit; although I'm still waiting on the famed potato pancakes *cough* - then headed to why we had chosen to visit that weekend in the first place: The Green River Mountain Main Rendezvous. Although we only hit up the parade, made sure to snag some Bloody Mary's, shopped the street vendors, but decided to forgo the famed rodeo, it was a lot of fun. Zoey sure enjoyed herself, and it was cool to see so many people (and I, for one, was impressed with the level of fashion).

 Enjoying all the free swag. It was like they knew she was coming, and that she loves magnets.

 Getting nice and and sugared-up.

 Enjoying the parade festivities with Grandma and Grandpa.

 And Mommy and Daddy.

 Best seat in the house!

Free beer! (Except I had to chase the lady down before she would even look at me, then tell her I was 29 when she asked how old I was, and the beer tasted like shit, but, hey, it was free beer!)

 Then we did some shopping and Grandma got us our first novelty Princess skirt. She was definitely the Princess of Pinedale.

 When we got back to the house later that afternoon, all of the "children" wanted to visit the pond.
So Pinedale Princess honed her rock-throwing skills.

Back from the parade. We are totally the couple that dresses alike without meaning to.

If you're ever had the pleasure of visiting Camp Pinedale, you know there is no such thing as sleeping in; there are no curtains or blinds on any of the floor-to-ceiling window-doors, or windows. Everyone was usually up and moving around shortly after 7am, even though all anyone can see for awhile are blue dots when they blink. Once everyone was adequately clothed as to not become the next mosquito meal, we headed to the pond for some morning pond-time fun.

 Fishing with Grandpa. She wasn't entirely sure what it entailed but she was pretty enthusiastic about participating, which was good enough for him!

 Champion swimmer, Louis. Who knew?! He hated the water until her was 6, discovered some water has fish in it, now LOVES it.


Morning Mommy and Zoey conference.

 Trying to get a picture of us girls....

 .....It didn't really work.....

 Showing Zoey the fishing pole; i.e. making sure she doesn't snag herself or the dog.

 Stick-searching for our pond-bound puppies.

Post pond-time sun-bathing.

 We happened to find the 97-cents shelf at Walmart that had this giant bubble-maker. Really, how could we not?

 The dogs had their idea of play-time, running along side the ATV.

 Then Zoey got a chance to go for a ride and LOVED it. Her squeals of delight could be heard up to the house.

Then she got brave and held on to the handle bars.

Sunday afternoon, we headed out again, explored a little more of the town of Pinedale, then my dad took us to see Willow Lake, what feeds the stream on his property.

 I know when you look at me you think I totally scream: WYOMING! But, like I said, I was pretty impressed with the fashion I saw roaming Pinedale.

 Plus, my husband gave me this scarf for our anniversary, not knowing it was such a cool find, so of course I had to get a picture of me wearing it.

 There's a cute park in Pinedale with an all-recycled rubber (tire) playground. It was actually pretty cool, and it makes falling not hurt as much.

 Here she comes!

How Grandparents enjoy the playground.

 Most of the street vendors from Saturday had packed up and moved along (including the lady with the - who would have guessed?! - fabulous purses) by Sunday so Zoey was able to snag a free one-of-her-favorite-things: balloon! She made it pop after only a few seconds and, yup, didn't understand where her balloon went.

 Being cowboys, getting our Bloody Mary on.

 Back at Grandma and Grandpa's, reading Zoey - and, apparently, Louis - one of my childhood faves, Green Eggs and Ham. Zoey thoroughly enjoyed it and now it's in her room.

Every night we were there, Grandpa cooked some form of deliciousness on the grill; burgers one night, steaks the next, with homemade German potato salad, and salad. And Zoey, always eager to help, and do anything that involves being outside, was Grandpa's Grilling Aide. She did get distracted on her way to get a paper plate on a few occasions, however. :-) 
You'd think with that, breakfasts, and the amount of English Muffin toast I ate I'd be 5-pounds heavier (nope; came back 2-pounds lighter. :-( )

 To start, I didn't want the Jingle Twins in the same room as Jacob and I, and Zoey; I wanted us to get as much sleep as possible. Plus, I figured they liked sleeping in Grandma and Grandpa's room, so that's where their beds were. By Sunday night, both of them decided the sheepskin rug in our room was the place to be, either because they missed us, or because the sheepskin rug really was that bad-ass. So we all crammed in there, and slept as one, big, hairy, snoring family.

We woke up a little early on Monday, the day we were to head home, mostly because Zoey woke up at 6am and declared, "too bright!" We had breakfast, managed to squeeze in more ATV and pond time, and were on the road around 9:30am (we consider a 3-hour getting-ready time to be pretty speedy).

 This time, ATV-time was with Grandpa.

 Breakfast picture!

Wyoming is the Las Vegas for dogs; 2 1/2 days tops and you're ready to head home. They loaded themselves in the car and remained there until it was time to go.

My father and Jacob, both being fans of new and undiscovered roads, found us a way home that we would thoroughly enjoy, minus the minor detail that the first 67 miles would take approximately 4-hours. But just like the way there, on the way back, Zoey was a pure peach.

 Not even 5-minutes from Grandma and Grandpa's and we're going....


 .....gone. Looks like Brobee was pretty pooped too. This was nap #1. And Durbin was asleep behind her.

 This is where Dad's route started to get....interesting.....Forest service roads.

 Where the old bridge over the river (which river, I do not know) used to be.

 The road starts to get smaller and smaller....

 Thank goodness we didn't actually find ourselves in any The Long Long Trailer situations.

The scenery was some of the best, and not what you'd expect given other parts of Wyoming.

 The upside was that we could let the dogs out pretty much anywhere we wanted.

 Weird, square-shaped lake we happened across.

 We didn't run into a whole lot of wildlife on our Mountain safari, except this random bunch of cows that got Louis all worked up, and they just looked at us as we drove past like, "What the heck is all the commotion??"

This one looked seriously put-out.

 I'm a sheer genius, and forgot my actual camera, so the majority of these pictures are taken with my phone, or my mother's camera. I'm a super sheer genius because the camera lens got a smudge on it and I didn't realize it until later, so some pictures have a sort-of foggy, artsy quality to them. :-D

Whatever the Badlands are.....this is them.

Zoey didn't sleep the entire time, but more so than usual. She mostly looked out the window - this being her first journey as a forward-facing passenger - ate copious amounts of snacks, said "Mommy! Daddy!" every 30 seconds, then flipped through my/her book.

......which sent her to nap number 2. Then towards the end of our journey, she powered through Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue a good three times.

Approaching the 3 tunnels in the Wind River Canyon, a place Jacob's great Grandfather had a hand in constructing, and where his great Grandmother lived.

I've seen a fair amount of places and the Wind River Canyon is definitely something to see before you kick the bucket.

We made it to the semi-half-way point, Thermopolis, Wyoming. This is part of the hot spring, and the crazyness it does to the surrounding rocks.

It's as you approach the Wyoming/Montana line from this direction where the scenery really gets interesting....And it was like my phone knew it too, and the battery finally crapped out.

We drove for 8+ hours before finally reaching Montana, and we got home shortly after 8pm to a doozy of a rainstorm. We plopped Zoey in the tub, off to bed, and we weren't far behind her ourselves.

This coming month we're hoping to dedicate some time to Jacob's family and visit his Grandparents. So bring on the trippin'!