Summer Vacation Prep Week

Dang, that snuck up quickly.

Don't think I mentioned it here before, but the Griswold family summer vacation this year is one of those week-long guided bus tours through some of the western National Parks - most notably, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, & Grand Teton, with a few stops at touristy cowboy-towns in between.


I've been wanting to see the parks for a while, like I can watch those damn Ken Burns documentaries over and over, and doing one of these tours was the only way to get K.C. & Lilly to agree to go as they require, no demand, hotel accommodations and whatnot each night. No roughing it for the ladies...not that I blame them BTW. Scheduling it near the 4th of July only means that the utter chaos and crowds will be amplified, but who cares...not me. I survived summers at the Jersey shore. And if you've been there, you know.

In preparation, the agenda seems pretty straightforward - wander off the marked boardwalks, take a dip in a volcanic hot spring, and rescue the suffering baby bison, because they're cold. If one fits in the carry-on luggage, I'll bring a tiny Tatanka home to Florida to warm up. Because that's evidently what we as tourists do now. God Bless America.


All jokes aside, I'm up against it in terms of preparation. We're out of here in a few, and with only a handful of days to prepare, I should probably get started...

I think I've got the clothing situation sort of in check, as well as the minimal gizmos & gear we're planning to bring along. It's not a fishing trip by any stretch, but I am going to bring a tenkara rod (aka the travel rod) and a fly box just in case we have down time amid our tour guide's rigorous schedule near any water. Any suggestions on what flies to put in said box?

Truthfully, I'll take any recommendations - sights, sounds, food, bug spray, bear spray, whatever - this is a totally new experience for all of us, so if anyone's been to any of the places above, I'm all ears...

Comments

  1. I've always been intrigued about those tours, I'll be anxious to hear. The scenery can't let you down. Have fun and don't hand feed the baby skunks...

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    1. No baby skunks. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm afraid I'll get tired of the bus quickly.

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  2. It's the 100th anniversary of the National Parks system (I'm sure you already know that) so Tour On. Don't forget pictures. I've not been to any of those parks.

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  3. Michael, I lived next door to Yellowstone and Teton National Parks for (25) years or so and made many visits and fishing trips. Things have changed in those parks some over the years, but, still incredible scenery. The "Dumb and Dumber" crowd has made it more difficult for everyone in those parks. You don't fit in with that crowd! Take lots of pictures, videos, etc. It will be a trip you will never forget. Oh, and the rod thing and flies, a lot of water in the park is regulated (fly fishing only or fly and lures only. Final tip: Once you have been there and seen, you will be back to fish! It is a Mecca for fishing and relaxation...............

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    Replies
    1. That's definitely the plan Mel. Whet the appetite this year, and head back rod in hand later.

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  4. I'll be there in 3 weeks myself fishing for 9 days. I'm just north in Missoula. Here's my suggestions from an admitted dryfly snob:
    Elk Hair Caddis
    Hopper
    Prince nymph
    Copper John

    I'd say you'd cover about 70% of what you need with just those. If you wanted to expand out, or catch a specific hatch you could. And Adams or mayfly pattern of some type would be good too.

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    Replies
    1. Sweet, I've got that menu of flies already. Looks like I'm ahead of the game!

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  5. Bring the Unaccomplished Angler along. He's better than bear spray!

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    1. I don't know, Howard. He probably still smells like cats from the Ho Hum Motel from his recent trip... Oooooh, I get it! :)

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    2. Ha! So I read. I wouldn't want to stumble upon those Firehole Rangers...

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    3. Hey now! Howard, I am fish (not bear) repellent. And after the stay at the Ho-Hum, my dog wants to chase me, for some reason. Have a great trip.

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  6. I'll be curious to hear what a bus trip is like. Mt. Rushmore is very cool (went to jr. high and high school 2 hours from there.) Devil's Tower isn't on the itinerary? If you decide you like it out west, you might have to go back and experience that, too.

    Can't really offer any hints for your trip. We've made some day trips through Yellowstone a few times, but I doubt you have much discretion with the travel group controlling the itinerary. One of my wife's all-time favorite books came from the Old Faithful gift shop: Death In Yellowstone.

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    1. Death in Yellowstone, sounds ominous. Hope to not witness, experience, or write volume 2.

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