When you are driving 350+ miles a day pulling a trailer you need some stops along the way (other than McDonalds). Sometimes ours have been silly (I’m looking at you Oregon Trail museum in Montpelier, Idaho) sometimes inspiring. Here’s a few favorites in Wyoming and Montana.
Afton, Wyoming is home to the world’s largest elkhorn arch. It is made of 3011 elk antlers and spans across 4 lanes of US Highway 89. I guess we all need something to be proud of and hey it is a pretty long way, with not much to see, when you are coming up into Wyoming from Utah.
Jackson, Wyoming actually has lots to love and is likely to be more than a pass through, but there’s one place I want to especially recommend whether you are stopping for a week or an hour. The Teton Boulder Project is a free bouldering park, built by volunteers at the base of Snow King Mountain near downtown Jackson. You could not ask for a better place to get out of your car and blow off some steam. And it’s free!
The National Museum of Wildlife Art, outside of Jackson and before you reach the Grand Tetons, is another stop worth making. There is a wonderful outdoor sculpture trail where you can stretch your legs while looking at beautiful wildlife sculptures set in breathtaking views. Inside there is a vast permanent collection and changing exhibits. When we visited the museum was featuring a fascinating exhibit of Joel Sartore’s Photo Ark project. Joel is well on his way to documenting all of the worlds endangered species. These photos will move you. Check them out here https://www.joelsartore.com/gallery/the-photo-ark/
Sometimes you just need a shopping stop. Bozeman, Montana is a great place. There is a funky, walkable downtown with lots of boutiques, restaurants and bars (this is a college town after all). Found a wonderful art gallery called Altitude and discovered my favorite new jewelry maker, Piper Hugos. She makes gorgeous pieces out of cars salvaged from junkyards. Check her jewelry out at yougotmojo.bigcartel.com
One of our most special stops was in Helena, Montana. You know Helena, the capital city that you could never remember on those 5th grade geography tests. We stopped to see The Cathedral of Saint Helen which was built between 1908 and 1914 and modeled after the Votivkirche in Vienna. There are 56 stained glass windows with depictions of the Bible from the fall of Adam and Eve through the resurrection of Christ. My photos don’t begin to do justice to this sacred space. You can take a virtual tour here http://www.sthelenas.org/tours/
We ended our Montana time with a short stop in Missoula. How can you not love a place where people surf waves in the middle of the town, where the art museum is free, the carousel the fastest in the world and there are pianos on street corners just waiting for impromptu concerts. Next time the stop will be a stay.