It is currently blizzarding in central Wisconsin, so I figured it’s time to write about an adventure I had with my brother this past August as we drove from Portland, OR to Port Edwards, WI. The 42 hour route we had planned was ambitious, but how often do siblings get to go on a road trip together?! We wanted to go all out.

I was in charge of planning. Maybe because it was my internship that landed me in Portland, or the fact that it was my car we were driving, or simply because I’m the older sister so obviously I was supposed to plan the route. Anyway, I may have put off planning until a few days before we left. Oops. As I was looking at the part of our trip where we were going to drive through Yellowstone National Park, I started researching hotels. Since this was a budget road trip, I was trying to find relatively cheap hotels. Around Yellowstone. Yeah, that was impossible. Maybe we would have had a chance if we hadn’t been trying to find a hotel five days in advance, but there’s also not much around the park save for the “gateway towns”: the communities that border entrances to the park. We were going to enter through West Yellowstone, MT. There’s a Days Inn, Holiday Inn, and several local motels RV parks, but all were booked when I checked. It was also mid-August, so a prime time to visit the park. No wonder we couldn’t find anything!

Luckily, I had a back-up plan. What if we camped?! Brilliant idea, I know. I was living out of a suitcase all summer and was grossly unprepared to go camping. However, a little craigslist searching got me a $15 tent, and after a Target run I had a queen size air mattress with an electric pump (I invested in one of the double high ones as I decided to use it as my bed when I moved into my apartment two weeks later). I had a blanket and a sleeping bag in the trunk of my car, along with one camping chair I always keep with me. That’s really all you need, right?

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