by Gabrielle Antonette and Carrie Nusbaum
Alright, almost a year ago (oops!) we met up in Salt Lake City, and drove north to Jackson, WY. We told you a little bit about our time in SLC, we told you about the parks we went to visit (Yellowstone, and Grand Teton), but we didn't tell you about all of the things we did in between. So here is that. There are some good stories! But I'll try to be brief.
It's a 4.5 hour drive between the two cities, depending on how you go and how often you stop. On the way there, we went up and crossed through the southeast corner of Idaho. Just before that we made an emergency pit stop at the Quick-N Tasty in Garden City, UT to try the purportedly famous raspberry shakes. It turns out that a lot of places in Garden City claim to have famous shakes, and who is to say which is the best, really? The one we tried was definitely delicious, and very much worth stopping for. After that, we drove alongside Bear Lake for long enough to get us wondering if it was one of the biggest lakes in the country (it's not, we checked).
It seems like maybe the theme of this particular leg of the trip is "fame." We also had to stop in Montpelier, ID because it is so distinctly old (it was a stop on the Oregon Trail, and then later developed as a railroad town), and also seemingly predominantly unoccupied. We were just wandering around when we were waved into a storefront by a kind man who wanted to tell us all about the famous grizzly bear that walked into town one day many years ago (there's a statue to prove it). It turns out that this store was actually a RadioShack, although it seemed to mostly be selling horse and farm-related goods.
On the way home, we took a little detour to Rock Springs, WY to achieve a lifelong dream (always worth it): to go find wild horses. On our way there, we had to do a u-turn when we saw a sign for ice cream proclaiming to be "Home of the Big Cone." Neither of us was particularly in the mood for ice cream, but sometimes you just have to commit. So we stopped in, and in the entryway there was a large plastic ice cream cone. So when we got up to ordering, we asked "What's the deal with the big cone? Is it the one in the entryway? Or is it something you can order?" ...To which the lady dryly replied, "There is no big cone, that's just the name of the place." We both ordered small ice creams, which turned out to be huge. So we're still unclear on the "big cone," but the cones were indeed big.
The actual wild horse reserve was a little bit tricky. It's on BLM land, which means it's public, but not necessarily well-maintained. The road was long and rough. We definitely worried about getting a flat in the middle of nowhere (but luckily didn't). And we didn't see any wild horses for the longest time. We thought that we wouldn't ever find them, and basically came to terms with having driven several hours out of the way for nothing. But then, at last, we came upon a small band alongside the road. They were just grazing, and admittedly looked exactly like regular horses, just sans-fence. They weren't galloping freely or rearing up with the wind in their manes. But still! It was sweet to admire them for a while before we finally decided to wrap it up and head home.