I just got back from a trip through the intermountain west. To start, my son was doing a whole Mormon thing with his church youth group, trekking over the Mormon trail in Wyoming. This trek was planned at the exact same time as our family deal, which occurs every summer in Idaho, Island Park, where my father and grandfather built a cabin in the late 1940s. The unfortunate overlap of treks meant that my husband and I drove first to scenic Rock Springs, where we stayed overnight in a Motel 8, if you can call it overnight, since we slept approximately five hours, this so that we could arise and drive to Farson, WY (home of the Big Cone--ice cream, I'm presuming, from the illustration painted on the Farson Mercantile), then to Lander, WY, then just shy of the Sweetwater Ranger Station, to the Hudson-Atlantic City Road, a dirt road which we traversed for a dozen miles, to the Sage Creek Campground (no creek in sight, but a lot of dirty kids dressed in pioneer garb), in order to pick up my son by 8:15 or so in the morning.
That accomplished, we headed back through Lander in the direction of Jackson, which meant that we drove exhausted through some of the most beautiful country I recall ever driving through exhausted. For instance, the Tetons, right close up, and the Wind Rivers (best as I can tell). All told, however, where getting to Island Park usually is a 300 mile or so trip, we travelled around 600 miles. The plus side: a witty, gangly sixteen year old was a part of this vacation. There were ten of us--my grown son and his wife, me, my husband, daughter, and teenage son; my aunt and her two sons and a girlfriend.
Wildlife [aside from above-listed personnel]: elk, countless ground squirrels, etc., pelicans, trumpeter swans, moose, and a blue bird that I believe might be a pinion jay (after consultation with the bird book). Many rounds of card games played at high speed and volume. A hike around Silver Lake in Harriman State Park, including a quarter mile or so through what seemed clearly to be a freshly turned horse sign/soil mix. I cooked up a storm. It took me about five tries to get through articles in the New Yorker, but hey! I did read a lot of cutting-edge fashion advice, so there's that.