Tag Archives: Wyoming

Montana and Wyoming: Celebrating the National Parks with Pepsi

It’s no secret that 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which is resulting in more people than ever getting out to explore and visit our national parks. In Montana, we’re fortunate to have two national parks: Glacier and Yellowstone,  while our BFF to the south—Wyoming—also has two national parks: Grand Teton and Yellowstone. 

Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

And since we’re BFFs (and because many of the visitors to Wyoming and Montana visit more than one national park during their time in our two states) we decided to team up and do something fun to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial: we worked with our pals at Pepsi to create a special edition fountain cup. 

Cheers.

The cups are already making their way into local stores!

The Pepsi cups feature photography from Glacier, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, as well as a website where you can enter to win weekly prizes AND a grand prize 5-day road trip from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Montana’s Glacier Country. If you want to enter to win (of if you just want one of these cups), you can find them in stores from Jackson Hole to Whitefish and Idaho Falls to Great Falls.

But I want to tell you the best part: you don’t HAVE to snag a cup or buy a soda to win prizes. Just go to www.glaciermt.com/pepsi and enter to win.

Hey you pretty little cup.

Hey you pretty little cup.

Two cuties (aka my mom and brother).

Two cuties (aka my mom and brother) modeling their Pepsi cups.

About to go fill this with all the Diet Pepsi I can find.

About to go fill this with all the Diet Pepsi I can find.

IMG_3720

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some (diet) pepsi to drink!

xo,
TT

Montana is Wild: Top Rules and Tips for Safely Visiting the West

You guys, I don’t love writing about sad things on this blog. And I hate telling you about sad things, especially when they happen in the place that I love and adore: the West. But the fact of the matter is this: it’s only mid-June and we’ve already had several negative wildlife encounters and an unfortunate, heart-breaking experience in Montana and Yellowstone National Park.

Always give bears plenty of room and never approach. Photos: GlacierNPS Flickr (Tim Rains)

Always give bears plenty of room and never approach. Photos: GlacierNPS Flickr (Tim Rains)

To date this year, we’ve had visitors approach wildlife and get way too close (examples include selfies with bison, a tourist picking up a baby bison and placing it in his car and a woman being charged and hit by an elk) as they invaded the animal’s space. In addition, Yellowstone National Park had a group of adventure travelers walk off the boardwalk (and film it, for pete’s sake) and most recently, a visitor tragically lost his life when he went off the boardwalk and fell into one of the boiling geysers.

Meanwhile, in my neck of the woods, I was in Glacier National Park earlier this month sitting at The Loop eating lunch when a black bear meandered across the Going-to-the-Sun Road. He was a nice bear who literally paid the 10 of us no mind as he crossed the road, even when a lady started running after him. Yep, you read that right. We were all sitting there marveling at the chance to see a wild bear in Glacier National Park and she ran after him to take a photo. This, my friends, is one of my worst nightmares and we actually had to say these words, “Ma’am, don’t chase the bear. Ma’am! Don’t chase him.” Honestly, I never thought I’d have to tell someone to not chase a WILD ANIMAL in the WILD.

All of these stories are not meant to cast shame or embarrass anyone; instead they’re meant to educate.

Perhaps the worst part about the examples listed above is that they could be have been avoided by following the rules and regulations that are in place to not only protect us as visitors to these special places, but to protect wildlife, their habitat and the ecosystem in which we all live.

The fact of the matter is that the West is still wild. One of the best things about visiting the wild places that still exist in Montana and Wyoming is that we’re able to experience raw, true, genuine nature.  To do that, it’s important that we follow the rules, guidelines and regulations that are put in place to help everyone have a wonderful time in Montana, Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

Here are some rules to remember when visiting the West…

Stay on designated trails, pathways and boardwalks. Always.

Boadwalks are put in place to give us safe access to viewing geysers, hot springs and rushing waterways.

Boadwalks are put in place to give us safe access to viewing geysers, hot springs and rushing waterways. Photo: YellowstoneNP Flickr

View wildlife from your car or from a safe distance. For bears, you should stay at least 100 yards (the length of a football field) away, while you should stay at least 25 yards away from other large animals, including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes.

This visitor is WAY TOO CLOSE to the bears. Photo: YNP Flickr

This visitor is WAY TOO CLOSE to the bears. Photo: Yellowstone NPS Flickr

Do not approach wildlife. Even for a selfie. Truth time: Yellowstone and Glacier are not zoos. The animals who live here are wild and there are no barriers between you and them. Never, under any circumstances, approach wildlife. Also, don’t touch or pet them. Ever. Deal?

Let wildlife know you’re nearby. When hiking, be sure to hike in a group, carry bear spray, stay on designated trails and make noise at regular intervals. This messy-haired girl likes to sing (you’re welcome bears and humans) and say “hey bear” loudly at regular intervals or clap my hands as I walk along. PS: Do us all a favor and don’t rely on bear bells as your noisemaker. Most of them are not loud enough.

For more information, you can read more safe wildlife viewing tips here and here.

Wishing you all safe travels this summer,
TT

Montana to Wyoming: A Wild West BFF Road Trip

Truth time: two of my favorite states in the country are Montana and Wyoming. Sure, in the past we’ve joked about the (friendly) rivalry between Big Sky Country and the Forever West (you can read about the smackdown between Montana and Wyoming here and here), but the fact of the matter is that these two states are BFFs.

BFFs.

Montana + Wyoming = BFFs.

For me, it’s just that I feel like the wide-open spaces and friendly people of Wyoming get me. They’re like kindred spirits for this Montana girl that hails from the middle of nowhere Rocky Mountain Front. So when work duty called, I grabbed one of my best traveling buddies and we set off for a destination that was new to both of us: Cody, Wyoming.

From start to finish: 406 miles.

From start to finish: 406 miles.

And I have to tell you, it was one of the best road trips I’ve taken in a long time. The weather was beautiful, the scenery was diverse and stunning and we enjoyed checking out many of the highlights along the way.

Bye, Missoula!

Bye, Missoula!

Because when you pass a sign for a used cow lot, you have to stop.

Drummond, Montana. (Because when you pass a sign for a used cow lot, you have to stop.)

 

Cruising a backroad between Columbus and Joliet.

Cruising a backroad between Columbus and Joliet.

After several hours on the road, we came to the Montana/Wyoming border. And I don’t care how many state lines I’ve driven across in my lifetime, it’s always fun to hit a new one. Plus, these Montana girls love a good photo op!

Goodbye (for now), Montana.

Goodbye (for now), Montana.

Hello, Wyoming!

Hello, Wyoming!

<3

We all know I can’t resist a selfie.

From here, we made our way to Cody and had some free time to explore the town.

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Two words: totes adorbs.

One word: yee-haw!

Legends Book store had MONTANA tea!

Legends Book Store had MONTANA tea!

Just two cowgirls, wandering about town.

Just two cowgirls, wandering about town.

Oh hey historic hotel, named for Buffalo Bill Cod's daughter Irma.

Oh hey historic Irma Hotel. PS: the hotel was named for Buffalo Bill Cody’s daughter Irma.

Buffalo Bill and the gang.

Buffalo Bill and the gang.

PSA: this is the only bison you should ever approach.

PSA: this is the only bison you should ever approach.

Going out with my boots on.

Going out with my boots on.

A few things I loved about Cody, Wyoming (and think you will too):
-It’s super close to Montana.
-Cody is one of the hubs for exploring Yellowstone National Park. And it’s really easy to get to Montana from Cody, via Yellowstone.
-It has great history!
-It’s adorable and charming. Not even kidding, every shop we went into they asked where we were from (don’t worry, we proudly told them Montana) and they genuinely cared about our experience in Cody.
-I had the best steak (possibly ever) at the Proud Cut Saloon & Steakhouse.
-It was an easy drive from my home base in Western Montana + the drive was seriously beautiful.

After such a great three days road tripping from Montana to Wyoming and back again, I’ve got two questions: 1) When can I go back? 2) Who wants to go with me?!

xo,
TT