Wyoming has a special place in my heart. I first visited in the summer of 1992. I was thirteen, had just finished seventh grade, and was at the height of my awkward years. Airfare prices had plummeted that year and my usually thrifty parents decided we should use the opportunity to take a vacation. It was the first and last time I would fly on an airplane with my parents. It was the first and last vacation my family took to a place other than the Jersey shore. A couple years after the big trip out west, my parents would divorce, and all the traveling I've done since then has been solo, or with friends, or with Larry.
When my parents suggested that our big family vacation of '92 should be to Wyoming, I rolled my eyes in disgust. I wanted to go to the Grand Canyon. Wyoming only had like two people in the entire state, I argued. To a thirteen year old this sounded lame and boring. Besides, hadn't the whole state burned up a few years before in the Yellowstone forest fires of 1988?
But we went to Wyoming, and sure enough it was awesome. Yes, my parents were right. Mom, Dad, my brother Stephen, and I spent a week and a half admiring the Tetons, staying at a dude ranch, sightseeing in Jackson Hole, and exploring Yellowstone National Park. It was my first time away from the East Coast and it blew my mind. The experience stuck with me for life. Looking back, it probably started my love affair with the National Parks.
This past July, Larry had another business trip to Wyoming, and this time I finally got to tag along and return to the place that had made such an impression on me 22 years before. Once again it was the trip of a lifetime. After Larry's meetings were over, we had a long weekend together to hike, bike, and raft in the Tetons, drive through Yellowstone, and eat our way through the restaurants in Jackson Hole. Wyoming is just as amazing in 2014 as it was in 1992, and the Teton Range still takes my breath away. I have lots of photos from our trip to share in the coming weeks, but first I thought it would be fun to compare some photos from my trip in 1992 to photos from our trip in 2014...
In 1992, tight-rolled jeans were cool and Hypercolor shirts were all the rage. Awkward middle-school Rachel thought these trends looked wicked cool with matching colored socks. (Just give up on ever having a boyfriend now, teenage Rachel! Though if it's any consolation, your future husband was a college boy who had just turned 21 in the summer of '92. Wait ten years and you'll meet him! Also, when you get home from this trip, you will get a puppy, which is better than a boyfriend anyway.) Anyway, this combination of me being thirteen plus the fashion nightmare of the early 90s sets the stage for some primo awkward family photos:
Spoiler alert: I'm still awkward. IN FACT, I PRETTY MUCH LOOK THE SAME. (Insert bleeding eyes emoji. #nevergrowup)
Rafting the Snake River, now with fatter head:
Geothermal runoff in Yellowstone:
I think 35 year old me needs some pink shorts:
Bison, you haven't changed a bit!:
Rockin' the shades with my brother (top) and husband (bottom):
Global warming is real, people:
At the Jackson Hole elk antler arches. Way to rock the teal and purple, Steve! Fanny pack optional:
Grand Prismatic Spring:
Interesting to note the regrowth from the 1988 forest fires:
In front of the Tetons:
View from the raft. I swear those two trees on the ridge in the upper left look the exact same:
Clearly the purple socks would've gone better with the 2014 outfit:
Excelsior Geyser Crater:
Both experiences were amazing and I can't wait to write more about what we did on our 2014 trip.
I only wish Larry and I had the chance to ride the alpine slide while outfitted in BUM Equipment and pegged jeans like my bro and I did back in '92...