When Weather Gets In The Way Of Your Road Trip


If you follow me on twitter (@wandermom) or are one of my Facebook friends, you’ll know that I’m currently home alone. My husband and children packed up our car and headed south for the first great American Road Trip this family has ever really done. The map below shows the planned route with stops – an intended 3-day stay to camp and hike at Yellowstone National Park is not marked, but was on the itinerary.


What we didn’t bargain on was the weather. I almost feel like we should be obliged turn in our Irish passports for this. It’s utterly shameful that in planning a camping trip in August we didn’t even consider the possibility of rain. I say “we”, because although I’m not on the trip and my help was repeatedly refuted in the planning of the trip (as in: “No, it’s our trip, you’re not involved”!!), I was invited to assist with the packing.

The resulting photos from my family’s sodden adventures yesterday and today – with my husband’s witty comments – are just to good not to include as my Photo Friday post for this week. Enjoy!


Day 1 started early, leaving Seattle at 7am to drive to Silverwood UT with plenty of time for a fun-filled day at Silverwood Theme Park. My boys are huge Garfield fans and by all accounts the park fulfilled all expectations. The torrential rain and thunderstorms, on the other hand, meant that my husband posted the following on his Facebook status: “Silverwood theme park with the kids.Seems today is torrential monsoon theme.Curious how much of our tent is still above mudline.

The net results of so much precipitation was that by the time my phone rang at 9am on Day 2, the boys were not – as planned – hiking in the Missoula area, but instead had been driving since dawn and were almost at Butte. I checked Facebook and this is what I read: “Missoula:Just drove through a 200 mile-wide sheet of rain (or maybe it was just a moving 12 feet-wirish-festivalide sheet).Looks like plenty more ahead.

An Irish flag on the street was a fitting welcome and at least raised their spirits as they dragged the wet sleeping bags into a launderette. Unfortunately, it was tinged with a little sorrow as they realized they’d just missed the annual Montana Irish celebration. Maybe we’ll all be back in 2010.

I was glad to hear that the sun was shining in Butte – until I saw the next photo my husband had posted for me of the tent draped over the car in a parking lot in Butte.


The caption: “Bringing down property values wherever we go.” Lovely.

There’s really not much I can say to that. Although I guess when your tent is soaking wet and you plan to use it again that night, your options are fairly limited.

The odyssey is continuing. The road-travelers voted to continue driving until they’d left the rain behind. At last check-in they were in Salt Lake City. The original itinerary is now abandoned and a new one will be developed over breakfast tomorrow morning. Watch out for more photos and stories next Photo Friday.

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This entry was posted in Activities And Adventures, Exploring North America and tagged , , , on by .

About wandermom

". . .life is short and the world is wide" - Simon Raven I'm not sure I've ever consciously planned a trip based on this sentiment, but it definitely influences my subconscious! I've been traveling as frequently and widely as possible since I finished school. And I love it. I love the research, the planning, the fervent packing and the curiosity of exploring somewhere I've never been before. My husband & I are both Irish - as in born-in-Ireland. But we live in Seattle. We have two boys: wild, boisterous, regular boys. So, since becoming a Mom, I've been a WanderMom. Given our slightly-unusual family situation, routine "visits-to-Grandma" are international trips requiring passports, 10hr-flights and (oh joy!) airport transfers. I have rants, raves and opinions about how, where & why to travel with kids (start them as young as you can, I say!). I hope to learn even more by researching topics which other wandermoms may be interested in reading about on this blog. Passports, pacifiers, diapers and gameboys at the ready - off we go! Contact Info: Email Michelle: michelle (at) murphnduff (dot) org

11 thoughts on “When Weather Gets In The Way Of Your Road Trip

  1. Cate

    Too bad about the rain, it kinda ruins the fun of camping, but I do like the way you’ve persevered; and the tent drying style.

  2. Dominique

    It’s been eons since I’ve been camping. We had one memorable trip when a nice little stream developed and ran through our campsite, carrying one of my flip flops away. We found it floating in the lake across the road the next day!


    Think I’ll stick with motels or B&Bs from here on out :)

  3. Bridget Smith

    This is a hysterical post…I’m waiting breathlessly to see where to next. I wouldn’t have anticipated rain either although my friend who lives in Montana mentions it alot on Facebook.

  4. Mara

    Love this post! Rain can be so tough on an outdoor vacation (last year while we were in Vermont we had days of it and I thought I’d lose my mind).

    It’s great to see them being flexible though, and bully to you for being so cheerful even though you don’t get to go along. Although, come to think of it, you’re probably a heck of a lot drier and more comfortable. :)

  5. Lorraine

    Chuckled at the comment about turning the Irish passports in. Looks like they are in good spirits though. It’s these types of experiences that turn travel into true *Adventure*! Will look forward to Photo Friday.

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