Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dubois, WY

A Visit with Friends

Emily, Liz, Me, and Boozer in Jackson Hole

Months before leaving home back in May, my friend Liz and I planned my stop-over in Dubois where her family recently completed the construction of their long-dreamt-about home.  Well, you know about best-laid plans ...

Right before I was scheduled to leave for Dubois via the Tetons, Liz got word that son Clay’s army unit, stationed in Afghanistan for the last 9 months, was due stateside in just a few days.  She and her daughter Emily made immediate plans to meet Clay in El Paso.  That left us just 2 days to visit.  I was so disappointed but ….. one can hardly argue with Motherhood and Uncle Sam!

I was still in Yellowstone – some 2.5 hours from Dubois – so Liz and Emily decided to meet me at Grant Village Campground for an overnight visit.  I was thrilled to see them pull up to my campsite that afternoon. 

Liz also brought a most welcome package from back home – my new license plate.  My old one had expired days earlier and I was feeling even more conspicuous with my Alabama tag.  For days I had been feeling like a fugitive from justice.  More than usual even.  

I last saw Liz a few months ago when she visited us but hadn’t seen Emily in over a decade.  What an exceptional young woman she is - she's living her passion and seeing the world including a recent long stay in Tibet.  We had a great time over a real campfire (my first of the trip) and a weenie roast.   

Emily and Boozer had a close encounter with this elk bull we had seen earlier near our campsite.  Emily reported that the elk passed within a few feet of her!  

The next morning, Liz and Emily made banana and walnut pancakes expertly cooked over Emily’s alcohol stove.   The best meal I’ve had in a while!

Later in the morning, we left Yellowstone and headed to Jackson Hole for lunch then drove through the majestic in-your-face Grand Tetons.

The scenery on the drive to Dubois was absolutely stunning but I took no photos as I was occupied with keeping up with Liz's jeep, getting the GDB over a grinding 9,500 foot pass, and enduring a brief hailstorm.  But it was perhaps the most beautiful drive of my entire trip.  Believe me, that's saying something!

The mile-long driveway to the house is narrow, winding, and paved with gravel.  Of course, Liz has a lot of experience in all kinds of weather with the ups and downs - including hauling a 6-horse trailer.  It is with deep relief that I hand over my keys. 

Liz and her husband Denny purchased the land for their dream home years ago.  After years of steadily chipping away at it on a part-time basis, in between their respective job responsibilities, the dream was realized.  

The views from the house are indescribably gorgeous.

What's most impressive is that Liz's husband, Denny, built the house himself.      

Denny, who lists carpentry among his many talents, even built much of the furniture like the table behind the sofa and the bookcase.  I am kicking myself for not getting more photos of his craftsmanship.  He even chose the interior colors.

The next morning Liz, Boozer, and I hiked to one of her favorite overlooks right above their property.  I could have stayed there all day enjoying the quiet splendor.   

Boozer surveys his kingdom.

While the girls got packing, I managed to get some work done in yet another fabulous on-the-road office. 

We concluded our visit with  lunch at Cowboys, a Dubois eatery patronized by real cowboys.  I order – what else? – the cowboy breakfast.  And I discover than I really like spicy elk sausage.

After a tour of downtown Dubois, it was time to say goodbye.  Too soon.

Well, at least we had a little time together and I was able to see how the family’s vision has been realized.  I'm so proud for this deserving hard-working family.

I look forward to returning with John one day and spending more time in this mountain-top heaven.



  1. It would be hard not to be distracted by those mountains while driving, just gorgeous!

    What a beautiful home your friends have! I would love to live in a setting like that some day, it is all too easy to imagine myself looking out at those views every single day.

  2. That house and location are gorgeous.

  3. What an absolutely gorgeous home and location! (Or I could havd said, Like Judie said.) I'd love a tiny one-room shack up there with a big wood burning stove. I'd just sit and enjoy the views during the summer and the snowy mountains during the winter. I also love those small towns. Nice they shared with you! :)

  4. What a beautiful place cor a home. The wonderful Windows provide spectacular frames for the splendid scenery. Sounds like you had a wonderful visits. I would not have been able to get any work done, you are far more disciplined than I am.

  5. What a lovely place. That Liz is a tall one, isn't she? Or are you just leaning? And Emily....what a natural beauty.

  6. WOW! What more can one say.

  7. Awesome home. Great to have friends in beautiful places. :-).

  8. Blown away by the scenery around the house. Amazing....and your friends must be amazing to have manifested such a home!

  9. Hi Kim:

    I hope you are has been 2 weeks since your last post and I thought that seemed odd since you were on a trip and no wrap-up for when you returned home.

    This trip has been epic and fun to follow. Thanks for sharing all of it.

    Also, you have lost weight haven't you?


    1. Hi Barbara,

      Thanks for checking in! Yes, I've been home for a couple of weeks now getting back into the happy domestic routine. I intended to do a 'wrap-up' post but haven't felt motivated to do so yet.

      And yes, I have lost weight. 22 pounds to be exact! It took me almost exactly one year to do it. I'm determined to keep it off and not be faced with having to lose the same pounds over and over again.

  10. Love the bear spray centerpiece at your campground breakfast.

  11. WOW. Just WOW. My mouth was hanging open as I scrolled down through your post and saw all those pictures of the Grand Tetons, and THEN the views from your friend's house!! oh. my. god. I'm so impressed you actually got any work done with a view like that. Simply amazing. Breathtaking. I don't have words. Thank you so much for posting them. (And now that I've read this post, I am even more flattered you're reading my blog - it's so boring in comparison! LOL)

    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by. On the contrary, your blog is most interesting. You've accomplished so much and I admire your perseverance. I'm sure many people can related to your challenges and goals. I look forward to cheering you on to the future you are making for yourself and your fur-kids!

  12. Hi Kim, I was looking for a wrap up blog post to your trip also and saw your reply to Barbara. I have not been posting much lately so know how it is to be unmotivated. I am wondering if you track your fuel costs while traveling. I have been thinking about getting a class B because I may become an any-timer instead of a full-timer. My RV is pretty small but I'm thinking a small class B may be more fuel efficient and would also be my auto/main vehicle as I like to walk, bike and don't mind using public transportation. Thanks.

    1. Hi Teri,

      I do keep track of fuel costs. The GDB got 15.1 MPG on this trip. The range was from 14.9 to 15.3. Not bad considering how much climbing she did. I put 8,990 miles on the GDB on this trip and spent $2,237. Again, not bad for a 16-week vacation. The B is pretty clunky as an everyday driver but still doable. Good luck in your decision!

  13. What a wonderful house! And the views on your trip and from their place are beyond beautiful!


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