Home > Life as I know it, Rock Climbing, Travel > Dirtbag climbing: Family style

Dirtbag climbing: Family style

Mt Rushmore

Taking my kids on their first road trip out West may have left me broke, but it was so worth it. Not only was it their first time west, but also their first time outdoor climbing and first time dirtbagging it.  We took I-90 out to Lander Wyoming and hit all of the attractions like Corn Palace, Mount Rushmore, Badlands, Wall Drug then rounded it out with a (too short of a stint) through the Tetons and Yellowstone.

Being a single mom who doesn’t make a whole lot of money, I knew deciding to take them on a trip like that would be a stretch.  My plan? Do it as cheaply as possible!  Which meant choices like: cereal with milk on the back of the tailgate in the mornings in parking lots for breakfast.  The first morning of this my 12 year old showed her disdain by rolling her eyes and scrunching up her nose, “Really mom?”  Yes, really, my little diva!  We also lived on Nutella, PBJ, and other simple foods.

My son eating breakfast

Other dirtbagging tricks were on the way out sleeping in my truck.  My son was short enough to lie down in the backseat and my daughter and I reclined the front seats.  It was really pretty comfortable.  When we arrived to our destination, the International Climber’s Festival, we opted for the free camping, took $2 showers at NOLS, and I volunteered to offset the cost of my admission.

By the middle of the trip they pretty much embraced our hippie ways.  One of the funniest things was when we stopped at a truck stop in Rapid City for a shower.  My daughter was like, we can’t stop here, it is full of “burly men!”  I told her to trust me, it was perfectly legit.  My days from following the Dead taught me many tricks of living on the road.  She calmed down when she saw it was in fact clean and not at all sketch.  This trip reminded me of how much fun I used to have in the summers living like a hippie, I fully embraced it and had a great time, my attitude wore off on them and they started to relax and have fun with it too.

My daughter crushin' it at the Ok Corral

Road tripping out West is the quintessential American experience.  I am really grateful I was able to do this trip with my kids.  It is something they will always remember.  I giggle when I think of them at my age talking about it to each other, saying something like, “Remember when our crazy mom took us out West when we were kids and we lived like dirtbags?  That was so cool!”

Don’t miss my guest post on PembaServes detailing the International Climber’s Festival.

  1. July 23, 2011 at 4:20 pm | #1

    Love it!!! Your kids are going to have some wonderful memories and stories from that trip! I can’t wait until my kids get a little bit older so I can do the same with them :)

    • July 24, 2011 at 4:18 am | #2

      Thanks! Yes, they are so sweet when they are little, but you can do so much more when they get older.

  2. Erica
    July 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm | #3

    Awesome Krysia! So glad you made so many great memories as a family!

    • July 24, 2011 at 3:43 am | #4

      Thanks! I am trying to make up for some lost time, they weren’t Cragbabies like Canaan!

  3. July 26, 2011 at 3:13 pm | #5

    That sounds awesome! Your kids are going to thank you when they’re older, b/c you’ve just enabled them to do so much more (travel cheaply, sleep in a truck, etc). There’s nothing like sleeping in the back of a truck on the side of the road in a desert to bring you closer.

    • July 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm | #6

      Thanks, I hope they someday thank me for teaching them you don’t have to have money to have fun and live out your dreams!

  4. July 26, 2011 at 4:16 pm | #7

    “Yes, really, my little diva!” ha!

    Well done K!

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