After being invited to be part of a special medical team at an Oglala Lakota Sundance in the Black Hills of South Dakota, my husband and I decided to make it into a three week road trip vacation to include Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and a few other special places. This was no ordinary road trip for us (is there ever an ordinary road trip for anyone?). I had to start planning meals, cooking food, and preparing special dietary items for our son (who has gut issues and has started his healing process with help from Liz Davis at Full Life Wellness Center and Women’s Care /Bluewater Creek Farm, supplements, and the GAPS Diet, which I will write a special blog about in the near future). So, needless to say, he can’t eat out or even from a regular grocery store.

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About three months out I started the menu. I broke the three weeks into several sections: Part one would be in South Dakota. Part two would be heading to Cody Wyoming for a resupply and stopping to cook before heading into Part three; a week in Yellowstone, a few days in Grand Teton, and heading home to North Alabama. I knew there wouldn’t be very much organic/gluten free food for the rest of us inside Yellowstone and I wasn’t sure how many health food stores would carry what we would need in South Dakota and Wyoming. I left nothing up to chance and packed all our own homegrown grass fed beef, beef broth, homemade yogurt, Kombucha, all the bread my son would eat, Nut Butter, Jam, Granola, Oatmeal, and I cooked several dishes and froze them down.

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Special equipment we bought/borrowed just for this trip: two Orka coolers (28 quart and 75 quart, add some dry ice and it will freeze things that are not even cold!) and some ceramic frying pans for easy cleaning. Almost everything else came from our home.

I did buy The America The Beautiful Pass and this was very helpful getting into National Parks without waiting in line. And it is good for a year so we still have time to visit more.

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I also made herbal items just for taking on our trip. The Hand Sanitizer and 4-Thieves Vinegar were a must  for keeping us well. IMG_3019 (3)

This was the start to our herbal First Aid Kit. IMG_3022 (3)

To prepare our kids we camped out in the backyard and tried out sleeping bags, pads, etc. and made sure all things would work.IMG_3011 (3)

A few new items were bought for this trip and the Women’s Backpacking and Yoga trip planned for this fall (really excited about the Bartram Trail Trip in October!).IMG_2619 (3)

We took a short five day trip to North Carolina to see how the kids would do on a car trip in the mountains and adjusted a few details for travel.IMG_2208 (3)

How much food did I actually bring? A LOT! Six loaves of bread from Against All Grains recipe, two loaves of gluten free bread, Over a gallon of granola, a gallon of trail mix, a gallon of Against All Grains granola for my son (which got left in the freezer), Fruit roll ups, two gallons of yogurt, four gallons of Kombucha, two gallons of bone broth (frozen), 20 pounds of ground beef, three containers of already made and frozen casseroles, Fruit, Against All Grains Granola Bars, Cookies, Frozen cookie dough, ingredients to make items and recipes once we got to Cody for resupply and cooking, Cashew and Raisin trail mix for my son, and I am sure there is more that I am forgetting. My head is swirling with this list…

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How do you eat an elephant (or cook all that food while your husband works eight days on and five days off)? One bite (dish) at a time. So one month out from our trip,  I started cooking (along with the regular amount of cooking, homeschooling, running my own business, taking care of a farm, etc. on my own). I was able to combine some things like broth. I usually put a few pounds of bones in the crock pot and let them go for about a week, dipping off what my son needs every day. During trip preparation,  I would make broth every other day and pour off some for freezing in glass jars. The yogurt was similar and so was our regular food. I just made a little more than normal. The Bread and extra granola, fruit roll ups, and granola bars, cookies, well, those were labors of love.

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In my down time (ha!) I was looking at places to stay, debating to book the entire trip (yikes!) or leave some of it up to chance (double yikes!!). I managed to find a KOA Kabin for $65.00 a night for the first five nights in South Dakota, and one for our first night in Wyoming. Then a small house to do laundry, catch up, resupply, and cook in Cody Wyoming. Then came the hardest part of booking: finding a place to stay in Yellowstone ONE MONTH before we would be there. Somehow, luck was with us,  I managed four nights in the same campground and one night in a cabin (with a hot tub!). And I decided to leave it be. I can’t really remember if that was on purpose or I was just to sweat drenched and fatigued to make another attempt at booking a place on the internet or phone.

All I can say is that I am glad I had experience planning 21 day Outward Bound expeditions. This trip took all of my type A personality, organizational skills, and endurance (not much when you have adrenal fatigue) to plan.

How did all the planning work out? Pretty well, if I must say so myself (pat, pat). I probably cooked a little too much food as I didn’t consider my husband wouldn’t be working out and thus not as hungry, my son would get tired of eating PB and Jam sandwiches (really!?). Broth worked out really well, as did the Yogurt. Kombucha…well, we didn’t have enough room to pack all we needed. Granola was great (other than that gallon I forgot!). But overall, it all worked out very well. As for places to stay, we were very happy with the way everything went. Not planning and booking the last part of our trip allowed us the freedom to stay at an awesome campground in Yellowstone another night and to sight see other places on the way home.

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More details about the actual trip to come on future blog posts…

Want an herbal first aid kit? Items from the kit above or something created just for you? Details about the Women’s Backpacking and Yoga Trip this October? E-mail me at summer@motheringherbs.com.

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