One Kentucky mom and her son went on the adventure of a lifetime when they took a 10-day unplanned trip through 10 states and 3 national parks and we've got details.

THE ULTIMATE GRADUATION PRESENT

Jayden Johnson graduated from Daviess County High School in May and just a few weeks after he walked the line his mom and he basically took on the United States.

Rachelle Stone Johnson
Rachelle Stone Johnson
loading...

They decided to hop in the car and 10-day unplanned summer road trip, kind of.

10 DAYS-10 STATES-3 NATIONALS PARKS

When they started out they had no plans or reservations. They just knew they wanted to spend two nights at each location and visit three different national parks.  They left on Thursday, June 2nd, and headed straight to Denver. The only stops they made were for food and gas.  They had one mission when the first two days and that was to get to Denver so they could hike with some of their family.  When they got there they celebrated a wedding, visited, and did a bit of hiking.

Rachelle says;

My cousin told me about this great hike we needed to do. Saturday morning Jayden and I got up at 4:00 am and went to St Mary’s Glacier. Wow, this was a gorgeous hike. We started at 10,000 feet and went to 12,000 feet. I highly recommend doing this hike if you’re close to Denver, it is about 45 minutes outside the city and well worth the views. If you get there early you can avoid crowds. It was pretty crowded by the time we were leaving at 10 am.

 

RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...

NEXT STOP GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK

RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...

It is about a five-hour drive to the Grand Tetons where they were staying. They stayed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Rachelle told me as Jayden was driving she would look up places to stay.

I found this super cute campsite along the Snake River. They had tent and RV spots but also had different cabins you could rent. It was raining when we got there. I decided I wasn't pitching a tent in the rain and rented one of those cute cabins for the night. It didn't have sheets or a bathroom. Just a permanent log cabin tent basically. It even had a front porch and a swing. Highly recommend this campground. They were so friendly and accommodating to all our needs. The next morning Jayden and I went to Jenny lake for a beautiful hike and views of the Tetons. That night we slept in our tent right on the river!

RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...

ON TO YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...

After spending 2 days in the Tetons and Jackson Hole area they headed north for 4 hours to Yellowstone. Yellowstone National Park and the Tetons are actually connected but there is a whole lot of in-between to drive before you find life again on the other side.

Rachelle does make this suggestion;

Please be aware there isn’t much cell service. It is best to know all locations prior to getting into any of the parks. Navigation is best on your car and have the addresses ready. We almost got lost and would have ended up hours in the opposite direction! While in Yellowstone we hit all the high points. We didn’t do much hiking here since there were so many other things we wanted to see.

They made several stops along the way in Yellowstone to check out other cool places including;  Mud Volcano, Old Faithful, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone Falls, Mammoth Hot Springs, Grand Prismatic Spring, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and Yellowstone Lake.

There is a spot at the North entrance, a campsite called the Yellowstone Hot Springs. It had a hot spring and you could swim in it for a little fee. Definitely, a fun little thing to do! We did not camp inside any of the National Parks. All the campsites in the parks have very little to no cell service. I can’t be offline due to my job. We opted for campsites with service or wifi. After the 2 days in Yellowstone, we headed north a little more to Glacier National Park.

NEXT STOP, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...

It took another 10 hours to get to Glacier and made a super sweet discover along the way called Under Canvas.  There are actually several locations around the US. They are canvas tents with a wood-burning stove.

RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...

Rachelle says she loved staying at this campsite;

I will say the bed was the most comfortable bed I think I've ever slept in! I’m not sure if it was that or because I had slept in a tent or a car a few nights before. But dang it was a nice bed! This campsite had amazing staff and very clean shower houses. They would do nightly games and s'mores around a campfire. They had grills, food, snacks, cornhole boards, and board games to use anytime. Definitely recommend staying in one of these if you’re ever close to one of their locations.

 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST MOUNT RUSHMORE

The last leg of our journey was getting home. They drove from Glacier 12 hours east to check one more thing off their bucket list. Mount Rushmore! They stopped long enough to snap a few pictures because they were so tired from the 12-hour drive. They finished the trip in a hotel room just a mile from Mount Rushmore for the night.

MORE PHOTOS FROM THE TRIP

 

RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
RACHELLE STONE JOHNSON
loading...

What an absolutely incredible experience for mother and son.  Hats off to Rachelle, Jayden you have one really cool mom.