I am not the most well-traveled person in history but I think I have been to my fair share of places. Just in the area of national parks/monuments I can count off the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Zion, Sequoia, Rainbow Bridge, Carlsbad Canyon just to name a few. I’ve visited Washington DC, the St. Louis Arch, and Niagara Falls. But I had never been to Yellowstone in Wyoming and I had always wanted to go.
Can you call yourself an American if you haven’t been to Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone? I’m not sure if you can.
Now that I have been there I realize I really didn’t get what Yellowstone was all about. Like everyone else I knew about Old Faithful, but I didn’t get that the whole park is pretty much animated by geo-thermal activity…everywhere. It was amazing.
A park ranger explained to us as were sitting and waiting for Old Faithful to explode that Yellowstone sits on top of an enormous volcano (like 100 miles wide) where energy from the Earth’s core penetrates to the surface. It was easy to believe. After we started exploring the park, everywhere one looked you saw energy bursting through the ground.
We slept in tents during our stay. The first night dipped into the low 30°s and lots of us were cold but each night warmed up a little.
Yellowstone had full rivers and was so beautifully green. We saw so much wild life: deer, elk, bison, coyote, osprey, bald eagle. Paige saw a bear driving back from the showers. Dad, Field, and Freesia saw young moose on their way out of the park.
I think the only thing we saw that wasn’t great was…Old Faithful. We arrived to see Old Faithful right after it had erupted. So that means we had to sit and wait for it to erupt again for 90 minutes. In the sun. We were all pretty much spent by the time it went off. It was nice but we were too toasted to really enjoy it. We even imagined out loud that the wait would have been easier if dirt bike riders were jumping the geyser doing stunts with the possibility that it would go off and they would get burnt to a crisp by the steam. The people around us (from Europe) gave us some unusual looks but what can you expect after an hour in the sun.
I have so many beautiful pictures I’ve decided to do two posts to show them. This would be the first installment then.
Here is some video from us sitting and waiting for Old Faithful, complete with uncensored geyser criticism.
Oh, I almost forgot to explain the title of this post. It turns out that after so many years of visiting Yosemite I had a particularly difficult time saying Yellowstone. It always came out “Yosemite.” After a while I decided to do it on purpose but don’t tell anyone.