Thursday, July 19, 2012


We ventured into Yellowstone on Tuesday and made the mistake of not grabbing camping right away.  The whole park is like a figure eight and we wanted to do the bottom circle, starting at the south and ending west.  By the time we got to the west campground it was full, so we went up to the top of the figure eight only to find that was also full.  Fun fun.  We'd enjoy what we could in the park, then have to find camping outside the park, which is about an extra hour drive at the end of the day.

We started off at Old Faithful and enjoyed the geysers around that area.  We got a surprise show from the lion geyser and got to see a bison.  We grabbed lunch and watched Old Faithful one last time before hitting the road and dealing with massive crowds the rest of the day.

Dave saw a kid posing like this and thought it was hilarious.  This is brother Andy's favorite geyser.  :)

Old Faithful finally went off!

My first Bison!
 If I could sum up yellowstone briefly... it is one of the weirdest places on earth, but you should only go here if you are okay with feeling like a schmoe tourist who is willing to walk on prescribed paths with no shade in July sun with hundreds and thousands of people.  I really didn't care for it.  I'm glad I saw it, but there is no reason for me to ever, ever go back, especially because we felt extremely unwelcome due to the lack of camping availability and the lack of the ability to find out any information about which sites still had space.

We hiked to the Yellowstone Grand Canyon, which was at the top of the lower falls, the biggest waterfall I've ever seen!  I suffered from major vertigo at the falls.  The water rushing by and the several hundred foot fall at my feet had me sitting on the bench while Dave enjoyed the view.  We also hit up the upper falls, which was less spectacular.   
Lower falls.  300 foot drop.

Yellowstone Cascade Canyon, 300 feet falls.

This is my "holy crap!" face.

Upper falls, not as far down.

I was starting to like this guy, pretty cozy.

Norris Geysers at sunset.  I'd have enjoyed the sunset more if we knew where we were going to be sleeping!

Such a weird place.  I highly recommend night viewing at Yellowstone.  There were only 10 total people at this place at 9:20pm.

We look totally wiped in this picture!  Long day!  Still had an hour drive in front of us.
After hitting the best geyser spot of the day at sunset, Norris, we left the park and headed towards West Yellowstone.  I thought it would be a campsite, but it was a town.  A town complete with a late night McDonalds.  Yup, it was 11:00, we had no place to stay, and we hadn't eaten dinner.  McDonalds it was!  Dave has a no-McDonalds rule, so he was extremely unhappy with this turn of events.  We drove around town and found several full RV sites, then illegally pulled into an empty one after hours and paid in the morning.  We paid an incredible amount of money, but had electricity and so we charged our phones and slept in.

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