Sunday, July 27, 2014

Vacation Review--Yellowstone National Park

So let me preface this by saying Yellowstone is huge--like really, really huge.  90% of the people that visit Yellowstone (and there are a lot of people that visit it) only see 5% of the park.  That said, we saw about 1% in our short time there.  I wish we could have stayed longer, but we just didn't have the time.  We hope to go back some day, and actually stay in Yellowstone.  That is the way to really see it--stay in the park.  That is also not the easiest thing to do.  Their rooms/lodges/cabins get reserved about a year in advance.  I checked 6 months before we were going to be there and couldn't find anything.  So, Yellowstone is definitely a plan ahead kind of trip.  I think if you want to camp, it is a little easier and some places are first come first served, but we (meaning me) did not want to camp.  So not my thing :)  So here is a look at a little, tiny bit of the Amazing Yellowstone National Park. . .

There are geysers and hot water springs everywhere.  This was near Yellowstone Lake

These pools are extremely deep in the center and very, very hot

Of course you have to see Old Faithful--it is over Miss O shoulder and not erupting at the moment or anytime soon because there aren't thousands of people waiting to see it.

This is the landscape around Old Faithful--awesome, like a science fiction movie or something.  

And here we are with thousands of others waiting for Old Faithful to go off.  Yes, it was raining and cold.  And yes Yellowstone is pretty crowded, but it was definitely not as bad as we had heard such as back to back traffic and such.  We didn't run into that at all.  We got around really easily, but there are a lot of people there, and, as with almost any National Park, English is not the main language you hear.  Lots of people from lots of different counties are there which is cool.  Did you know National Parks are truly an American idea?  And Yellowstone is the first ever National Park.  My kids had fun trying to figure out what languages everyone else was speaking.

Old Faithful erupting--a pretty amazing sight.  It needs to be on your bucket list :)

Yellowstone also has its own Grand Canyon and 2 amazing water falls.  This was the lower falls.  

And then the landscape is just so neat and so varied--you have areas like this, the lakes, meadows, mountains, plains, and there are a lot of animals.  We saw lots and lots of buffalo, deer, elk, a coyote and many others.

This area was neat with the runoff into the river.

This was the Dragon's cave

And Mr J was excited about the mud pots

The wildflowers were gorgeous!!!

And then just as we were leaving the park we saw this. . .a grizzly bear

A real, live, in the wild grizzly bear.  That was cool.  We obviously weren't very close to it, and we didn't try to feed it (you will need to obey all the "Do not feed the bears" and other animals signs while there) but it was truly amazing to see.  Such a fun trip and a great way to leave the park!!!  We hope to get back someday!

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