We said goodbye to Salt Lake City, the mountains and our gorgeous view and began the journey to Yellowstone National Park.
It was a long trek to Yellowstone. We hadn’t been sleeping well, mom had a horrible cold and cough, and I couldn’t sleep through the night time hacking. Once again it was pretty gloomy day, and paired with the long stretches of nothingness, didn’t help the day seem any shorter.
I managed to make it 3 hours before handing the wheel to my mom. We took a quick break to eat our cold Thai leftovers (which were still great!). Our GPS decided to take us on a different, longer route, but happily this included Jackson Hole and the Grand Teton National Park. I went a bit crazy with the mountain photos, so I apologize for posting so many!
We finally ended up in Jackson, which is meant to be a really nice town. We stopped at the liquor store and I tried to find one from Tennessee that I had found during the Bonnaroo adventure called Collier and McKeel, but it was not there. I sampled some local whisky from the liquor shop fellows, but it was pretty pungent, so I declined. I ended up getting something regal called Eagle Rare. Apparently it’s an award winner. Hilarious.
After a very long day, we arrive at the south entrance. There wasn’t much wildlife on the journey through this entrance, but I chalked it up to all the rain. I was quite disappointed to find that there was no wifi in our hotel and none to be found nearby. They offered wired internet access (WHO OFFERS WIRED ACCESS!!) and my laptop is so advanced it does not have an Ethernet port. This would be a challenge. I also had to share one very small queen bed with my hacking mother. Apparently we got the last room in the entire place. Usually guests book a year in advance.
It was beginning to get dark when we popped outside to check out the view at our hotel, Lake Yellowstone Lodge.
The second day in Yellowstone we were very spoiled. The weather was beautiful. We made a few stops on the way to the Beartooth Highway Pass. We saw the steamy and stinky mud cauldrons, the upper and lower falls, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and tons and tons of Bison. We had to stop the car and waited for one big fella to finish crossing the road.
Unfortunately the nice weather brought the tour buses. There was 3 buses at the falls and I didn’t have the patience to wait in a lineup for an ‘off the beaten path’ view. It makes the experience pretty hard to enjoy. At first I was excited to see the Bison, but it wears off on you pretty quickly, they’re everywhere! Also an exchange student was gored the week before we arrived, so they can be unpredictable.
The beartooth highway was a bit of a let down. Everything we had seen was so alarmingly gorgeous, I felt like we couldn’t see anything new and marvellous anymore. We made it about halfway along the highway before turning back.
My mom compared the park to British Columbia. I couldn’t agree or disagree, since I haven’t spent much time there. I did have a great time photographing the round tailed ground squirrels at one of the scenic view stops.
On the way back just after the North East entrance there was a long lineup of cars stopped to gawk at a couple of moose with their scruffy baby. I don’t care much for hoards of people so we kept going. Then there was an even larger line up for a baby black bear up a hill. It was a bit quieter when we reached a group of cute deer just hanging out in the meadow so we took a quick break there.
I was quite surprised at the number of tourists who disobey the sign posts and warnings to stay back from the wildlife. People are crazy.
We made a stop at Tower Fall on our way back to the lodge. I decided that I wanted to trek down to try and get close to the water. It was just beginning to drizzle and the paths were narrow and without tread, slippery. It was alarmingly quiet despite all the tourists, and very isolated. A little girl wandered ahead of her parents to follow me down and take photos alongside me. I made it about halfway before realized how long it would take to actually get there. My mom was waiting somewhere near the gift shop, so I thought I had better not carry on and have her worry. It was a tough hike back up. Many of the paths are on a steep decline, so it’s great going down, but all your muscles start to cry as you huff and puff your way up. Yup, I am definitely out of shape.
Our second evening, I downed a couple of bourbons and gorged on some Oreos in order to achieve a blissfully unawares sleep. I was in bed by 8pm. This resulted in one very interesting dream. I was an avenger, possibly training under Jeremy Renner. I was also working with my boyfriend’s real life friend from Australia, Kara (who I’ve never met) doing some design work and had a space set up in her apartment. Kara was infatuated with Jeremy Renner, but he turned out to be a bit of a creep and gave me a kiss one night. I told Kara this, but she was not phased. On her birthday she invited him to go out, and he felt bad so he agreed. I left her place to find out his intentions, without informing her and she caught us walking up the road together and her suspicion went into alert mode. While she walked off, I collected my computer and mac external drive and went to buy her some balloons and a card to apologize. Then I woke up to some sharp snoring next to me.