24 hours in America’s first national park.
After spending a wonderful, extremely hot and smokey week in Idaho with my family this past August, Brookelynn and I drove up to Yellowstone. Unfortunately, we only had 24 hours in this incredible arena of history and toursim as a midway point on our way to Billings, Montana to see more of my relatives.
With the minutes draining second by second, we decided to do as much as we could with our time. As soon as we passed through the western entrance with our outdated national parks pass (they let us in, eventhough it was expired) we were overcame by the park’s landscape. I repeatedly pulled the Jeep over on our way to the campground.
After we slowly rolled over our campground’s speed-bumps, popped-up our tent, and fed Saydee, we rushed out to make our way toward Old Faithful. Although, we wanted to stop every 200 feet or so to make pictures and take-in our surroundings, we pressed on with determination to the overcrowded parking lot of this majestic geyser. We arrived just in time. Everyone had their phones out ready and steeped in anticipation for the scalding hot water to burst forth from the ground. It was magnificent.
After that we took a bit of time and just walked around the area to gaze at all of the other geysers and volcanic manifestations. Being sure to get back in time to our Jeep to rescue Saydee from the heat, we drove onward the Grand Prismatic Geyser. The steam coming from under the Earth’s crust was fierce yet enjoyable; like a natural steam room. Tourists crowded the boardwalks with their foreign languages and selfie-sticks. Brookelynn and I calmly brushed past lingerers and held hands as we experienced this stunning landscape together for the first time.
Back at the campground we made dinner and headed over to catch the fire-side chat about photography and Yellowstone at the ampitheatre. However, the power wasn’t working so the kind park ranger explained his favorite things about the park, answered varied amounts of questions, and shared about its rich and detailed history. It was a delight. We mosied on back to the tent and slowly drifted away into sleep.
The next day we got up early, packed all of our belongings into our Yakima roof-top box, and sped out toward the north-east side of the park. We experienced about as much as you could with the given time. From herds of wild bison to crushing waterfalls, we toured so hard. With drowsiness from a jam-packed day quickly taking Brookelynn victim, she closed her eyes as our Jeep sped away, with me behind the wheel, into Wyoming’s northernmost mountains and into Montana.
Yellowstone, you are great and I will return to you.