So we did it. Took the family on that great American road trip to Yellowstone. We had lots of great stops along the way, and got our money’s worth from our National Parks Annual Pass. (Turns out that great 4th-graders-and-family deal only applies during the school year!)
If you’re headed to Yellowstone and want some advice…buy a guide book. Seriously. Lots of good advice in there. You’ll use it. A lot. Or you’ll drive past a lot of really cool stuff you never knew was there.
So I thought I’d share 3 surprises I encountered, even as guide-book prepared as I thought I was:
1. Breath. As in, why can’t I catch mine? It took me a few days of ego-battering before I realized that when I came down through that gorgeous mountain pass to enter through the Northeast Entrance, I never really made it all the way back down the other side….Old Faithful sits at 7,367 feet – just about the same as Machu Picchu!
2. Bison. While we’re talking heights – who knew that bison were such alpine forest dwellers! Sure – there they were by the hundreds in the valleys and plains. But what are they doing in the woods? That wasn’t in Dances with Wolves.
3. Babies. So all this wildlife that Yellowstone promises? It’s there. And apparently when it’s not busy migrating or preparing for winter, it’s busy making babies. With all we saw during our week-long early July visit, we could hardly name an animal we saw that did not include miniature, fuzzy, just want to pick it up and cuddle it, versions of the species. Bison, bears, elk, pronghorn, deer, turkeys, heck squirrels and baby duckies – they’re all cute!
If you have never been to our first National Park — make your plans now.
If you have, what surprised you? Tell us about it in the comments, or let us know on Facebook!