I’m going to share an adventure with you over the next several days of our trip to the Yellowstone National Park. I took over a thousand images (admittedly with some duplications) and created some memories that will last a life time. Warning! If you don’t like mountains, geysers, forests, and wild animals (especially Bison (lots of Bison)) then you probably should skip this blog. Also if you click on the images they will reveal to a larger more detailed version of the image.
The beginning of this adventure started when I learned that Angie, Ben, and the Grand-kids were going on a two week vacation to the Bad Lands, Mount Rushmore, and Yellowstone. Now I have been to Yellowstone three times in my life. First time was as a 10 year old child in 1957. Two years before the 7.3 earthquake that occurred in 1959. But Jeanne had never been there but had wanted to see it for sometime.
So we planned our trip and she started reading everything she could get her hands on about the park. We only wanted to see Yellowstone and we only wanted to spend a shot time there so we drove to Moline, Illinois. Had a nice meal and met some really nice people who were locals and enjoying the bar and grill we stopped at.
Got up at zero-dark-thirty and headed to the airport to check in. I hate flying and it didn’t take long to remind myself of why I hate flying. The mask requirement, the security check, the long walk to the gate, getting squeezed into a sardine can and fighting for overhead compartment space, well okay you get the picture.
Our first stop was Denver International Airport. We flew in a small regional jet to Denver
For those of you that have never been to the Denver Air Port, it is huge. You actually have to take train from one boarding gate to another. It’s just massive. They have moving walkways, which does help some. It is the 3rd busiest airport in the country.
After a couple of hours we boarded our second plane to Bozemon, Montana. Interesting enough that it was a much bigger 737. More head room but they added two more rows of seats so just as crowded.
Another fun thing about flying is that you have to wear the damn mask from the time you enter the airport until you’re final destination and you are outside.
We retrieved our luggage and headed for the rental car area. We had rented a vehicle from Enterprise but there booth was closed and the agents from National Rental handled our reservation. They gave us a midsize Caddie, which was not too bad. It got great gas mileage, which was a good thing as gasoline was $4.29 a gallon in Yellowstone.
To get to West Yellowstone (one of the entrances to the park) you have to take highway 191 from Bozemon. There are two things about highway 191. The scenery is beautiful as you briefly skirt the park and contrary to what I had read it is a scary drive. Heavy traffic and people in a hurry, combined with a two lane road that curves back and forth. You have to pay attention to the road, which is difficult because of the beautiful scenery. The Gallatin River wanders down the road and crosses under the road in several places.
We saw a lot of rafters on the water and so when I got the opportunity for a “pull out” I did so and photographed some of the action. There were at least 10 rafter boats in the water and lots of screaming and yelling. It looked like a lot of fun if I were 40 years younger. 🙂
The image above was taken by me standing just inside the guard rail from the highway, with trucks, cars, and RVs whizzing by at a heavy pace. It was like the game “frogger” when I tried to get back to the car on the other side of the road.
I’m not sure what this rock formation is called. It was hard to get a clear image of it because of the traffic and when there was a pull out there were trees blocking my view.
One of the things we discovered on our way down to West Yellowstone was the dense haze in the sky from all the fires in West. It made photography a little more difficult and frankly it affected my breathing. That smoke and the higher altitude really made walking for me difficult.
It didn’t stop Jeanne. Every the explorer and not wanting to miss anything she traveled down a lot of different paths while I was photographing things.
While she was exploring I was blown away the shear enormity of the forest. For as far as the eye could see were trees.
More to come. Tomorrow we’ll explore some of the park and travel down what’s called the lower loop.
Thanks for stopping by and be careful.