Saturday, September 22, 2012

wyoming // yellowstone

And then there were mountains.

Probably every Midwesterner feels this way, but aren't mountains awesome? I adore them. Well, not so much driving on/through them (those roads are curvy and man, those drops are steep), but definitely looking at them. Mountains are my absolute favorite. You know, as opposed lakes or deserts or just plain hills :)

Lucky for me, Wyoming has an abundance of mountains. And a ton of horses too. Like South Dakota and billboards, we are convinced there are actually more horses than people in Wyoming. Often, we would drive for miles and miles and miles and never lay eyes on another human being. The emptiness was at once terrifying and serene.

Of course, the whole point of going to Wyoming was to see Yellowstone. While I don't consider myself outdoorsy in the least (Dave has at least camped and even gone skiing), I loved every single rocky, rugged, nature-y minute of it. We had such a fantastic time, we vowed to return at some point in our lives -- and maybe even camp (like for real - outside).

Because of the long drive still ahead of us, we only had a few hours to spend in Yellowstone. Luckily, the weather was perfect and it was not crowded at all.

Overall, the scenery was gorgeous and the natural wonders were breathtaking. The animals, however, seemed to be hiding. Dave really wanted to see a bear; I was hoping to see a moose. No luck. But we did see a lot of bison and even got to experience a "Bison Jam," which was just plain surreal. We also happened to stumble upon some cute little river otters hamming it up for the tourists.

Even though we got lost once or twice, it was so worth the detour.

When I asked Dave if he had anything to add to the above, he responded, "It was fine, but we didn't even see a yellow stone." Sigh.

Some highlights:
we made it!
stinky mud pot
margot had a good time - lots to sniff
grand canyon
just a little lost
lower falls
yellowstone express
painters pots
he was pretty excited about the sulfur volcano
approaching the springs
prismatic spring
bacterial mats
damage from forest fires
pretty excited about the geysers
lone buffalo
... ignored
where the buffalo roam
see you next time, yellowstone!

And last but not least, the Bison Jam:

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