If you’re going to take the Great American Roadtrip, there are some visits that, to my mind, are non-negotiable. You must see Niagara Falls. You must see the Grand Canyon You must see Yosemite. You must see Mt. Rushmore (stay tuned).
And you must see Yellowstone.
Yes - there are dozens if not hundreds of other special places in our country - between national parks, state parks, county parks and unique cities and towns. But these 5 are the classics, the places that really define our country, and the places that visitors from other countries make special trips to come see.
We spent a long afternoon and a full day in Yellowstone and really just explored one corner of it. In our pre-trip planning Data expressed wanting to see Old Faithful so we geared our visit around the southwest quarter of the park that Old Faithful resides in.
We walked paths, marveled at colors, felt the moist heat from geysers as we walked past, and took great joy in finding wild life to stop and photograph. We - along with a intimate weekday off-season crowd of about 800 people - played the role of audience for the long-running drama of the Old Faithful geyser. We learned to heed the speed limits as we had close encounters with both a bison and some deer. And we took advantage of having food and a camp stove on board to make supper rather than wait in the exiting traffic jam.
And I got to witness another of my favorite moments of this big family adventure. It’s when one of the kids - moreso Storybird because she was a tougher sell on this trip - takes note of something, an unabashed “whoa!” escapes from their lips, and they dart off to look at whatever it was more closely. Those moments, when the joy of discovery becomes paramount, make all the effort and cost of “getting there” worthwhile.
It was too hard to whittle down the Yellowstone photos, so here are the ones from our first day.