In 2010 we visited Yellowstone National Park with my parents. My dad was staying only for about 3 weeks as he had to get back to work. We had booked our flights for the day after they arrived.
We stayed in the Yellowstone Basin Inn in Montana, just a couple of miles from the north entrance. One morning my parents and me woke up early, and went to grab some coffee at the hotel lobby. We started chatting with this elderly couple, and they told us a lot about their two week road trip. I was sharing our travel plans for the next three months. The lady was very surprised that we brought my parents all the way from California to Yellowstone, and that they had seen so much of the US in a couple of trips. She could feel the excitement in my parent’s voices and said “You are a good daughter, and your parents are very lucky”. It might be true, I am not sure; but one thing I am sure of is – K is a wonderful Son in Law and my parents are the luckiest to have him. He was the one who booked the tickets and planned the trip as soon as we knew they were coming. The only reason being that when we visited Yellowstone in 2007, I was so mesmerized by the place; I had said that I wanted to come back with my parents and sister. He remembered that, and made sure that my wish was fulfilled. He has planned many wonderful experiences for my parents, the memories of which will last forever. Here’s to many more to come!Yellowstone always feels out of this world to me. The hot springs, fumaroles, canyonlands, lush open fields, the mountains, and the animals are the perfect setting for a nature enthusiast. Yellowstone is a huge park, and covers Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. The best way to reach is to fly in to Salt Lake City, and drive from there. It is about a 5 hour drive. You could also fly into Bozeman,MT.
We stayed at the Yellowstone Basin Inn when we visited in 2007, and had loved it. This time we experienced different weather patterns each day during our 5 day stay. From snow, to rain, to sun; each day was different. The first day when we were driving into the park, there were tons of people stopped on the road and that in Yellowstone means an animal spotting. We got down, gathered our binoculars and headed towards the crowd. Down the mountains we could see a mother grizzly playing with 3 of her cubs, and what a sight that was. A perfect way to start our perfect vacation. We went on to see thousands of bisons, more grizzly bears, a black bear, elks, moose, deer, a big horn sheep, all in their natural habitat.
One of the days we drove to the Yellowstone Canyon - beautiful steep canyons, yellow and red in color. That is where Yellowstone gets its name. There are two waterfalls -the Upper and Lower falls and you can hike to the mouth of the falls. We hiked down Tower Falls as well. We also drove to the Hayden Valley and Lamar valley, which with their vast open plains, are perfect for animal spotting. The best time to go is May - July to see the animals. They move higher up in the mountains as temperatures increase later during the year.
You cannot miss the Old faithful when in Yellowstone. It erupts almost every 20 minutes, and shoots over 5000 gallons of boiling water to a height of over hundred feet. There are tons of trails near the Old Faithful, and we had a scary incident on one of them. There was a group of 20+ bisons heading our way. All other hikers stayed put till the bisons crossed the trails. K and my dad just keep walking as though its no big deal. These are huge 1000lbs animals, and have been known to attack humans on trails. I was terrified, and later embarrassed with the way I screamed. Anyways, we laughed about it later.
One of the days,we went to the Norris Geyser Basin. It has many trails with hot springs and mud pots all around. You feel as if you are walking on the surface of the moon. The only signs of life are the thermoacidophiles, that live in extremely acidic, high temperature, sulphur rich environments. They also give the area different shades of colors like blue, green and orange.
The last day we hiked around the Mammoth Springs area. It is a large hill of travertine that has been created over thousands of years. Hot water cools and gets deposited as calcium carbonate on the terrace.
Everyday we would leave at around noon from the hotel, and pick up a picnic lunch at Tumbleweed Bookstore and Cafe. They had great sandwiches and wraps. We would find a nice spot to enjoy our picnic along the way. The nights would be spent playing board games, UNO, cards, and pulling each others legs. Hearing my stories some friends went to Yellowstone after we got back, and had a wonderful time. Plan your trip to Yellowstone, if you have not been there yet!
As we did not have a SLR at that time, the pics are not the best quality. Check some of these online pictures that I liked: