I admit it; I’m completely obsessed with Yellowstone National Park. The first time I was there, I think I was two or three. I have no memory of that trip at all. Over the years since then, my family would talk about maybe going back someday, but it never happened. We didn’t have much money when I was a kid, so trips were nearly always to see family, which I agree, was more important. Other than seeing boulders painted yellow here and there (a form of advertising in Wyoming, I guess), I never thought about Yellowstone National Park much.
After I was married and had a family of my own, we still usually spent vacations with family. Leisure travel just wasn’t a priority. My husband is a bit of a homebody. He thinks he doesn’t like to go on trips, but I’ve found that once we get on the road, he relaxes and has a good time.
The summer of 2006 found us in the middle of some major life changes. My father had died just a year before, and my mom decided her house and yard were too much for her to handle on her own. She had kicked some ideas around of what to do, and where to live, if she sold her house. Chad said she should add herself a house onto ours. So she did. Construction started in the spring of 2006, and by July, we felt we needed to get away for a few days. So on the spur of the moment, we decided to visit Yellowstone. I cannot remember how the decision to go there came about, and I had no idea I was about to become completely addicted to a place!
That first trip to Yellowstone was magical. We were in awe of God’s creation! Megan was almost 8, and fell in love with all the animals we saw. She kept a journal of each one, and how many we’d seen, but she did give up counting bison after the first day! She decided that the ravens were her very favorites, and every time she saw one, she’d exclaim, “Raven buddy!” which happened quite a bit! I think there are as many ravens in Yellowstone as bison. Ravens are extremely smart, and will get into everything. We saw one opening a motorcyclist’s backpack, and from then on, Megan was hooked. She even has a t-shirt with a raven on it that says "raven lunatic".
We all loved the scenery, waterfalls, quiet picnic areas along the river, and of course the geysers and hot springs. But the way I felt about Yellowstone was just a little bit different. I knew I had to go back. Three days was definitely not enough!
Since then, we have spent a week each year in Yellowstone, and we still have not explored it all. We have a system all worked out. We travel to Cody, WY, stay the night there, purchase groceries and supplies, and then drive that last hour or so to the park the next morning. We spend five days and nights in Yellowstone, which for me, feels like a piece of Heaven on Earth. It makes my soul sing!
|Webcam capturing Old Faithful erupting on 2-26-12, my birthday!|
When I’m not in Yellowstone, I can still get my fix by looking at the webcams online. I love it when I randomly check on Old Faithful and it is erupting! There are also cameras on top of Mt. Washburn and at Mammoth Hot Springs. It is such fun to watch the changes happening there with the seasons.
This year, we are going to Yellowstone in August. While I hate to wish that much of the summer away too quickly, August cannot get here fast enough!
Do you have a favorite place you like to visit?