This last weekend Jason, our friend Nate, and I drove to Yellowstone National Park in Montana. Yellowstone is the largest and oldest national park in the world. I had been once before with my parents when I first came to Idaho for school, but Jason has never been so he was twice as excited as I was. Jason was so excited to go that he bought a season pass! Good thing I enjoy going.
Our adventure started moments into the park when we saw our first lone bison next to the road by the river. Jason has been wanting so badly to see a bison. No one really knows where this desire came from. He practically jumped out of the car before stopping it to get a closer look. I stayed in the car. I would’ve more enthusiastic about seeing a bison if we weren’t handed a warning that said "Bison can run 3 times faster than you can. Many visitors have been 'gored' by bison. Do not approach bison." I suppose my personal rule in this situation was ‘if other people are doing it, I guess it's okay. So I finally got out of the car and looked at it through the trees. Goal #1— check.
As we kept driving through the park to our destination of none other than Old Faithful, I found it kind of comical that we passed hundreds of bison, most of which were in herds. We had to be careful while driving because there were a lot of bison crossing the street. We stopped at an area where there were different hot spots that we could walk around. This place was really cool because all of the hot spots were different. Some of them made a beautiful blue color, others bubbled, and some smelled of sulfur or rotten eggs.
While we waited for Old Faithful to erupt at its scheduled time, the three of us sat and ate our lunches that we packed. Old Faithful is really amazing. It blasts up to 150 feet in the air! Jason and I were kind of distracted by it so we didn’t really get a good picture of how high it was. After a trip to the gift shop, we continued on our way to Fairy Falls. During our short drive, we ran into a large crowd of cars. We pulled over to see what the commotion was about. Turns out, there was a bear by the river feeding on a deer carcass! Oh geez! I was super freaked out, but because of my rule of "if everyone else is doing it, it must be okay." Jason kept saying earlier that after seeing his bison, he wanted to see a bear. I told him if I saw a bear, I’d cry. I didn’t. Goal # 2— check.
We proceeded to Fairy Falls. We drove a little way and then had to hike mostly flat ground, but a good majority of it was through trees. I thought for sure we’d see a creature while walking and possibly get eaten, but it was comforting to see people walking behind and in front of us and back down the path alive. The hike was 2.5 miles. I started to get really excited when I could hear the rushing water in the distance. This waterfall was beautiful! It was 197 feet tall. I could stay there all day. When we stood by the edge of the water, we could feel a light mist hitting our skin. This felt great because we were really hot from the hike and the sun. Goal #3— check.
After enjoying the beautiful view, we hiked back down another 2.5 miles. I kind of like all this hiking we’ve been doing. It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something and that I’m actually exercising. Jason really likes it too. He says we’re going to be pros, we’ll see about that. On our way home we saw the last of our bison and elk. And no car accidents this time! Goal #4— check.