It’s hard to put some experiences into words.
But, I’ll give it a go.
From July 9 to the 16, a friend and I went on a road trip, visiting Badlands National Park, Bighorn National Forest, Devil’s Tower National Monument, Garden of the Gods, and, of course Yellowstone.
I would be writing for days if I went into detail about all of the parks, so I’ll narrow this column to only Yellowstone.
The giant park is located on the western side of Wyoming. But, the park stretches into two other states — Montana (three percent) and Idaho (one percent). The park is larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined.
Unfortunately, we had only planned to be in Yellowstone for one night and one day. To conquer the park would take much, much longer. But we tried.
At almost every turn of the head, there was an awesome sight to see. And even the strong scent of sulfur couldn’t dull the moment.
Yellowstone is on top of a volcanic hot spot, which gives the park more than 500 active geysers, which is more than half of the world’s geysers. (Thanks, Internet!)
Geysers are beautiful. Colorful. And, very dangerous.
According to yellowstonepark.com, more than 20 people have died from geysers, hot springs, and the surrounding springs.
The waters can be boiling, reaching upwards of 250 degrees.
There was no way we would see all 500 geysers, and by no means does the park mark each and every one, and nps.gov only shows 22 geysers marked as active.
We did see geysers, though. Don’t worry.
We also saw wildlife. A lot of it.
Prairie dogs scoured the flatland, and pronghorns run like whitetail around here.
Bison hung back by themselves, like most male bison do, grazing on grass, and showing no threat, even though they have killed people too, and can run up to 35 miles-per-hour.
We didn’t see any wolves, unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?).
We did see one grizzly bear, but he or she was by no means a monster.
But, as we drove around the park, looking for either cool pull-offs or hiking trailheads, we decided to take a little “scenic route,” as the Yellowstone map writes it.
The road was called Firehole Canyon Drive. That road was the biggest hidden gem in the world’s first national park, in my opinion.
It opens up to the Firehole River, which streets 21 miles throughout Wyoming and is apart of the Missouri River.
Boulders created a path for the water to rush down through. And three waterfalls drop gallons throughout Yellowstone.
We had to make a U-turn to get on the road, after deciding to take it a little late. But, man, it was worth every second of the drive.
Hidden gems like that are sprinkled through the park, and my only regret on the trip is we didn’t find too many more.
It was a nice break from the east coast, but I’m happy to be back. I’ll miss the mountains, but the hills around Oil Creek will work. At least for now.
And before you ask, Old Faithful didn’t shoot anything more than the smell of sulfur and smoke, at least while we were there.
Lohr is the sports editor at The Herald. He can be can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 827-3634.