Yellowstone National Park was created in 1872 but it has always been a special place. It's sheer beauty and geothermal features make it one of the most treasured places on the planet and 3.4 million visitors a year can attest to that. It certainly brings us back year after year. For some reason this place never gets old to me. I love being in these mountains and it if difficult to leave each and every time. The temperature is right where I like it and the weather usually isn't too bad. This year however, it seemed to want to rain right when we were cooking dinner. Every day, like clockwork. That's okay though, we were prepared for the weather because that's just part of the game.
|Juvenile Bald Eagle, Yellowstone NP|
So what was good? The park's wildlife did not disappoint (it never has) and we were able to get plenty of photos of American Bison, massive bull Elks, and deer. The bear remained elusive to us this trip, which was a disappointment to my daughter but them's the breaks. The highlight though was the chance to get within fifteen yards of a juvenile Bald Eagle, a symbol of America. Outside of an aviary I had never gotten that close to a Bald Eagle. He perched himself on a rock just off the road and allowed a large, photo snapping crowd to gather at his feet. I think he sat there for fifteen minutes before flying off leaving the crowd to focus on the cow Elk and fawns that had squeaked past us when our backs were turned.
Old Faithful is still reliable and we arrived five minutes before it went off which was very convenient. We noticed that the Mammoth Hot Springs were dryer than they were the last time we were here, in fact I'm not sure I've ever seen them this dry but it was still a beautiful site to visit.
And what was bad? The people. Okay so this is a catch 22. Having people in the park brings in money for the parks, which is good. But people in the park brings traffic. We had to be very patient trying to get parking spots at each and every site we stopped at. We had to resort to getting into the park a little earlier than normal in order to get ahead of the crowds. That again is a catch 22 because although you beat the crowds you may not get to see these sites as well as you would later in the day. This is because the cool air of the mornings and the warm waters of the park create a lot of steam. This alone is really cool to see but it can be really thick and will cover all of the features of the sites. This is the exact reason I don't have any colorful photos of the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring. Too much steam.