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I have got to admit, Yellowstone was not a place that I was particularly excited to visit oddly enough. Everyone knows about the world's first national park and see photos of the major attractions like Old Faithful. But for some reason. I thought the geysers, pools, and hot springs would be more of a lesson in geology rather than an experience in nature. Something in which I would see once and think "oh cool, let's go do something else." My experience turned out to be something totally different though.
I should have known better. An old friend of mine who has camped the entire mainland USA once described it to me as "the most magical place in the United States."
Yellowstone is amongst the oddest places that I have had the privilege of visiting. That is not surprising however considering the entire place is on top of a large and very active volcano. Paying attention to signs and listening to park advisories are vital to your safety while exploring the park.
We entered from the east side cutting through the never ending plains as well as majestic red rock canyons and beautiful snow capped mountains.
"The most magical place in the United States."
Our first stop was Yellowstone Lake. Here you can take In breathtaking views and admire the beauty, clarity, and sheer size of the lake. This is the first time that you can step back, look around and see steam billowing from the ground all around you. You immediately think, wow this is awesome! But in the back of your mind you are thinking are you really safe with the earth seemingly exploding around you? But maybe that was the best part!
From there we moved on to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the attraction I was most looking forward to. This is where I realized how special this place really was. On the way here we had passed mountains, prairies filled with buffalo, and sulfur pools. The diversity was like nothing I had ever seen and now I was looking at a giant canyon carved out by an ever flowing water fall. The colors that surrounded me were unfathomable. It seemed that as we walked along the trail every viewpoint brought something a little different. Who knew that flowing water could be so amusing? We probably spent an hour there just staring at the painting of nature before us awestruck.
Once we felt we had wasted enough time there, we moved on to the main event, Old Faithful. Being the adventurer that I am I have to give a little disclaimer here. This is not the place for seclusion. Seeing Old Faithful is on many bucket lists and the crowd verified this fact. The park even has an estimated time of next explosion outside and as the time gets closer and closer the people come pouring out of the visitor center so get there early! Even for someone seeking seclusion, this is still a must visit. You can't go to Yellowstone and not see Old Faithful, right?
We were a little early in the season so we couldn't go higher into the park because of road closures, so we concluded our day in Yellowstone only wishing we had more time to explore.
Finally it was time to head out to our next stop into Idaho. On our journey out, we pulled over on the road to a crowd to try to sneak a glance at a mother grizzly and two cubs a few hundred yards in the distance. We continued and passed a ginormous herd of bison completely blocking and crossing the road. We admired the little ones as they played and reflected on our time here. Yellowstone was the gift that kept on giving.
Yellowstone National Park surely did not disappoint. I saw beauty and diversity unlike anywhere else that I have ever seen before. I realize its alluring fame and popularity. Everyone in the world should definitely make a point to visit the biggest natural science lessons and one the most beautiful places in the world.