Yellowstone

Entering from Cody, Wyoming, we arrived to Yellowstone during peak season in June 2015. First stop, Artist Point. This is where a raging waterfall carves out the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Our first stop was when we began noticing how crowded the overlook was, which should have been indication for our upcoming experience in the park. 

This being our first major National Park, we didn’t know what we were in for. We learned how busy campgrounds get, so we stayed the first night outside the park in Gardiner. The journey to Eagle Creek Campground was hairpin turns on a dirt road, unsure if we’d actually make it to our destination. But we did, made corn on the cob out on the fire pit and thanked the camp host for getting us in last minute. 

The RV campground strategy in National Parks (during peak season) is to wake up at the crack of dawn to get in line while campers check out. Some campgrounds take reservations, some don’t. We camped the remainder of our stay at Norris Campground inside the park. 

Generally when you camp people tend to keep to themselves, but we made friends with our neighbors after admiring their outside private standup shower. After stepping outside his shower setup our neighbor yelled in relief, “I feel like a new man,” and we could totally relate. The next morning we shared our sight seeing plans for the park and they handed us ‘extra’ breakfast they had cooked up of sausage links and hash browns. At another campsite just down the road, our eyes peeled as we watched a bison quietly join a couple for breakfast at their picnic table. She cautiously whispered, “Sweetie, there’s a bison at your back.”

Halfway through our visit, we wondered why someone would build a park for tourists on volcanos. Bubbling mud ponds, geysers shooting towards the sky, scalding rivers. If there’s a traffic jam, expect to see wildlife. We titled them bison blocks, fox stops and bear jams. I got out of the RV in stop traffic to photograph bear cubs, fox pups and bison calves hopping around learning how to head-butt.

Lisa Beggs