Yellowstone is quite the anomaly. Situated on top of an enormous volcanic hotspot, its easy to see why millions flock here each year. My wife explained it best..”Its like your on another planet.” With the constant aroma of rotten eggs, and crowds large enough to rival professional sports game, Yellowstone deviates from your normal National Park experience.
Would I say it was the prettiest park we have been to? No, not comparable to Glacier National Park. Is it worth it? Yes. It took me a while to settle into the novelty of my new setting, but I grew to appreciate the rare splendor.
Old Faithful was the land equivilant of a whale spout. Slowly heating over the course of 90 minutes, it serves as one of the few predictable aspects of the park. Much of the crust surrounding the active sites is unsafe to walk on.
So much wildlife. We would have loved to have spent more time in Lamar Valley. It had wildlife as far as the eye could see. We heard that dawn and dusk are when the predators emerge. We unfortunately were unable to hang around.
Painters Point can be nothing but an inspiration to those who see it. It pulls you into the reality of just how small you are. Its something that can’t be forgotten and one wouldn’t ever want too!
We decided to hike Uncle Tom’s trail which takes you close to the lower fall. Little did we know that at 8,000 ft above see level, climbing up stairs becomes quite difficult. 20 steps in, I found myself needing a break. We made it back, but I think I left my ego at the bottom.
Stephanie and I decided that on the way back, we would take a different route. The route we chose was less miles and took us closer to the mountains. Ignorant to Idaho roads, it wasn’t long into our trip that we found ourselves on a dirt/gravel road. Looking at the map, we became painfully aware that this road would last for another 30 miles. Now this wasn’t a smooth dirt road one may found on a construction site. It was a gravel/dirt road that was littered with potholes. I didn’t see any carriages, but I wouldn’t have been suprised. The combination of rain, potholes and the duration of the road left our plugged tire weak. About 30 miles upon leaving the dirt road we got a flat. We were 100 miles away in every direction from civilization. Luckily we had cell service.
This was my first tire change. On the job training.
We made it to the local tire center about an hour after the flat, and cozied into the fly infested waiting room. The owner estimated that about 80% of Idaho’s road are unpaved. I’m thinking the next time we decide to follow google maps, we will think twice about selecting secondary options.