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The other “Y” park. Just as magnificent as Yosemite, but for very different reasons. Of course, Yellowstone is known for its wildlife, and it did not disappoint. We were fortunate enough to see wolves, elk, and bison while there. We missed the bears, but saw a llama on the loose (!?!) grazing on the edge of a lake. We were fortunate enough to stay for free as a friend was working there, so we had easy access to showers and laundry. Thank you Ian — you’re amazing 🙂

Fun fact 

Old Faithful Inn offers FREE SHOWERS to the public. So, I mean, you gotta… Marble showers in a historic hotel. Yes please. Then, grab a coffee or a beer and sit out on the deck waiting for Old Faithful to erupt. That’s what we did.

The park has innumerable hiking opportunities. We also biked. Through a herd of buffalo. And Stephen fly-fished (for the first time in his life) with Ian. And a herd of buffalo. And of course we walked the geyser basins. And listened to the earth speak to us. A few highlights:

Watching the bison herd cross the river in the Hayden Valley

Seeing Grand Prismatic from the Overlook on the perfect day – clear skies to see its opalescent blue waters with rainbows in its mist

Fly-fishing at sunset with bison in the distance

Boiling waters – any spring – any boiling – loved them all. West Thumb Geyser Basin and Norris Geyser Basin…

Sitting having cocktails with Ian on Old Faithful Inn’s second story porch

Seeing a wolf run back to its pack with a huge chunk of meat in its mouth (through a telescopic lens, but still…)

Eating lunch on a log on our hike around Lewis Lake (where we saw said llama)

Old Faithful Inn’s tour and other ranger talks

We were astounded to hear the earth speak, and to see a glimpse of land as it was when herds roamed freely and ecosystems interacted naturally. We were there mid-September 2018, and it was perfect timing. We saw fall color, had diminished animal traffic jams, and enjoyed cooler temps with fewer crowds. While we have no desire to navigate the hoards in the heat of summer, I can only imagine the majesty of the park and its animals covered in a blanket of winter white. Some places remain on the bucket list, even after they’ve been checked off. 

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