The Rocky Mountains are simply amazing. We only skirted them last fall as we were making tracks for Minnesota and the Boundary Waters but we always planned to come back for a proper visit. Yellowstone National Park in northwest Wyoming is one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world, combining towering mountains with boiling hot springs and geysers, all covered in lush meadows, forests, streams, lakes, and wildlife. It was like a tremendous drive-through wildlife safari, the American equivalent of the African Serengeti Plains. We saw bison, elk, deer, pronghorn antelope, foxes, coyotes, marmots, big horn sheep, mountain goats, and a lot of birds. Oh, and did I mention bears? Yes, we saw three grizzly bears, including a young bear about 30 feet away that I surprised as I walked around the front of our bus one morning.

Of course, we saw Old Faithful erupt a couple of times (cool) but we also had perfect timing to catch the irregular and somewhat unpredictable eruptions of the Beehive Geyser and the Grand Geyser (very cool!) as we walked around Geyser Basin. We also got off the beaten path every single day to hike the beautiful trails in the park. We hiked the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, with its beautiful upper and lower falls, wound our way through sagebrush and a Douglas fir forest to Hellroaring Creek, and made the short, steep hike up to Trout Lake in the Lamar Valley. We loved it and were glad to have gotten in before the annual crush of visitors in July and August. We saw all of the major attractions, wildlife at every turn, and still didn’t come close to seeing everything Yellowstone has to offer. We can’t wait to come back!

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