Thursday, July 9, 2015

Yellowstone Adventures

Yellowstone - Artist's Point Overlook

So this summer my family vacation was to good old national parks(again).  And poor old me had to travel through five states to get to them.

So I decided to share some of the great information and tips that I have aquired through being dragged to Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

First some background to set the scene so everything makes some sort of sense. 

We left on a Saturday around two o'clock  because I had an ACT that day.  We went to St. George, Utah that night, and Logan, UT the next.  Then we set off for good old Yellowstone where we stayed at the Old Faithful Inn for four nights.  And then we went down to Grand Teton where we stayed at the Colter Bay Cabins for three nights.  Heading home we stayed in Pocatello, Idaho and at St. George again, before we came back to sweet, sweet home.

Tips & Suggestions by Location

St. George is a pretty big town compared to everything else you are going to encounter so you should be fine.

TIP: If you are in Utah on a Sunday, don't be all picky when it comes to picking places to eat.  Take it or leave it.

Logan, Utah - It's a college town, food should be no problem.  If you do find yourself having extra time check out Utah State University.  And for kiddos that are college hunting here's a hint, high likelyhood of fee waiver first year, easy to become a resident after that and tuition is about $6,000 a year.  Talk about way cheaper than UC's and Cal States and that's without housing.  Uhh, yah, Utah's cheaper than California.

source: Google

Yellowstone- You're  in a National Park, don't prepare for good food, prepare for a whole lot of hamburgers and overlooked chicken breasts.  So yeah, on your way up eat anything but American.

The dining hall room at the Old Faithful Inn does not serve food that meets its prices.  Save money and eat at the cafeteria, plus you can get a view of the geyser there.  Their macaroni and cheese was okay.  Btw, the Old Faithful Inn "fancy" resturant has a kids menu for all meals, take advantage of it, it has a drink menu of non-alcoholic drinks, so you don't have to guess, and realize that you could have ordered a huckleberry lemonade.

There are tours offered daily of the Old Faithful Inn, take one, lots of information to learn.  Btw, if you ask the bellhop, you can go up to the top of the Inn, for only the cost of a tipping the bellhop.  We didn't do this because 1) we couldn't find the bellhop and 2) my parents aren't into tipping hotel workers.

Animal Sighting Tips: 
1) You snooze, you lose.  Really.  If you have ever dreamed of seeing a wolf pack or wolverine you gotta do it when the sun rise's, which is really early up there.  Like 5:30 in the morning early.
2) If you are a serious animal watcher bring the strongest binoculars you have.  So find yourself a nice spot(in the morning, of course) and start looking for dots or little spots on the mountains.  Then look for the same spots with your binoculars.  Most likely you will find that that dot is actually an animal.
3) Bison are everywhere.  And when I say everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE.  Don't make it your mission to find a bison.  Don't worry, you will see one, at least one.  Seriously, there was on on the trail, one next to the hot spring, thousands in the valley, one in the road near a Visitor Center.  They are everywhere. TIP: Don't brag to someone who works at Yellowstone that you saw a bison, they will not be impressed.  Like, not impressed.

#notimpressed, source: People

4) It's okay to sleep in.  Some animals come back at dusk.  5-7 is a great time to see deer, elk, and herds of bison.  Also bugs!!! Btw mosquitoes can bite through clothes, like jeans.  So go morning if you hate bugs.  Or go in like October, September late season.

5) If you really want to see elk go to the Mammoth Hot Springs area, like around the hotel, in the morning or dusk and you will see them.

SO MANY ELK! They all just don't fit in one picture.
This one shows that they are definately in human civilization.  I didn't lie to you.
The elk just chilling on the grass.

Yeah, be careful driving in that area.  They have no problem walking in the street.

My mom talked to the gift shop lady there.  She says they are actually there all day, just more of them around feeding hours.  Apparently, humans are less of a threat than wolves, so when the elk have babies to Mammoth Hot Springs Village they go.  Smart mothers right?  And some elk sighting for my mother.  She was very happy.  Almost as happy as when we saw this elk.

The area was roped off by a ranger, so we assumed it was safe.  Btw, this is my camera in zoom mode, do not approach an elk what appears to be this close.  Especially when it's a he with antlers.  If they will charge after cars, they will probably charge after you.

6)Monkey see 🙉, monkey do 🙊.  If  you see a cluster of cars that usually means theres an animal, it's like national park code.  For example, we saw a cluster of cars, we looked over and BOOM💥 antlers.  "OMIGOD YOU GUYS!!! I FINALLY WON THE PRIZE" shrieked my mother(okay maybe that's not exactly what she said but you get the point, extra points for the Legally Blonde- the Musical reference 😉?)

Okay and wow that was a lot on Yellowstone, so I have decided to make this a two part post.  I will link the rest of my tips right here when it goes up, if it's not up then it should be up soon.



Picture Pic of the Day
Pretty pink roses wrapped in newspaper, Tumblr Source: mangew

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