Yellowstone National Park. Oh boy, oh boy.
Our first full day in Yellowstone involved us getting up at 3am so we could be in the park, ready to spot wildlife at 4.
At the time, I would have given absolutely anything to be back in bed, warm, and still asleep. But all of that changed once we had our first black bear sighting .. right in front of where we were stood.
It was incredible to watch the bear walk straight down towards the river in front of us and continue to swim right across it, towards the misty bank on the other side. Kinda made us forget for a moment that we were stood outside in shorts .. and it was -4°C.
Bloody freezing I tell you, considering we were all dressed in anticipation of the 30°C weather to follow later that day. But we huddled together, wrapped in sleeping bags and borrowed sweaters, the view making it completely worth it.
We managed to see A LOT of the wildlife the park had to offer: black bears, wolves, bison, antelope. Even if it meant being patient.
Plus, driving through the park meant you got to pass them in their natural habitat, making it one step up from a safari.
Being in bear territory also meant we had to “bear-proof” our campsite before we slept too. Anything that gave off a slight smell – I’m talking food, drinks, toiletries, make up .. literally anything – had to be put inside a metal container and padlocked shut.
Now that’s something ya don’t see happening when you go camping in the UK.
Once we hit the main visitor’s centre of Yellowstone, we parked up, ate lunch from the trailer, and then set off to explore the hot pools and geysers.
I’d spent the past year reading about these features for my A Level geography exam, so my inner geography nerd was going off the rails with excitement.
We got to tick off all the major parts of the park over the next two days. Old Faithful. Grand Prismatic. Mammoth Hot Springs. We even got to swim in a river that was geothermally heated. Pretty cool huh.
The park definitely makes you appreciate how incredible mother nature actually is. Being away from big cities and getting to see these natural wonders was a whole new level of awe-inspiring. I’m telling ya.
Last stop: Uncle Tom’s Trail.
This was a short walk down a set of metal steps to reach a view point at the edge of the waterfall, “Lower Falls”.
Seemed easy enough. And it was .. going down at least. But coming back up was a completely different story. Maybe I should have taken up running instead of completing Gossip Girl, because Blair Waldorf wasn’t helping me up these steps.
Eventually we made it back to the top, some of us a little huff-ier than others. The waterfall was pretty, don’t get me wrong. A rainbow had even appeared and seemed to rise right out of the mist from the water, which defo made my photos look better.
Kinda made up for being a sweaty mess. Attractive huh.