3am. I woke up and boarded the bus for Yellowstone National Park. 318 miles of driving, 5 ½ hours! Saw some spectacular scenery but didn’t sleep. Not sure if it was because I was too excited or too uncomfortable. Beef Jerky for breakfast and I was raring to go. Yellowstone was the first designated national park in the world. It has half of the world’s entire geothermal features, and is visited by over 3 million people annually. I could tell….
I think Yellowstone is being loved to death. With that many tourists the impacts and environmental degradation was a sad thought, and I definitely witnessed some during the day. This included tourists getting VERY close to the bison herd. No doubt some try to touch them. Getting as close as they can for a picture is the deal. People taking obsidian, People throwing rocks into thermal pools. People touching the bacterial growth in the pools and disturbing it. It was so sad to see such a natural masterpiece being ruined by stupid tourists. It really gave me a new perspective on tourism, and the areas I do and don’t want to pursue in the industry.
Regardless of this however, I was another predictable tourist taking plenty of photos and videos to share with everyone at home. The last feature of the day I decided I would view without any of the gadgets so I could really appreciate it. I’m glad I did this….
One of the classic features I visited was “old faithful”. This is a geyser in the park and is the most predictable geographical feature in the world, erupting approximately every 90 minutes. Again hundreds of tourists lined up to see her erupt… and it wasn’t as spectacular as I’d imagined. It was kinda like a coke when you shake it up too much. A wee fizz and a roar and it’s all over pretty quickly. The highlight of this stop actually was an unpredictable event of a more human nature.
Me, Cecillie (Denmark) and Ouiam (Morroco) had hurried into the lodge to grab a sneaky coffee before the bus left. With 5 minutes until deadline the slow barista presented us with our hot chocolates, which we didn’t order. After making a terrible attempt at correcting this error we were late for the bus… and couldn’t remember quite how to get back to it. We ran awkwardly through some carparks, back alleys of the complex, jumped a river, and bypassed some staff in their ‘private’ smoking area before making it back to the bus. Super fun adventure and slightly embarrassing being the last back on the bus. All part of the fun.
Anyway my favourite place of the day was West Thumb Geyser Basin in the Wyoming section of the park. This is where we saw crystal ‘pool’s’ and deep springs. The color of them was really stunning.
We stopped for a wee rest while we were there also. Tiring day calls for desperate measures.
The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone was amazing too. Someone even told me it was more spectacular than the real Grand Canyon, however I am yet to decide on that one. Somehow I think she’s probably lying.
Overall the day receives a 9/10. Regardless of the tourists and the long bus trip, some very funny times were had. Notably some interesting conversations and comments on the bus trip, and the Old Faithful adventure…. XX