formats

There is one thing that everyone goes to see when they visit Yellowstone and I faithfully went to see it. Even with the kids back in school, cooler fall temperatures, and summer vacations over, this park is mobbed by throngs of tourists. Every campground is full, roads are packed with cars, boardwalks are lined with sightseers, and the attraction areas are a zoo of humanity. The area around Old Faithfull is sure different than what I remember when we visited years ago; four-story hotels, cabins, gift shops, restaurants, grocery stores, and a gas station, form a gigantic circle around the Geyser, all raking in the tourist dollar.

Yellowstone is so big – over a million acres – and so spread out, that I elected to stay inside the park so as to make day trips on my motorcycle manageable. It is easy to drive 100 miles or more just to see a quarter of the park.

When you drive through the areas of wildlife you may see a couple cars in pullouts looking for animals. When you see a half-dozen cars it means there are bison, elk, or pronghorns in the meadow. If the road is lined with cars for a mile, sometimes parked in the road, blocking traffic in both directions, it means someone has seen a bear.

I have seen three bear, countless elk, bison, and deer, geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and steamy holes. I have taken a couple of short hikes, listened to ranger talks, and read numerous information boards. You could spend weeks here and not see everything, but tomorrow I will move down
into the Grand Tetons National Park and then into Idaho. I know I should not be surprised at the weather here, but I want to get to the west coast before it gets much colder. I keep seeing signs that say you must have snow tires or chains to drive some of the passes when it snows, and they are predicting snow tomorrow.