The Great American Road Trip: Yellowstone – Grand Loop Road
Today’s morning wake up was cold cold cold. I loved getting up at 6 am with the sun when we were in the Badlands, but since then our campsites have been shaded and mornings are freezing. It’s 30 degrees outside, but I’m toasty in my new Shopko sweats. Useful and stylish Yeahh. (No no, just useful).
On the agenda today was exploring the Great Loop Road (also known as the Rim Road). Sights along the way were Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Falls, Dunraven Pass, Norris Geyser Basin, Steamboat Geyser, Monument Geyser Basin, Lower Geyser Basin, Fountain Paint Pot, Upper Geyser Basin, Old Faithful, and Yellowstone Lake. We even made a quick pit stop to boop Montana. Running around and ogling all the geothermal activity felt like I was back in high school science class. The sights on the Rim Road are beautiful and interesting and must sees, but they’re also crowded and you lose that in-the-middle-of-nature feeling. Old Faithful embodied that most of all, with hundreds of people crowding around it on the man-made boardwalks and benches, eating ice cream and snacks from the lodge only yards away. How beautiful and amazing these geothermal sights are, but we felt a little like we were in a zoo. On our way home we pulled over and sat on the shores of Yellowstone Lake for a while, splashing in the still waters and reflecting on our day. Back to camp to unwind!
Quick tip: the hot springs let off poisonous gases. Don’t spend hours camped out at one and if you start feeling faint or dizzy, retreat back to fresh air or your car and move on. In the winter, animals such as the Buffalo, hang out by the hot springs for warmth and have died if they linger too long.