Bison, moose & bears, oh my: Yellowstone beyond Old Faithful

We only do national parks with our outdoorsman friend Greg, aka MacGyver, as he’s the expert wilderness guide for us city slickers!

For this trip, we scheduled 6 nights at 3 different park lodges and locations to explore the scenery and wildlife that couldn’t be more different and we planned to finish off  with 3 nights at the Grand Tetons.

We started at Yosemite lodge where we caught Old Faithful geyser spouting by day, night, sun and rain right in the center of the village. After shooting O.F. from every angle the first night, the next morning, we walked a miles long, meandering  geyser trail , discovering countless other geysers and hot springs popping, fumeroles smoking and spectacular, colorful mudflats and colorful pools gurgling with scalding water . We drove to Prismatic lake late day to see the prettiest pool of all when the reflecting light on the pools and ponds hummed with outrageous colors & iridescence.

Our 2nd morning in Yellowstone Village, rains descended and we prowled inside the visitor center before heading out for our next lodge at Canyon Village. The drive was punctuated by freqent stops to see ghostly white stands of barren trees and sightings of buffalo, elk and deer off the road or beyond the trees. We didn’t see a moose but I did spot a moose turd!

During our two nights at Canyon Lodge, we explored various trails and routes to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. While it’s not The Grand Canyon or The Yosemite Falls, this area boasted a wild waterfall in a spectacular canyon and abundant greenery. It made for epic photo sessions by day and dusk.

On this trip, are seriously off the digital grid by connectivity standards. No wifi, intermittent cell and irregular text and wifi. It is actually a welcome escape from our rabid obsession with “breaking news.”

But we aren’t disconnected from creature comforts in our lodgings or lodge cuisine. Fresh trout, bison burger, prime rib and more are on offer at all the lodge inns. Plus there are gluten free, dairy free and veggie options galore.

The rains have been a constant companion for the past few days but there have been enough storm breaks that we scurry outdoors at every interlude or else dress up in our waterproof pants and parkas and just enjoy the changing light and ragged storms.

Last stop in the park is Mammoth Hot Springs with spectacular calcified, colorful cliffs and natural terraces that are continually changing with the perpetual runoff of geysers, fumaroles and bacterial ingenuity.  Oh, but there will be an unexpected & spectacular change in plans…. stay tuned for more of our Yellowstone/Teton adventure!

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