The park ranger welcomed us to the east entrance of Yellowstone with a warning that this would change our lives. “Grandeur” – “wildness” – “national parks” all do kind of take on a different feeling when you’re experiencing the place.
And then it was all about our whirlwind tour: two completely energized, intense, chock full days of taking a whole lot of crazy wilderness in at once. The east side of the park took us through forested mountains, winding down to Yellowstone Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in the park. First stop was to a taxidermy-filled info center and second stop was for cocktails in the lodge of the Lake Hotel. Live piano music and views of the lake accompanied our bourbon and Moose Drool. On to the canyons, which were picture perfect massive cliffs with waterfalls and a huge river running through them, just waiting for painters’ canvases to take their picture.
We enjoyed seeing pictures of the park’s history and all the visitors a century ago in Victorian-like garb climbing up close and personal to some of the biggest sights, before safe distances and preservation were embraced. Inspires you to go ahead and take a risk as you see that the lady in the little heeled boots, corsets, and skirts could do it.
Lots of large birds/raptors spotted; they have a conservation program in which they ask visitors to document any raptors sighted. Joe is turning into a bird-man.