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Drive Through Tourism: Yellowstone and Grand Teton

I was there.

I was there.

It dawned on me Tuesday morning, as I pulled out of the Irma Hotel parking lot, that I hadn’t seen Cody’s surroundings before. Tuesday morning, the skies were clear, the sun was bright, and I realized that Cody has stunning surroundings.

Unfortunately I’d made a schedule and I wanted to keep with it, which led me to what is probably my biggest mistake of this trip: I schedule one day to get away from Cody to my next stop, going via Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. I planned a 288 mile journey that incorporated everything I could squeeze in, and still get to my next hotel before the sun set.

I really should have planned more time for the national parks because, they are, in a word, stunning.

Shortly after entering the park I got to see a Buffalo walking down the highway—some how he knew to walk into the pullout along the highway so that I could drive past him. From there I went straight to Old Faithful. I felt a bit awful about only hitting the most famous attraction in the park, although I did stop a couple of places to take random photos.

I arrived at Old Faithful about an hour before the next predicted eruption, so I killed some time and then sat down on the benches to await the 12:11 predicted time. It was well worth the wait, although I wished that I could go back in time to the era when it was possible to steam clean your clothes on top of Old Faithful—a more innocent and naïve time, if you will. Coming back to reality, the eruption was absolutely wonderful to watch.

From there I travelled south to Grand Teton National Park, which was beautiful. I watched the scenery go by, stopping to take photos frequently. I really wish that I hadn’t set such an ambitious agenda for today, and such a distance to travel. I had to skip so many wonderful things and limit the amount of time I spent looking at the scenery.

I want to return.

He walked in to the passing shoulder to let me pass.

He walked in to the passing shoulder to let me pass.

Yellowstone Lake with Thermal Power!

Yellowstone Lake with Thermal Power!

Blowing just after 12:11 on 06 October 2009, as promised.

Blowing just after 12:11 on 06 October 2009, as promised.

Stunningly Beautiful

Stunningly Beautiful

6 comments to Drive Through Tourism: Yellowstone and Grand Teton

  • In the mid-70s my mother, father and I drove in a camper van from Vancouver, Canada to Yellowstone and back. We had a wonderful time in the park, such great memories of the landscape and the wildlife. Saw my first bull moose there, as well as flocks of pelican, of course buffalo and other animals. That was of course before the big fires raged through the area a few years later.
    Yes, it’s too bad you didn’t give it more time. It’s a special place.

  • Reko

    Adamo: Ex-patriate or quintessential American tourist? No matter which, ADAMO ROCKS!

  • koko

    Looks like a wonderful place to see! Enjoy yourself! Though I wish you were closer so we could have a visit.

  • disenchanted

    So Jealous. I wish we had the chance to go there this summer, but we opted to spend a couple days at Devil’s Tower and just chill out. I’m glad we did. I just wish we had made more time for the Badlands.

    My next trip out west: I think I might fly and rent a car so we can spend more time in teh parks and less time on the road.

  • mateo

    Reminds me of when I visted Yellowstone and Grand Tetons with my family when I was a kid. Looks like it is just as majestic and breathtaking now, as it was back then! You really should have taken more time to enjoy, hope you get a chance to return soon! I can still remember the sulfur smell of Old Faithful 🙂

  • Ian – The place is magical. I should have added another few days to my trip. I also should have scheduled the trip for September. I thin I got lucky–the skies were clear and everything was pristine the days that I was there.

    Reko – Unfortunately I was a quintessential American tourist for a day. And that does not rock. Not even remotely.

    Koko – Love your new photo. Hopefully our paths will cross soon.

    Disenchanted – There is something to be said for flying to the spot. However rental cars aren’t cheap–and if you want to hit some of the spots I hit, I’d recommend an SUV or a truck. I know… shocking that I would say that.

    mateo – I think a lot of adulthood is trying to recapture the innocence and magic of youth.