Yellowstone National Park
As of writing this, we’ve officially left Southern Montana and Yellowstone National Park. We’re really racking up the miles at this point (over 4,000 so far in about a month!) and it’s becoming more difficult to keep up with posting about our experiences. The reality is that we’re getting to see and do so many things that we just can’t seem to keep up with posting them. I keep saying we’ll get better…but who really knows? Haha.
Our stay in Yellowstone was similar to South Dakota, in that we stayed for nearly two weeks, and mixed a lot of work time with a lot of exploration time. The main difference this time (aside from the location of course) was that my (Harlan) parents met up with us in Gardiner, MT to be with us for the week. And if that wasn’t enough, we had a short visit from some of our absolute best friends, the Waters! It was great having family and friends around to share the experience with us. Community has been the biggest question mark for us on this journey, so having that time about a month in was just what we needed.
Rocky Mountain RV Park
First thing, like we did last time, we want to mention the RV park that we stayed at while in Yellowstone. After way too much research, a booking, a cancellation, and a complete route change, we landed on staying in Gardiner, Montana at the Rocky Mountain RV Park. The park is literally less than a mile from the north entrance of Yellowstone and the Roosevelt Arch.
We don’t really have anything bad to say about this park. It’s amazingly maintained and well run. We tend to notice when a place is well branded and designed, and this place ticked all of the boxes for sure. It’s a little bit higher on the scale in terms of price per night, but considering the proximity to the park and all of the amenities, we didn’t feel like it was too high.
Yellowstone National Park
I’m not sure that there’s anything we could say that would shed new light on this unbelievable setting we found ourselves in for a couple weeks. Yellowstone is a place like none other – we were completely blown away by the diversity of the landscapes in what is otherwise a fairly small part of the country. (Yellowstone is actually quite large, but you get what I’m saying.)
From geysers to hot springs to mountains to rivers to wildlife, there is literally no angle of Yellowstone that doesn’t provide intrigue. We took as many opportunities as we could to experience the various places in the park. Having my parents around provided us with the opportunities to explore and see things probably more than we would have otherwise (read: homebodies…but we’re working on it).
As I said, the highlights are probably too many to mention here, so for the sake of brevity, I’ll just touch on a few of our favorites and then let the photos do the talking. In no particular order, here are some of our favorite spots in Yellowstone.
1. Grand Prismatic Springs
Seriously this place is unlike anything we’ve seen. You can’t help but be in awe of the artistry and science that goes into creating this place. God is an artist for sure.
2. Spending Time with Friends and Family!
As I said, spending time with our friends and family (and especially Baron getting some great play time with his buddies) was one of the biggest highlights of the whole trip! Thanks for coming to visit us!
3. Whitewater Rafting the Yellowstone River
We don’t often get the opportunity to do something like this, so when presented with the opportunity to raft down the Yellowstone River, we took it. It was so so fun and Baron was a champ throughout the whole thing.
4. Driving around Yellowstone / The Beartooth Highway
Admittedly, this one is a bit of a catch-all for things we saw in the park. But nonetheless, there were just so many quick sights and wildlife encounters, that every drive provided its own excitement.
The Beartooth Highway is often referred to as the “most scenic drive in America”. It certainly didn’t disappoint. (However, shout out to the sweet lady in the RV Park who completely undersold the amount of time it would take to get through it and back. A “couple of hours” turned into an all-day long 10+ hour ordeal. 90% worth it though. Haha.)
All in all, Yellowstone is such a massive place, that you spend a ton of time in the car driving around to various places in the park. We began to refer to the drives as “park miles” because a 20 mile round trip can easily take well over an hour. But when you look back on everything we got to see and experience in the park, it makes all those times crammed into the car worth it.
5. “Fishing” at Lake Yellowstone
Sometimes Baron is just along for the ride on the things we want to see and do. And while sometimes that’s just the nature of being a kid, we really want this journey to be about creating memories and experiences that he will remember for a lifetime. Part of that means we need to listen better when he shows an interest in something. While we were in Yellowstone, Baron would occasionally bring up the idea of fishing. We knew he had an interest in it before, so we were sure to bring along the gear when we set out from Texas.
On one of our drives, we decided to take a little while to stop, enjoy the scenery, and let our boy fish. It was crazy windy, so a few casts in, we were having fears of taking a hook to the face. It was then decided we’d “fish” with just the bobber (we weren’t really prepared for actually catching anything anyway 🙂 ). Baron loved “fishing” and preparing his cooking spot. This was a great moment.
Overall, we had a blast exploring the park, and are already dreaming of heading back at some point. For now, it’s on to Glacier National Park for a few days, then Banff!