This is easy... Yellowstone. No, no, not because of the show, although it is an amazing show and I feel like my dad would fit into that life scarily easy... but because I only got to visit for a day and it definitely wasn't long enough. My best friend and her family lived in Clancy, Montana for a while and the first chance I had to visit you better believe I took it. It was amazing, I woke up early and drove 14 hours straight from where I lived in the bay area in California to her home... the drive was peaceful, exhilarating, full of coffee (obviously), a cooler full of road snacks and my Pandora on the Britney Spears station #freebritney... well I guess now it would be #finallybritneyisfree.... there we go.
That trip was the first time I had ever been to Montana and was the farthest I had ever travelled on my own... I took in everything... the agriculture, the different landscapes, rivers, lakes, and when driving through Idaho I was trying like hell to figure out what a potato plant looks like... I am still not positive to be honest... but they had to be there in order for Idaho to hold up their reputation right? I made sure to take it all in, know my surroundings when I stopped at rest stops and always.... Always.... checked in with my best friend (as well as my parents) whenever I could so they knew I was safe. I know some people don't... but I do.
After a couple days we all hopped into her Rav-4, her husband, me, and her two kids and made the drive from their house to Yellowstone. I had my new camera that I had got for Christmas, along with the zoom lens to try and get some closer animal shots. Even though I knew my first whack at nature photography wasn't going to be perfect... it would be perfect for me. At first all we saw were.... geese.... tons and tons of geese... and let me tell you... I could care less about geese. They were everywhere back home were I lived and were known to try and attack me on my runs. Not my favorite feathered friends. We were headed to Old Faithful, we stopped at some of the pools and for anything that we wanted to look at along the way but Old Faithful was our prime destination. After a while we arrived at the lodge... got some ice cream... and we waited.... and waited... and waited.... turns out we had arrived just after the last eruption so we had to wait quite a bit for the next one.... but man was it worth it. I have never been so amazed and heard a crowd so quiet... everyone was just in awe of this incredible natural phenomenon to the point where we all just collectively stared and just enjoyed the moment together.
We packed up our lunches, and set out to go home and I was still bummed that we hadn't seen anything and I had to tell myself that it just wasn't our day... boy was I wrong. My best friends husband accidentally took a wrong turn and found the nearest turnout to make a quick U-turn. I looked to my right and I saw it... the most massive coyote I have ever seen in my life... I grabbed my camera and snapped a couple shots only realizing through my lens that we had caught it eating... just a beautiful.... yet deadly... and definitely no puppy... enjoying dinner.
Still in awe of what we just saw, we turned back on the main road and right into traffic... an accident maybe? There was no traffic before we took the wrong turn so we were surprised that something could have happened that fast but we saw no emergency vehicles... no reason for these cars to back up... until out through the bushes came the most massive bison I have ever seen... we hit the jackpot.
....and the best part?.... BABIES!!! we got to see the adorably cute baby bison and I have never felt more lucky in my life. I got to see most of the animals I had wanted to in my one day trip and I couldn't have asked for a better introduction to Yellowstone. Not to mention the yearling moose I got stuck behind in Idaho on the way back home... wild traffic is way better than normal traffic. Going back to Yellowstone is on the top of my list because I want to have the opportunity to camp a couple days there. I want to experience as much as I can soak in, the sunrise with a hot cup of coffee, the hikes, reading a book in my hammock, making sure I don't get eaten or trampled, drinking a warm cup of tea watching the sunset... I want to experience all of it... This is one of the places that sparked my dream... so I feel like I owe it the respect of taking my dream there first.
What are some of the other destinations on my list?....
- Zion National Park
- Grand Tetons
- Denali National Park
- Civil War Battlefields
(like the Battle of
photo on the left )
... just to name a few... I want to learn just as much as I want to explore.
So if you would like to join me... the more the merrier!! Follow along while I figure out the next steps... I am excited to share this journey with you.