I arrived to the park around 7am on Sunday morning. Everything I read online stated that you should arrive early to get a spot... Of course it also stated that this was important in the summer and not so important in the fall. But I was nervous.
By the time I arrived at the campsite I wanted (Norris) it was around 9 and there was still plenty of time to get a nice spot.
My first reaction of Yellowstone was amazement. It was absolutely beautiful and the drive from the east entrance to the camp was very peaceful.
I stopped at some tourist hot spot on the way to the camp and that is why it took so long.
After setting up my tent my campsite neighbor who noticed that I was looking at the map came and offered some suggestion.
They were an older couple (just like everyone else there) who had been plenty of times before.
He recommended a scenic drive and a short hike that lead to a waterfall.
I did both. Both were beautiful.
Now my one problem with Yellowstone: it is beautiful no question about that and there is no other place like it in the world BUT it didn't leave me with an all around feeling of peace.
In the early morning it was fine. People are still sleeping, but as soon as it hit 11 it was hard to find parking spots or even enjoy the scenery without someone screaming in your ear.
After day one I wanted to leave.
I was stressed.
It was raining.
I couldn't start a fire.
I wasn't enjoying this amazing place.
I woke up early (well it is hard to sleep when the sun is up) and drove up to the trail my neighbor told me about. I was the only person out there and it was exactly how you should see nature. Absolutely stunning.. The morning mist was still out and I even saw a family of deer crossing the water.
On my walk back from the hike at around 9:45 I saw about 4 other group of people walking it as well.... One lady even asked me "is this worth it? Is there anything beautiful at the end?"
You're seeing nature how it is meant to be seen everything is beautiful.
Conclusion: I'm glad I woke up early and did the trail early on.
The second day as you can tell from my second group of pictures I explored more of the typical nature images you think of.
I also saw the grand canyon of Yellowstone (it is also currently the background image on my phone).
To get the image you had to walk down a steep long trail... Which was fine, but walking back up I thought "if I pass out right now that would be super embarrassing."
In the end me burning some calories was worth the picture.
In the parking lot afterwards really demonstrates the hot mess that is Yellowstone tourist.
Me being a nice driver who is in no real hurry was letting a big RV backup when out of nowhere a group of foreigners in a rent a car backs in to me.
It left a nice size scratch on my car.. A scratch I would never actually fix, but the guy who hit me could have cared less. He barely even gave me his contact information.
And once again I was annoyed that I had to drive to see all the beautiful sites Yellowstone had to offer.
That night I was able to start a fire with no trouble and the night sky was clear.
But there still ice on my tent when I woke up the next morning.
Overall I can't image how insanely busy and stressful this place would be on the summer