So. I went!!!! The first week of June. Life long dream, CHECK! OMG it was amazing. Everything I thought it would be and more. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated by volcanoes (Dante’s Peak is for real one of my favorite movies, even though the science is not entirely accurate…) I also find them terrifying. Awesome combo right?
Anyway. Way back in the day, I found out the grand US of A had a SUPERVOLCANO in it’s backyard!!! I’ve been dying to go ever since. I still remember watching the grainy, oddly colored 80’s video about Yellowstone in 4th grade. Like I said. It was love. And now, years later, I FINALLY MADE IT THERE!!!
It was unbelievable. Geysers, mud pots and hot springs just hanging out right by the side of the road (sometimes new ones had appeared in the middle of parking lots!) and wildlife up the wazoo.
We stayed at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel (the big yellow one on the lake). We meant to stay at the Lake Lodge but it was mysteriously closed for the season (oh construction everywhere I go) and reservations were reshuffled. In any case, we still got a cute (bright yellow) little cabin, within 2 minutes walking from the sun room overlooking the lake, complete with a fabulous bar. Mmm vacation.
We saw all the things; Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, a bajillion other geyser basins, bison, elk, eagles, hawks, pronghorns, and on our last day my dear friend the coyote.
I will say, on our first full day in the park, the CRAZIEST THING EVER HAPPENED!!! No joke. Craziest thing I’ve ever seen. Ever. Dan and I were sitting on one of the many bleachers, close to noonish. Not too many people around as the geyser wasn’t supposed to go off for another half hour or so. Now, right between us and the geyser itself, was a happily snoozing bison. Some major nap time was occurring. I figured if he woke disgruntled in any way or walked in my direction, it would be time to go. Luckily, after a few minutes rolling around in the dirt, the bison stood up and strolled over to the right and proceeded to eat off a small pine tree, a little more than the minimum “strongly suggested” distance 25 feet away.
At this point, I was freezing and Dan kindly went to retrieve my coat from the car. Just after he left, the bison that had been happily eating his tree, hopped up on the boardwalk to cross over to the other side. A massive group of tourists that had just arrived went CRAZY and literally stampeded him. Seriously sprinted towards him. Really smart thing to do. For the record, don’t ever “charge” a large, dangerous wild animal that can run 3 times as fast as you. Especially in a large group. Just don’t. Anyway, they all ran up to him and started taking selfies with their selfie sticks (I kid you not) about 3 feet away from him.
Well guess what happened? The bison got irritated and rammed the first human being he saw, who happened to be a 62 year old australian man. That massive crowd of tourists screamed and ran back towards my direction while the bison threw the man into the air 3 times (UPSIDE DOWN!) until letting him lay still on the boardwalk….. The bison eventually let it go and walked away but was still too close for anyone to get near the man.
It was terrifying. What I found almost more horrifying than the poor guy who got gored was that same crowd of tourists? Some of them started clapping and snapping photos and taking video of the man laying face down on the boardwalk, bleeding. IT’S NOT A SHOW FOR YOUR PERSONAL ENTERTAINMENT!!!!!! HUMANITY PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ugh. Anyway, rant aside, the bison eventually wandered off and the EMTs came in, got the australian guy on a stretcher, and took him away in the ambulance, all before the geyser went off. Good news is he ended up doing ok and was released later that same night!!
Dan missed the entire thing. He came back with my coat when the EMT’s had already arrived (He’s so sweet 😛 )