Yellowstone has all the wildlife. We saw exciting things right through the gate–hooray, mom didn’t take us someplace boring!
My first impression of the park was a cold, hard memory of me–about Noah’s age–sulking bitterly in the backseat with my Walkman blaring, tuning out the sound of my dad’s voice urging us to go check out one more flipping geyser. It’s kind of one of those funny family memories now, but at the time I had some deep hate for bubbling hot springs and mud pots. My family seemed to be enthralled by the ceaselessness of natural wonder. I, on the other hand, wanted to just go someplace cool, like, somewhere without stinky underground volcanos.
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I’m so happy I did not reap what I had sown on that trip so long ago–my kids thought Yellowstone was pretty amazing. And it was until we got to the iconic Old Faithful and drama socked me in the gut outta nowhere.
When I sheepishly told him he missed it, he didn’t believe me. Apparently, sarcasm runs deep and he was trying to call my bluff. No bluff, son, you missed the bloody thing. My mom sonar felt the depletion before I saw it–he was so bummed. And probably a little pissed at me for asking him to get the ice cream.
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So we waited for the next one.
I knew I’d be covered in sweat and high fructose corn syrup after another hour or more wait. I knew that Vera would probably fall or throw an epic tantrum and try to ride someone’s dog. I knew we’d roll into our hotel super late, but I couldn’t pack them up and leave and have that be their memory of Old Faithful. I had to redeem Yellowstone. We waited and listened to the rangers give an interesting talk about bison. And we waited. And we filled out little Junior Ranger books and earned patches. And we waited. And I did run back to the car for my camera and to change a poopy diaper, but other than that, we didn’t go farther than a few feet for the not so faithful wonder.
But when she was ready for the next one, she sure put on a show for my kids.
Vera picked her nose.
And I took it all in for a whole 2 minutes and 45 seconds.