by Gabrielle Antonette and Carrie Nusbaum
Well, what is there to say about Yellowstone other than that we're glad it exists? It's such a precious gem--huge and crazy, and full of substances of various unbelievable colors flowing, bubbling, launching out of holes in the earth. After our day there we were exhausted from the effort of sustaining a constant state of awe for such a prolonged period. We probably spent half the day talking about the imagined neuroscience behind awe as an emotion, and the role of awe in human existence, etc. We'll let you know when we reach some conclusions on that.
We visited in mid-May, and to our surprise, a lot of the park was still covered in deep white snow. The road into the park was mesmerizingly lined with 10ft+ snow banks. Since we really only had a day to spend there, we decided to drive around to see the sights on the lower loop, ending the day at the classic Old Faithful, and then heading back out to Jackson, WY, where we were staying. It's a lot of driving, and there's a lot to see--even starting early and focusing on the one loop we weren't able to see everything. But even as it was, we saw so much awesome stuff. Wildlife sightings included: a little white fox, a grizzly bear (at a very safe distance), a few bison (up so close), and a bunch of elk. Geothermal features included: Fountain Paint Pot, Spasm Geyser, Excelsior + Grand Prismatic Spring (they're right next to each other, and were possibly our favorites), Old Faithful and the Beehive Geyser (the latter conveniently erupted while we were watching). Ugh, it's all so good. We ended our day with some light bites at the bar of the very cozy Snake River Grill, where everything was very thoughtfully prepared and therefore delicious, and the bar staff was charming and helpful to a memorable extent.