There are so many places in this great world to see it is a wonder we get the opportunity to explore our own back yard. But if given the opportunity, I believe everyone really should! One of my absolute favorite experiences when traveling through the US is to visit a National Park. Now, when you see me and meet me you may not actually think so first off. Sure, I am a little “granola” with my organic approach to food and love for farm to table… but believe me I am no hippie, I am a high heel strutting, make up wearing (daily), skirts and dresses kind of chick. So how does this relate to National Parks? Well it relates because National Parks really can be for almost anyone. The allure and awe of them may surprise you!
I will tell you, my favorite national park is Yellowstone National Park. I visited this park in May 2007 after a trip to Alaska with my family. My parents chose the trip, as it was their anniversary and they wanted to go to the god forsaken snow, Alaska– (so I thought, prior to going… you will find out, years later I named my own child Aurora because of the Northern Lights in Alaska from another visit, hence I fell in love with that “god forsaken snow”… and I will admit I was wrong in every way. Alaska is AWESOME! Yadda yadda).
My parents used Cathy at Roseborough Travel to help them plan the most budget friendly tour that included the most bang for their buck. Looking back, we probably would have done a few things differently… like listening to Cathy on the tour company, but all in all we had a spectacular time. In the end the destination is really what sells itself. We stayed outside of Yellowstone’s gates for 2 days. There are not many good hotel options at Yellowstone. This is where a very good tour company & a good travel agent point you in the right direction (hence my comment about listening to Cathy).
Anyway, Yellowstone on average runs about 35 degrees Fahrenheit on a daily basis. You read that right, 35 degrees- bring your winter gear! It was flipping COLD! But this weather made for a really spectacular experience. Day one was snowing. We saw the landscape and miles and miles of scenery with fresh white snow covering the land. We cuddled up to a fireplace at night with a cup of hot cocoa, and we enjoyed some really great family time. It honestly was heartwarming family time!
Day two was sunny out and there was not a single stitch of snow. We saw old faithful in all her glory!
We also saw tons of the geyser basins in which you smell before you see. You will not mistake the smell of a geyser basin- it is distinctly “rotten” it smells as if there were dozens of eggs boiled and left to rot in a pool. I literally had to take my scarf and cover my nose, but it did me little good.
The smell may be putrid, but the colors are spectacular- truthfully breathtaking to see the blues, oranges, and browns all meld together. The geyser Basins are just one of the Scenery things that make Yellowstone so amazing.
But if you want Scenery, you should go to Yosemite… I LOVE LOVE LOVE Yellowstone over any other National Park thus far because of the WILDLIFE. And here I come back to my description of “I am a high heel wearing kinda chick” seriously, who cares? I bring this up because National Parks are for US ALL! High Heels, Granola, Flip Flops, Hiking Boots, do your thing- visit the park! My heart is fluttering and my eyes are watering just writing this. I literally saw hundreds, yes hundreds of bison while we were visiting Yellowstone. We pulled the bus over and watched them ram each other in the heads fighting. They were spread as far as the eye could see. We were on their land and they knew it. They were not afraid of us because we were not there to hurt them. They could cross the road and not be hurt, beeped at, or touched. They were amazing, spectacular, wild, and beastly, yet beautiful. They were perfect.
We saw a cinnamon black bear who was only a few months old and who came down close to the road. We saw elk, deer, and many types of birds. The wildlife was simply amazing!
One park. One trip. One moment- Yellowstone! If I had to recreate it I might not be able to… but I sure hope to try! I highly recommend everyone take their chance to visit Yellowstone National Park!
This evening we had two great tour operators Collette Vacations & Mayflower Tours do a Let’s Talk Travel event with us. We spoke about National Parks of the US. There are tons of great offers and options available with both companies and anyone at Roseborough Travel will be happy to help plan the National Parks trip of your dreams with one of these companies.
2016 marks the Centennial Anniversary if the National Parks System and all of the tour companies are doing a wonderful job in trying to give back to our parks. Both Collette & Mayflower donate a portion of their proceeds back to the National Parks to help maintain the system for years to come so people like you and I can have this same experience I did with my family years to come with our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Did you know: The 1988 fires affected 793,880 acres or 36 percent of the park. Five fires burned into the park that year from adjacent public lands. The largest, the North Fork Fire, started from a discarded cigarette. It burned more than 410,000 acres.
Due to the fact that my mother was always “behind the camera” I am including a family photo of us in Jackson Hole along the same trip- also AMAZING! Simply because I wanted a photo with my mommy in it since she is in fact the reason I have the travel bug in me today. Thank you momma bear! From Left to Right (My Hubbster- George Vallone, My Sister- Jessica Pauszek, Me -Amanda Vallone, My Father- John Pauszek, and My Mother- Kathy Pauszek) Not Pictured here are Ryan and Barb Adamczak.