I’m back on the rodeo trail this weekend, headed all the way across Wyoming and then up into Montana for the Red Lodge rodeo. I intend to spend a little bit of time in Yellowstone on the way, though, and see if I can find some cool things to take pictures of, or maybe even drop a fishing line in the Firehole River.
The original plan was to spend about a week up there in the first national park, but we’ve had to scale that back to just a couple of days. That’s OK, though, because it’s the Fourth of July weekend, and I’m pretty sure the park will be crammed with other vacationers.
I’ve never much minded crowds in Yellowstone. If you want to get away from people up there, just take a hike on any of the trails. You only have to get about a quarter of a mile off the pavement to be completely alone. It’s actually kind of sad that so few people ever get to see the real beauty of Yellowstone, but on the other hand, it’s probably a good thing, too. If all the people who clog the roads were to hike back into the hills, they’d overrun the place in a hurry.
We won’t have a lot of time in Yellowstone, but the one place I really want to show my kids is Mount Washburn. It’s a little over a three-mile hike to get to the top of the mountain, but the view is spectacular. If you haven’t been, I suggest you go see it. From the top of Mount Washburn, you can look way, way off in the distance and see another mountain range many miles away. That other range once connected with Mount Washburn, but the last time Yellowstone decided to erupt, it basically erased everything between Washburn and that distant range. It’s an incredible sight to see, and if we do nothing else on our trip, I plan to at least take that Mount Washburn hike.