KAZUKI AND I DECIDED TO SUPPORT THE NATIONAL PARKS THIS SUMMER WITH A QUICK STOP AT ONE OF OUR FAVORITE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL TV HIGHLIGHTS, “MONTANA GRIZZLY ENCOUNTER” AND THEN OFF TO YELLOWSTONE…
The Travel Diary: YELLOWSTONE
We decided to make this trip as a last minute getaway and didn’t have reservations. After speaking with several of the booked hotels in town of West Yellowstone, we were finally referred to a little gem of a dude ranch called 320 Ranch that was absolutely perfect. Nestled in the bottom of the mountain only a 100 yards from the Gallatin River, this 110 year old homestead reshaped into a guest ranch.
After a relaxing night at the 320 Ranch, we headed into Bozeman, Montana to experience the Grizzly Bear Rescue, “Montana Grizzly Encounter” where bears born into captivity are rescued and given a sanctuary close to their natural habitat to live out their lives. I was shocked to find out it was legal to “breed” Grizzly Bears into captivity in some states and was grateful to learn more about what the team here is doing to educate the public and provide a safe haven for these bears. You can learn more about this on the show on National Geographic show, Grizzly Encounters with hosts, Casey Anderson & Brutus the Bear or go to their website, http://www.grizzlyencounter.com/
After an hour with the Grizzlies, we headed into Yellowstone and found a fellow camper who gave us the inside scoop on the highlights. Since we were only going to be there for 2 days, I didn’t want to miss a thing. Although Old Faithful is a guaranteed show every 95 minutes and is something you can’t miss, it was the majestic canyons that really took my breath away. The Dragon’s Mouth Spring is also definitely worth experiencing. It really sounds like there is a monster hidden in it’s cavern as the 170 degree water rises and explodes with pressure through the opening.
If you like ice cream, you will love every lodge in Yellowstone. It seemed like that was the highlight at every restaurant and gift shop stop. Unfortunately, no soy options, so I opted for the granola bars. There were also plenty of gift shops with polished rocks and jewelry and I found a cool gold plated leaf as a little souvenir. www.yellowstonenationalpark.com/
EVERY 95 MINUTES…OLD FAITHFUL
IT PAYS TO PACK A LUNCH IF YOU ARE VEGAN. WE STOPPED AT OLD FAITHFUL LODGE TO SIT BACK FOR A QUICK BITE AND FOUND A CARNIVORES DELIGHT BUT A LACK OF VEGGIE OPTIONS. THIS SEEMED TO BE THE CASE AT EVERY STOP IN YELLOWSTONE. BUT IF YOU LIKE ICE CREAM, YOU WILL BE IN HEAVEN BECAUSE THERE WAS AN ICE CREAM SHOPPE AT EVERY LODGE!
GO OLD SCHOOL! BRING A PAPERBACK BOOK FOR DOWN TIMES. NO BATTERIES REQUIRED. ESSENTIAL FOR ALL TYPES OF RELAXATION.
THERE IS PLENTY OF LODGING IN WEST YELLOWSTONE BUT DON’T BE AFRAID TO EXPLORE FURTHER OUT. WE STAYED AT AN AMAZING DUDE RANCH THAT OFFERED HIKES TO HORSE RIDES AND A COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST. BUT AGAIN, DON’T EXPECT A TOFU SCRAMBLE AT THE NATIONAL PARKS. IT WAS SCRAMBLED EGGS AND CHEESY BREAKFAST POTATOES. BUT THEY DID AT LEAST HAVE RAISIN BRAN AND BAGELS..