U.S. North to South: Eye to eye with a bison in Yellowstone, Wyoming

Bob Yellowstone NP Pic1Bob chatting with a brother Ram 2500 in Yellowstone National Park, WY. 

After Glacier National Park and Bozeman in Montana, we continue south and cross into Wyoming to discover the United States’ oldest National Park: Yellowstone. You can check out the entire U.S. North to South series here (we started in Barrow, the northernmost settlement in the U.S.!)

Glacier Yellowstone map

Bison Yellowstone NPClose encounter with a bison near Fishing Bridge, Yellowstone NP, WY

My most memorable experience at Yellowstone NP – otherwise a very busy touristic circus – was completely unexpected and unplanned. Typing 720 Yellowstone Avenue into Google maps when leaving Bozeman (the joys of not having a GPS in the truck), actually directed me the one in Pocatello ID not my destination in Cody WY. I realised it too late and had to cross the Park from West to East to join Cody as the night was falling. This error allowed some fantastic sunset views over the numerous geysers of the park, but also a very close encounter with a bison on the deserted road in full darkness. My Ram 2500 diesel isn’t exactly the most quiet vehicle around and at full beams it would have frightened more than one animal that had ventured on the pitch black road. Not my bison. Walking in the same direction as I was driving, he even stepped closer to the truck as I paused to look him in the eye. Its noisy respiration was drowning the guttural sound of my engine and his mildly annoyed or curious look levelled with my eyes for a few magical seconds. Bob was starting to feel intimidated so we had to go.

Bob Yellowstone NP Pic2Been there! Bob posing proudly at the Yellowstone NP entrance.Chevrolet Colorado Yellowstone NPChevrolet Silverado 2500 Park Ranger near Yellowstone Lake WY

Established in 1872 as the world’s first National Park, Yellowstone houses half of the world’s geysers and a healthy amount of wildlife, including wolves, bears, moose and of course bisons. Yet it wasn’t my favourite park this year: too many visitors tend to ruin any kind of serene experience you were hoping to get here. At night, things are different: the sky illuminates with an incredible amount of stars, and bisons roam wild. Car-wise, it would appear Chevrolet sponsors the Yellowstone Park Rangers with a multitude of Silverado pickups spotted. Rental Chevrolets for tourists also abound, such as the Equinox and Traverse. The Toyota 4 Runner and Ford Edge are also popular.

Yellowstone NP 1Upper Falls at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, WY (note the yellow stones…)Yellowstone NP 2Geyser Basin in Yellowstone NP, WYYellowstone NP 3Are you prepared to avoid a bear attack? In Yellowstone NP, WYBob Yellowstone NP Pic3Bob in all his glory – at Yellowstone NP, WYFord Edge Yellowstone NPFord Edge in Yellowstone NP, WY  Toyota 4Runner Yellowstone NPToyota 4 Runner coming all the way from New Jeresey, in Yellowstone NP, WY.

Late into the night when I arrived in Cody, a small town 53 miles/85 km east of the Park, I passed the 2.000 miles mark since we started this section of the trip with Bob in Seattle. That’s 3.219 km for you non-U.S. readers. Tomorrow we drive a further 80 miles/130 km south to Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park, still in Wyoming – stay tuned!

Yellowstone NP 4Looking down into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, WY.

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