jenn and i just got back from a road trip through BC, alberta, montana, and wyoming. one of the things we checked out was yellowstone national park. you know, home of the iconic ‘old faithful.’
yellowstone was pretty nice but it wasn’t without its annoying and stupid bullshit. by our third day there, we couldn’t get out of there fast enough. i made a mental note to bitch about it here so here goes.
- too many fucking people. i don’t know how busy the place is normally but we ended up there right on the labour day long weekend — i know, so stupid. we had planned on avoiding it but it’s just the way the timing worked out. anyway, it was absolutely overrun with people, especially the big attractions with easy access like old faithful and artist point.
- too many terrible drivers. the busloads of foreign tourists who swarmed on the sights with total disregard for common north american courtesies like not pushing and shoving were annoying in their own special way but what bothered me more were the families jam-packed into several rental cars, caravan-ing around the park at breakneck speeds on the narrow, twisty roads. the parking lot situations at the small pullouts were absolute chaos. there was no rhyme or reason as to how anyone parked or got out of there, it was simply ‘look out, i’m coming in hot.’ we saw one woman who had taped park pamphlets over her driver side window, presumably to keep the sun out. i guess she decided she would simply not look to her left for the rest of the drive. she also didn’t understand how 4-way stops worked, although that may have been due to the fact she couldn’t see anything on her left. christ.
- some really crappy ‘sights.’ there were some beautiful sights in yellowstone, for sure. old faithful was neat (when viewed from a lookout that was a short hike away — we were lucky that the throngs weren’t willing to walk any further than absolutely necessary), artist point was incredible, and we encountered a 20-minute traffic jam that was caused by a stoic, plodding bison who had decided to walk to wherever he was going using our traffic lane. they’re majestic, powerful-looking beasts but up close, their eyes look like cows: dumb and blank. that dumb blank look while he slowly walked on and on in our lane, oblivious to or simply not concerned with the lineup of cars behind him and the occasional car that managed to pass him, made him even more adorable. for me, the bison traffic jam was the highlight of yellowstone. but there were some super shitty sights too, like this petrified tree stump:
and countless cauldrons of boiling mud:
i think petrified trees are neat, for sure, but a squat, busted up old stump of a petrified tree? fuck off. that was a letdown and a half. and all the boiling mud got old fast. it was neat but then i realized that while the abundance of geothermal stuff is what makes yellowstone unique, it’s also a comically ugly, stinky thing to be a national attraction. “come check out our countless mud pits that stink like farts.” that’s wack but that’s basically what it BOILS down to, hahahahahaha!!!!!!!
in a nutshell, my final opinion on yellowstone was this: it’s cool to check out if you’re in that area but fuck it, BC in general is way better. BC is huge and varied with all manners of breathtaking sights, and very few of them involve mud, farts, and rocky stumps.
i know i’m complaining a lot but i did enjoy yellowstone. i just wouldn’t go again.