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Trip on Your Shoulder

Roaming buffalo, cascading waterfalls, boiling mud pots, and spewing geysers make Yellowstone one of the most geographically amazing places to visit in the world. I’d heard many tales about this magical national park and finally decided to visit a couple weeks ago. It did not disappoint.

Within 15 minutes of entering the park I saw a waterfall bigger than any I’d ever seen! (I’m from the southern Utah desert…we don’t see a lot of water).  Thirty-minutes later I glanced to my left and saw a brown bear nonchalantly walking along the river! A few more miles down the road and a buffalo had halted traffic as it strolled across the road and then started rolling in the mud next to the cars.  As I continued to drive, the sunset mixed with the steam from the boiling hot spots created a beauty that I can only describe as once in a lifetime! It took me less than two hours to realize Yellowstone lived up to its hype…it was incredible!! The unique landscapes and a plethora of animals isn’t all that made my trip to Yellowstone one to remember, however.

I had decided to take my road trip alone (I know I know, not very safe), but I had been safe and smart and nothing had gone wrong…until my third day in the park. Halfway between the West Entrance and Old Faithful my car broke down. I had no cell service, no help, and no more snacks. I flagged people down for 10 minutes but no one stopped to help, so I did what anyone would do:  sat by the river contemplating my life.

After waiting for 30 minutes my stomach started to rumble and I remembered I had brought a Mountain House meal from work along with a propane stove. I set up my pot and got the water to a boil and chowed down to chicken alfredo on the side of the road in Yellowstone National Park.

I learned two things that day: take your car to a mechanic before a long road trip, and always carry a mountain house meal and propane stove in your car in case of an emergency. While it was for reasons I wasn’t quite anticipating, my trip to Yellowstone definitely turned into one I would never forget.