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Let’s talk about the 7 Things Learned While Planing Yellowstone. Let’s tell it with memes.

#1. Where is Yellowstone?

When my friend Ashley suggested we visit Yellowstone, it seemed like a wonderful idea. Who wouldn’t want to spend time in the rugged outdoors and see the famous Old Faithful? I was 100% all in for visiting what must be a remarkable destination. I was hyped, I could hardly wait! I would get excited just thinking about going. I had a vision of running through trees and playing in wildflowers. I also had no idea where Yellowstone was. At first I thought it was in California. Then I realized that was Yosemite. I pulled up a map and saw that it was in Wyoming… roughly 750 miles away. Not that I even knew exactly what Wyoming was next to, just that that’s where it was.

I might as well have been THIS guy.

I might as well have been THIS guy.

#2. What is the weather like in Wyoming?

At the fruition of our Yellowstone plan, we intended to make the trip in April. Living in Las Vegas, April is a lovely time of the year. The weather is usually in the high 70s or low 80s, sunny with a light breeze. This would be the perfect weather to visit a National Park! I mean, why wouldn’t it be? In March I went to the Grand Canyon and the weather was great over there in Arizona! Why would Yellowstone be any different? Maybe because it’s 750 miles north from Las Vegas and it snows there. Oh yeah. That’s why. About a month before our original trip date, we did some more weather research. We discovered that the 75 degrees in Las Vegas translated to a snowing 39 degrees in Wyoming. Needless to say, we immediately bookmarked the excursion for August.

What's snow?

What’s snow?

#3. Wyoming has other cool things too

After feeling blindsided about where Wyoming was and what the weather was like, I decided it was time for some serious Wyoming research. After a quick peruse online, I learned that Wyoming is a pretty sweet state if you like Nature! They have the Grand Tetons which is, according to Forbes, one of the 20 USA places you need to visit before you die. It is so picturesque. I added it to my list of places I want to go one day. I also added the Devil’s tower! Another cool and natural formation in the mysterious state that is Wyoming. It’s actual where they filmed a movie called Close Encounters of the Third Kind! I won’t have time on this trip to visit either site, but it’s good to know what Wyoming has to offer! Who knew that such a square state would have more than one interesting feature?

Who doesn't want to see this image in real life?

Who doesn’t want to see this image in real life?

#4. No one wants to drive 11 hours and no one wants to fly

It felt like such a debacle trying to convince everyone in the group that driving 11 hours would be “fun” and “not that bad!” No one seemed to be buying what I was selling. When all frustrations kick in, I could always rely on the sarcastic recommendation of “we could just fly there!” However, no one wants to do that either. Paying about $300+ per person to and from Wyoming seemed counterproductive to the goal of a cheap vacation.

The inevitable situation.

The inevitable situation.

#5. Traveling with a group sucks

In addition to my #4, I also learned that traveling with a large group and by large I mean more than 4 people total can be a pain in the butt. Conflicting schedules and trying to accommodate everyone’s preferences can become very tiring very quickly. Luckily, if everyone pitches in during the planning process, it can be bearable. Of course, always prepare for some last minute changes. Be ready for that moment when you think everything is fine and dandy… then the plans change and throws the whole thing off its groove. Oh Joy! (sarcasm)

Me, during every vacation.

Me, during every vacation.

#6. The park is huge. Like. Huge.

When putting together an itinerary of the “Must See” sights for Yellowstone, there were so many to choose from. I also realized that they weren’t close to one another. Almost every sight involves some kind of driving to be able to move from one location to the next. Yellowstone, in all fairness is 3,468 sq. miles large and has about 466 miles of road spanning the park. It needs all that space to accommodate the lakes, thousands of petrified pine trees, 290 waterfalls, 300 geysers and of course, the active volcano.

meme

#7. Two and a half days will not be enough

Out of the 72 hours of this entire trip… only about 28 hours will be in the park itself. It may seem like a lot of time to some, but after all this initial research I already know that it won’t be enough time. 🙁 Sadly, it’s a little too late in our planning process for everyone to be able to stay longer. I now understand why some travelers can spend upwards of a week in Yellowstone. I haven’t even started this particular journey and I’m already overwhelmed! I guess I can always use the missed sights as a reason to return right? Now let’s get this trip on the road! *Literally!*

Sad, but true.

Sad, but true.

So there you have! These are the 7 Things Learned While Planning Yellowstone. Have you learned anything?

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