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Wandering WY: Midsummer in Yellowstone National Park

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

If you live near any National Park or Forest area, you probably hear the saying, “Pack your patience…”, pretty often these days. I’m actually following an entire page on Facebook dedicated to the different very stupid things people do in Yellowstone National Park. Most recently, a middle-aged man got drunk…. went for a midnight walk… tripped into Old Faithful… and sustained severe burns.

I had sooooo many questions reading that story!

1. How on earth did he get from wherever he was camping to the boardwalk, past the boardwalk, up the hill, and into the geyser? While drunk?

2. Also who was drinking with this tragic person and why didn’t they at least try to stop him from walking that far from their camping spot… in the dark… at midnight… in Yellowstone?

3. Was he not concerned about bears? Or bison? Or elk?

Honestly, my friends, we have a book titled “101 Ways to Die in Yellowstone” for a reason! Us locals get pretty angry actually at the millions of tourists who pour through the world’s first national park each year with zero respect for the wildlife, the natural features, and their own safety! I dare you to Google Yellowstone and not be able to come up with hundreds if not thousands of articles regarding all the stupidity and how people get hurt each year…

That is not the real subject of the day’s post, but it does set the stage pretty well 🙂

In my Grandparents' business we rely on tourists for a living, in fact, many of the towns surrounding the Park would not exist without the tourist economy. This does not change the level of angry driving when you’re trying to get somewhere in Yellowstone… Sure those “traffic jam in Montana” posts on Instagram are cute, but not when you’re trying to meet up with a client 20 miles away and you’ve already gotten stuck over one buffalo, the buffalo herd, and a bush that looks like it might be an animal in that very short distance!

This is after you got up at 4:30 a.m. to have horses and pack animals ready for the trip…

I feel like I’ve had a lot of dot. dot. dot. statements in this post, by which I mean: I’m absolutely sure this speaks for itself 😂

The moral of the story is that “Pack your patience”, isn’t really for the tourists, it is for the locals who will be interacting with all these tourists that we know we can’t live without!

Is it worth it?

Riding hours into the backcountry of Yellowstone where the crowds are thinner, the air is clear, the fishing is fantastic, the camping is peaceful, and your chances of tripping into a geyser are lessened is definitely worth every minute!!!

Do you live in a tourist area? Do you work with tourists? How often do you have to pack your patience? What unique challenge do you face in your tourist area?

If you, like me, play the tourist traveling the world, taking in the sights that others have so graciously preserved for us, and provided the food and activities that make it worth the journey, please remember the lesson of the man who tripped in the geyser. We all need to play a role in being respectful and caring for these amazing places. It starts with simply using a little bit of common sense! The rules are there for a reason, you don’t have to like them, you do have to follow them… when you don’t, there are consequences and sometimes that consequence is tragically a life. Travel Responsibly!

Thank you, fellow adventurers! You can follow the lilmissbearpaw blog page on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @lilmissbearpaw for sneak peeks into upcoming posts and my adventures. This will also be a great place to share your own adventures!

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