Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday: A Slew of Firsts in Yellowstone

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently ventured to Yellowstone National Park in northern Wyoming. True, it was a business trip – well, technically, a press trip, which, for a travel writer, amounts to the same thing as a business trip – but that didn't prevent me from having a great time.

In fact, it was the first time that I'd ever seen Montana or Wyoming – much less Yellowstone – in my life, and the only thing that would have made the experience more enjoyable was if I'd been able to take my husband, Dan, along for the ride.

Although it would require several posts to describe all that I saw, did, and ate while away from home for a week, I thought that it might be more interesting to note some of the “firsts” that happened to me – through pictures as well as words. (Just note that, save for the two specified below, all photographs were taken by me.)

Here, then, is my first look at snowy Montana from an airplane window.

This is my first roadside encounter with a bison in the wild (which, incidentally, happened in Yellowstone's Lamar Valley).

Here's the first pair of snowshoes that I ever strapped on and attempted to hike in (not a bad way to experience the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces)!

From the look of shock on my face (that's me in the front, with Serena and Molly behind me), it might be easy to guess that this is the first time I ever emerged from boiling hot springs (the Boiling River, to be exact) in a frigid winter landscape. (photo courtesy of Donnie Sexton)

Here's the first snowcoach in which I've ever ridden (the only way to traverse most of Yellowstone National Park in the wintertime) – that's Suzanne, by the way, standing in front.

Here's my first look at Old Faithful blowing her top! Isn't she beautiful, particularly in the winter?

Here's a dimly lit ice-skating rink near Old Faithful, site of my first solo ice-skating experience (without rails, surrounded by snow drifts, and beneath a canopy of stars).

This is the first time that I ever made a snow angel (not far from some wild bison on a geyser plateau) – that's me in the middle, by the way, with Serena and Molly on either side. (photo courtesy of Donnie Sexton)

This is the first time that I ever wore a snowmobile suit and, yes, rode a snowmobile (which is great fun in the forests beyond West Yellowstone)! (photo courtesy of Donnie Sexton)!

And that's just a sampling of my adventures in and around Yellowstone – a once-in-a-lifetime trip that I will always treasure.

So, have you ever been there?