In between taking care of things here, I have tried to work on my trip as much as I can. I have found that I get this second wind lately and I just run with it, booking right and left. So yesterday I was doing my research on Yellowstone and wanted to see what I could find for August and maybe find something open. All the hotels in the area are fully booked, so next was staying either inside the Park and camp or outside the Park and camp at like a KOA Campground.
I found a site that I could book for 4 straight nights in the Mammoth area, so I am super excited that I got that end because it is where I intended on coming back through after Idaho and the Ghost Towns of Montana. Not knowing ANYTHING about Yellowstone, I just winged it on what campsite looked best and found a nice one that looks onto one of the Mountain sides. I had to book on the National Parks website, another first for me, by making an account and then paying for the site IN FULL online. They do list what the site has, what the amenities are there, etc.. so it was pretty easy to use except modifying the dates. I screwed up the month, so I had to remove the wrong reservation and replace it with the correct dates which then gave me different site choices. Doing this for the first time is incredibly scary because I don’t know the Park at all. I just knew this was the Wyoming end I wanted to come in on, and I figured that I could enjoy 4 days in this area, and then maybe find a site at the bottom for a day or two there.
I highly recommend joining camp groups and National Park groups/pages for insider information, as I am learning a lot. I plan on tenting it, but honestly I will probably sleep in my car during the night, and during the day take a nap in my tent and relax there after hiking and such. I have watched every episode of “Survivor” and owned my own Campground, you’d think I would be more prepared for this. BUT its been over 20 years since I had my Campground, and have camped little since then. SO this will be a learning experience. I am getting a tent that is the EASIEST to put up and take down. I don’t want to get frustrated with that and ruin the entire experience. I will also keep food ONLY in my car, not in my tent, as this is bear country and while I would like not be “Datelined,” I would also not like to be mauled by a bear.
Just need to figure out the campfire situation and how to bathe. No showers there, just flushable toilets, which is still better than the pit toilets. As a kid I used to have nightmares of what spiders were going to crawl up in there while I was on them….or falling down the toilet into the yuck. I know, give me a break, I was a kid. LOL I am a bit concerned about that 3 a.m., middle of the night pit stop I may need….hmm.
I am SUPER excited to be able to explore a National Park in this capacity and detail this time around, and not just a drive through. I don’t mind driving them, but hopefully I will be able to do a hike or two. SAFELY. Yes, need bear spray, human spray, spray spray. I have a list going that I will get before I hit the road in June, and then pick up groceries and bottled water in Idaho before heading in. I am only there 4 nights, so hopefully I see as much as I can, but short enough that if I am miserable and not feeling it, I won’t have to endure it too long. LOL
It was only $25 a day to camp inside the Park, and I did have to pay it in full. They don’t have many campgrounds open this year, so I just went with the one that was open. I figure I will bring everything in I need, drive the loops to see “Old Faithful” and other sites on my end. Then maybe book another site on the opposite end I will be heading out on, or just see things as I head out of there. They were filling up incredibly fast, I had no idea the cutthroat world of camping and how people sit and wait for people’s campsites before they even left. I guess I will see firsthand how this will all work. OH you also get a discount if you have a National Parks pass, I didn’t plan on buying mine until my first Park, so I wasn’t able to benefit this time around.
I am nervous and excited, and I think it will be a true test of my patience and learning to be with myself without many distractions. I CANNOT WAIT to show y’all how I do and how I am doing- pending ANY cell phone reception. My campground says they have it, so I am hoping I have it for when I chill at night and I can check in with people. Other than that, I plan on a campfire and then movie time with a DVD on my laptop- charging in my car during the day.
If you have any suggestions, please comment on FB, on the blog, or PM me. I would love to know your tips and experiences in Yellowstone and what trails I should take, what places to check out, and what you dealt with. Thank you for any and all help!