By Maggie -- Aug 15, 2014
After exploring the Grand Tetons, we took a day trip to Yellowstone and attempted to visit as many sites as possible. I had been to Yellowstone as a kid on one of our Ashla Family Epic Road Trip Adventures, but I only remember certain bits and pieces. Most of the time I was probably laying down in the back seat of the van listening to Third Eye Blind on my cassette player and annoying the crap out of my sister. I had no concept of how many road miles you end up putting on in the park. No wonder people stay for a week - it could take that or more to see it all.
While in the Tetons, we learned about "Bear Jams", or big groups of people stopping to watch and photograph a bear on the trail, causing traffic. We then used the term for every type of jam: Buff Jam, Doe Jam, Elk Jam, etc, and sang it out loud:
"BUFF JAM na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na BUFF JAM"
...like a rock song. Sometimes even with air guitar. It turned an annoying scenario upside-down.
I do remember the bison crossing the roads and coming uncomfortably close to the car. They just don't give one hoot about cars or people. We took a walk around a geyser area and got stuck on a bridge between three huge bison, one of which was trying to get his lady friend to show some interest in him, and was getting frustrated and grunting and spitting. A ranger was there, interpreting what the bison were doing. "Now he's getting really annoyed and telling her, c'mon already! She's just not interested. He's walking over here, probably to play hard to get". Hmmmm..... ok.
We had a wonderful time in the park despite some nasty weather and annoying bus loads of tourists. We drove back in the evening and made it back to Matt's place around 9:30pm. We had planned on setting out on an overnight backpacking trip the next morning. Ryan had found a spot on Jackson Lake that you can canoe to with your packs. We booked one of two campsites in Little Mackinaw Bay and packed all of our gear into our packs. The next morning we unfortunately had to cancel because of a lack of canoe access. We had assumed we could rent from the Marina on the lake, which is what we were told by the park ranger. When we called that morning, they informed us that they don't do overnight canoe rentals. The weather called for evening storms that sounded intense... So, reluctantly we canceled our backpacking site reservation. We packed up the trailer and headed north back through both National Parks, and eastward to Cody.