Yellowstone

Yellowstone

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The route between the statue of Crazy Horse and Yellowstone National Park has been the most interesting since the departure from Baltimore. Finally I left the Interstate highways and I could enjoy the views out of the window. Wyoming state with an area of about 250 thousand. km ^ 2 is greater than UK, Romania or Belarus, and is inhabited by about 575 thousand residents which is less than in Polish cities – Wroclaw, Lodz or Krakow. Due to the low population density for most of the route I could watch steppes reaching to the horizon, virtually unblemished by human activity. This is where you can see e.g. wild horses.

I passed a lot of towns. They were distinguished by the fact that they were cut off from others with a long distance. I couldn’t imagine functioning in this village with 20 residents, shop, bar, bank and nothing more in a radius of several miles. I spent the night close to one of these places, breaking up a tent on the roadside, shrouded by Don’s car from uninvited guests. And next morning I got wake-up call from cows. As it turned out just behind the fence was a huge pasture with cattle. I was lucky I didn’t decide to jump the fence (when I chose a place for sleeping outside was pitch dark).

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After some time, the steppes give way to the mountains. Dozens of miles before Yellowstone we stop in Boysen State Park. Beautifully situated lake was worth the few-minute break. The next stop, the last before Yellowstone fell over one of the rivers. Because I was not to use the shower for a long time happily jumped into the water. Unfortunately, the water temperature dropped a little a pleasure of bathing. I still wonder if it wasn’t close to zero degrees.

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About the Yellowstone National Park has been written more than one book. If I wanted to describe everything I saw and experienced there I would be able to write another. But surely no one would have read it so I will try to summarize.

Entering the Yellowstone National Park I immediately noticed that we will be doomed to close contact with nature. Practically after crossing the park we almost hit a buffalo. As will be seen on the road there are dozens of them and they do not care about people. When the side of the road you will see a couple of cars standing on the side of road, you can be sure that they stopped so that tourists could take pictures of animals (bizons, deers, eagles or other). The only animal that everyone tries to avoid is a bear. In every store you can buy gas for self-defense, and not to attract “a mission” to areas where there are people, it is forbidden to store food in a place other than the designated locker (for breaking the ban threatens a huge fine).

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However, in my opinion animals are not the biggest attraction of the area. The amount of interesting natural objects is extraordinary. The first place I was able to see is a mountain lake in Yellowstone. It is the second highest freshwater reservoir on Earth. The next were mud volcanoes. It is quite an interesting phenomenon, but due to the lingering stench of being close to them shouldn’t be pleasant. Another highlight was the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Amazing views. The night was approaching so we went to the north. After seeing the famous Mammoth Springs, we had to find a place for sleeping. Unfortunately, all campsites in the park were booked and sleeping in the wild was quite risky because of the possibility of receiving a fine. So we left the park for the night and found a campsite at the town of Gardiner in Montana. Fortunately, Don had a place in his camper and let me sleep there. In another case, a comfortable night’s sleep would be impossible.

Due to the height the night temperature dropped to 0 degrees. Unfortunately, the camper had no running water and nobody controlled payment of a fee. Only a slip of paper with the price and the box which was to throw money at the entrance reminded us of the necessity to leave cash. The next day we saw the western part of the park. Numerous hot springs and geysers did not let you get bored. We were lucky, because the most popular from geysers – Old Faithful arrived 15 minutes before the eruption. At the end I was probably the main attraction of the park – Grand Prismatic Spring. This is the “colourful lake”, which is mentioned in almost all the rankings of the most stunning places on Earth. It’s hard to convey the beauty of these places, so I hope that the photos will show a little more than text.

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Because we left Yellowstone from the south I could see the Grand Teton National Park along the way. It is a national park with peaks of the Rocky Mountains, commonly known as the Titans. The Titans are quite a spectacle. Snow-capped peaks have a height of more than 4 thousand meters above sea level.

Traveling further I had a reason to be happy. Don with whom I visited Yellowstone was going to Colorado. The next night I spent in the town of Jackson. Then the American explorer dropped me until I-80, the road leading straight to the first part of the journey: San Francisco.

Przemek Poniatowski
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