Is it an infraction of some sort to drive straight through a renowned national park like Yellowstone without stopping? If so, we’re getting a citation, because that’s exactly what we did yesterday. Well, except for the 30 seconds Jim pulled into a turnout so I could look for my dropped iPhone, and another 45 seconds where he pulled aside to let traffic pass.
We’ve both previously spent time at Yellowstone and just didn’t feel like putting up with masses of people. In fact, someone we met at Grand Teton told us the Yellowstone crowds reminded him of Disneyland.
When I visited Yellowstone last time, I camped at Madison (on the west side) with my son. We hiked, went horseback riding, did a Conestoga wagon trip complete with dinner and cowboy yarns, and Paul lost a hiking boot in a hot pot. (Thank goodness that’s the worst that happened. We even got the boot back.) Jim and family stayed at a lodge; he has a great story about answering a fellow visitor’s question about identifying an animal they were all watching. Jim happily and at length explained the fine points differentiating a Roosevelt elk from a Rocky Mountain elk, only to have to have the woman reply “Oh. It's an elk.”
This time, from what we could see from the road, Yellowstone didn’t look like the line for Space Mountain, but it was busy. And people are nutso.
Yellowstone visitor: “Look! There’s a squirrel! Stop the car right here in the middle of the road, so I can get a picture! Or pull off but leave the car door open so we block traffic!”
Despite the dozens of visitors driving in front of us who must have had conversations like the one above, Jim didn't hit anyone or anything.