Jenny Lake in Grand Tetons National Park
We woke up excited to finally see Yellowstone, one of the most eagerly anticipated sights of our entire road trip. We ate lunch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and saw more arches made of antlers than is necessary, then made our way to Grand Tetons National Park. We were about to take a ferry across Jenny Lake and hike in the Tetons, but it was rainy and we decided there were bigger adventures awaiting us. I did buy a bison Christmas ornament for my mom because she collects ornaments, which led to me telling Matt I would "gouge his eyes out with my bison". We really did get along quite lovely, though. We got to Yellowstone, which is every bit as incredible as you could even imagine. We saw tons of bison and elk, a bison was even walking towards us on the road at one point! We saw Old Faithful, but due to time zone confusion we missed it once and had to wait for it to go for an extra hour.
I ate some bison chili in the dining hall, and we saw a pika (like a chipmunk) running around the cafeteria. It was cute, if not on the unsanitary side. We finally saw Old Faithful, and then I insisted on seeing the paint pots and really brightly colored pools of boiling water. The pools are so bright because of various minerals (I was an avid reader of "Kids Discover" magazine as a child, and I recall my Yellowstone edition especially well). Matt and Auni were impressed, but it was a bit too cold out for our liking. It even snowed a tiny bit! In Yellowstone we passed the Continental Divide twice more. We finally left the park at around 9 or so, and after getting gas in West Yellowstone I took my turn at the wheel. Throughout the trip I had been getting bad conditions (rain, a several mile long detour on a dirt road in Kansas because of a giant accident, and so forth), but this night took the cake.
To get to Bozeman our road dipped into Yellowstone a bit, and I was worried about hitting elk so I drove very slowly. I kept my brights on until the fog got the better of me and I had to switch on the lowbeams. To make matters worse, it started pouring with the occasional lightning. I drove through what we later learned was a gorgeous canyon, but it was too dark and stormy to see anything. My driving skills were definitely tested and I impressed Auni and Matt. The radiator was broken in our original room at our Bozeman motel, so we were given a suite for the same price as our other room. Sweet!