Sunday, July 5, 2009

Knock knock...Park Ranger

As we made our way across Idaho and into Wyoming we made a quick stop in Jackson Hole to pick up some groceries for our 3 day adventure in the parks. Jackson Hole is quite the happening place. In the winter it's a ski resort and in the summer...well it's pretty much just a party. We headed out to Grand Teton National Park for the night. Not without seeing like 4 moose though. By the time we made it to camp it was pretty darn dark so we decided to sleep in the the campsite. We prepared all our veggies and stuff so that we didn't have to worry about it later and basically just hung out.

It was raining in the morning when we left the campsite so we stopped to take a few pictures in case we didn't have a chance to get anymore, but a few hours later it cleared up enough for us to do a little trail and have a picnic. Katie was a little scared of all the bear warnings and scarfed down her lunch and packed up for fear that bears were going to find us :). In all fairness there were A LOT of bear warnings and maybe I can be a little non-chalant at times...I think that serves me; and my sanity.

Grand Teton was a beautiful place to see, but we soon head up to Yellowstone National Park for some more adventures.

Yellowstone is like the Disney of geothermal activity. I saw geothermal activity in New Zealand when I was there, but this was WAY more impressive! We made it through the geyser section of the east side of the park and then looked for a place to camp. Well the entire park was full so when we decided it was time to go to sleep we found a parking lot in the park and parked. Then 1am rolls around and:

"knock knock...park ranger. Are you aware it is illegal to camp in a parking lot ma'am?"
To which I replied no, while Katie is still sleeping in the back. As he took my license and reg over to his vehicle I pretty bluntly asked, "So are you going to be giving me a ticket or no?" Thankfully the answer was no, well it was 'we'll discuss that later', but I knew it was a no just by the uncertainty in his voice when he answered that.

So we got to spend the rest of the night in the visitors centre parking lot where the park rangers could keep a 'close eye' on us. I mean, we weren't worried about crazed maniacs running through the forrest to attack us, but I guess maybe in our sleepiness we failed to recall the information we had read about the strength of grizzlies and the potential danger wildlife and nature would pose. Lesson...Have a plan before you get too tired!

We headed out of Yellowstone at a good pace the next day...they had our information in the park system incase we'd be camping illegally again! We saw tonnes of wildlife...everything in the paper except for a wolf. Yes, a wolf. That was the only thing I wanted to see, and didn't. But that's ok. I'll be sure to find one next time. I'd go back for a longer time anyday.

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