My oldest son, Bill, and his family invited me to go with them on a trip to Yellowstone National Park and parts of Montana, so even though I still have tons of harvesting/canning/seed saving left to do, I jumped on the chance to go. We drove straight through in a 23-foot motorhome, stopping for only a couple of hours in a rest area so Bill, our driver, could nap. We saw a gorgeous sunrise from a rest area in North Dakota then headed for the park. I had made reservations in the Madison campground on the west side of the park, so we headed for West Yellowstone and the park’s entrance. I was happy when my Golden Age passport card got us in for free. We then began touring the park with me acting as tour guide. (We used to live only 100 miles north of the park and went often.) Grandkids, Ava and Mason, got to see elk and buffalo for the first time. Then Mason spotted a pair of otter in the Firehole river. They were amazed to see the hot springs, but when we got to Old Faithful, it started to snow hard! They did get to watch it erupt before we headed for the campground.

Bill, Kelly, Ava, and Mason checking out the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.

The snow stopped, but it rained and sleeted and in the morning, they “kicked us out of the park!” The roads were slick with ice in spots and they closed the park roads. On to plan B. We checked, and the North entrance of the park was still open so we spent most of the day driving around to it. There, the elevation was lower so it had only rained — no snow and ice. We were able to check out the Mammoth Hot Spring area and even saw a herd of elk right in the visiting center area.

As always, we saw plenty of wildlife, from buffalo to elk.

After leaving the park for the second time, we headed for North Dakota, planning on visiting Theodore Roosevelt National Park on the way home as we didn’t get a good visit at Yellowstone and that park was on the way home. We’d been past it many times but I had never stopped, figuring it would only be grassy, sage-covered hills. Boy, was I wrong! Gorgeous rock formations, canyons that stretched forever, and plenty of wildlife too. We saw buffalo up close, mule deer, and several wild horses. I know we’ll go again!

We saw lots of rock formations and gorgeous canyons.

All too soon, the trip was finished and we began the long drive home. Unfortunately, there was heavy rain and wind all the way. I felt sorry for Bill. It was a tough drive!

I sure do miss my Montana mountains!

Now I’m home and although tired, it’s good to be back. And all those tomatoes are waiting for me with welcoming arms… — Jackie


  1. I’m so glad you took the time to be with your son and family. People and relationships are what give meaning to our lives. Accomplishing goals is great and I too enjoy gardening and food preservation but family is more important😊

  2. My son and daughter-in Law just moved from PA to Cody, WY . We can’t wait to visit them and from there take a trip to Yellowstone.Thanks for sharing your experience .

  3. I think that people who are willing to take a chance or do something on the spur of the moment tend to not have boring lives. Some of my best memories and experiences come from when I took advantage of an unexpected opportunity. Glad you went for it!

    • I agree. And some of my best trips have been a Plan B type trip like ours to Yellowstone. If what you originally had planned falls through, go on to another thing. It’s often better than what you had initially planned!

  4. Nice pictures and aren’t Bison the most awesome creatures? Their tallow makes very nice lotion also. Fist bump to your son Bill for doing the driving – not an easy task even in the best of weather.

    • We love the park too. Here’s hoping the super volcano in Yellowstone Lake holds off for a few more centuries before blowing.

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