TYRA SUTAKAUGUST 15, 2016
Driving through Yellowstone National Park made me a little sad, as I had a feeling that it would. The wonderful childhood memories I had of exploring the notorious national park still linger in the vault of family camping trips I took as a kid. As an adult finishing out the last leg of long road trip through the western United States, driving through Yellowstone wasn’t exactly the fastest way to get to Boulder, Colorado from Missoula, Montana, but those memories from the past started leaking out of the vault, and before I knew it, I found myself following the ample signage into park’s northern entrance. While I waited in the long line to enter the park, smoke from a nearby wildfire muted the landscape around me. I drove deeper into the park, passing cars filled with families snapping photos on their smartphones of particularly scenic views or of the small amount of wildlife brave enough to venture out of the safety and quietude of the trees during the mid-morning traffic in the park. It wasn’t until I emerged from the south entrance of Yellowstone and entered the colorful and lively Grand Teton National Park that I really started to enjoy the drive. Delicate wildflowers of yellows and pinks and purples lined the roads through the park, leading up to the majestic, still snow-brushed peaks of the aptly named Grand Tetons. Families left their cars behind and enjoyed the trails and waters and all-around beauty of the park–making memories with their children to be added into that special vault of family memories.