Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

I’ve driven through Wyoming a number of times and thought the experience was boring to the point of surreal. Flat landscape marked only by shadows of oil wells and the occasional deer munching on sweet greens on the side of the road. Nothing too spectacular.

Who would have imagined that some of the most spectacular beauty in the entire country was hidden in this state?!

Driving into Yellowstone National Park via the West Entrance in West Yellowstone, Montana, we had no idea what was in store. The first thing that happens, though, is that you enter Wyoming. And then, you enter paradise.

The pictures speak louder than words on this one, so I’m simply going to share my album on Facebook with everyone. Below, you’ll find a video of Old Faithful as well.

Tips when traveling to Yellowstone:

1. Make reservations a year in advance if you want the best choice of lodging.

2. Save money by staying outside the park near one of the entrances (but NOT the East entrance, which is a 27-mile drive in and closed seasonally unless you’re coming in the height of summer and don’t mind the curvy ride in – it is beautiful).

3. While some of the people who live in Yellowstone are immune to its glory, there are plenty of people in the shops and towns who take great pride in the area and will give you advice and tips. Talk to them.

4. Do not leave without Huckleberry Syrup, which you can buy in town or in the gift shop in the park. It is to die for.

5. When planning a trip to the park, the earlier you can get there, the better. Especially during peak season, if you wait until afternoon to go, you’ll crawl through the park at a snail’s pace.

6. Old Faithful isn’t as faithful as it used to be, going off every 45 to 125 minutes. Plan to spend some time waiting (there’s a cafe, gift shop, and benches in front of the geyser to make the wait easier).

7. When the signs say the buffalo are dangerous and you should stay in your car, they’re not kidding. The animal is going to win, especially if all you’re shooting with is a camera. And, it’s their territory, not yours…so be prepared to wait while they mosey across the road. (The animals are far less dangerous than the rubbernecking tourists who veer off the side of the road at first sign of a deer).