Happiness takes over and tears flow as I enter Yellowstone National Park from the West Entrance, stop at a simple flowing river where the sun kisses the ripples, and the mountains create the perfect picture. There's something about water, mountains, and the sun all at once in a beautiful area that just pulls at my soul.
Yellowstone National Park West Entrance
On the first day of travel, I left Snake River in Island Park, Idaho, going North on US Route 20 and then into the park on US Route 191 all the way to Fishing Bridge RV Park.
The travel time took probably quadruple what I expected, because I stopped frequently and the speed limits are reduced, plus I'm in the RV so with some of the winding roads, I was definitely going slower.
There was so much to see from water falls, rivers, wildlife, beautiful landscape of trees, grass, flowers, and bushes, and then there's the natural geysers dotting the land throughout the park.
Emotional Moment at Yellowstone National Park
I didn't show my complete crying moment at Yellowstone National Park, but enough where you hopefully understand the joy I was feeling in that moment that created the tears.
See, I left on this story chasing dream to live in an RV full-time so I could live again. I felt stuck in this world of working too many hours of overtime and of being stuck in a home that I felt tethered to with constant cleaning, maintenance, and just working and living in it 24/7.
I no longer felt like I was living. I didn't have much of a social life and my health was suffering from the stress of work.
I made a decision just after the new year that something had to change. For the last four years I had been researching and dreaming of RVing full-time.
So I decided it was time and I would overcome those fears of doing this on my own.
Now that I've sold my house, bought the RV, and started traveling in my off time, I feel so alive and so connected to this Earth, to spirit, and to myself.
So in this moment of gazing at this miraculous beauty, emotion overcame me with this overwhelming feeling of gratitude for being able to go out on this adventure and create stories in my life that I'll cherish forever.
Beauty of Yellowstone National Park
You look everywhere in this park and there is beauty surrounding you.
Trees large, small, burned from forest fires.
Rivers with water crashing against rocks and others gently flowing down stream.
Mountains peaked with snow and giving life to the animals that source it for food.
Wildlife gracefully walking through the parks or souring high in the sky.
Water Falls rushing through gorges and into waiting rivers.
Pelican Creek, which doesn't look like much of a creek, was brimming with activity from birds chirping and skimming the water and fog rolling off of the water in the early morning.
In some areas, especially as you travel towards the East Entrance of Yellowstone from the park, there was still quite a bit of snow pack with lakes that were frozen. The roads were clear, but there had been a significant amount of late year snowfall before the park could open to cars.
Fishing Bridge RV Park and Campground
I did make a reservation at Fishing Bridge RV park just on the Northwest side of Yellowstone Lake which was a little over half of my route through the park so it was a good stopping point.
It was a pretty pricey park, by RV standards, at $54 per night which came with electric and water hookups. I however did not use either as I had the solar panels and would be out early in the morning to make it to Cody, Wyoming in time for my work day.
The park was nice on gravel, level sites, water, electric, laundry facility, dump station, and trash bins around the park.
I cringed a little at paying $54 for basically a plot of land to park my RV so I could sleep for the night, but it's a necessary part of full-time RVing. Many places you travel to do not always have free BLM or National Forest land for you to boondock so there are times where you'll need to pay.
I do budget for this expense monthly of about $300 and if I don't use it all one month, I carry it over to the next month so if there is ever a time where I need to be in paid RV parking during the month, I have the available funds. For example, on the East coast, there is not all this wonderful BLM and National Forest land for dispersed camping or boondocking like we have on the West coast so I know I'll spend more in RV “rent” when I head out East.
There's always Walmart though!
Leaving Yellowstone National Park East Entrance
When I left Fishing Bridge RV Park the landscape was lush with greenery and then I started climbing in elevation where the snow pack was high and thick, lakes were still frozen, and temperatures were definitely colder.
I couldn't believe Sylvan Lake was still frozen.
I had to break out the jacket again.
At one point, as I traversed the landscape of naked trees, burnt from previous forest fires, I could smell this strong sulfur smell. Of course I immediately thought it was my propane tank as I had also smelled it when I packed up that morning. My alarm wasn't going off and the tank was off.
Nevertheless, it scared me so I pulled over to inspect and found nothing wrong. Later I looked it up online and it's the geysers that give off that smell. For some reason though, the scent was very strong that morning.
Then as I descended the mountains to the East entrance of Yellowstone, I saw these two beautiful rams on the side of the mountain, perched precariously on the shifting dirt and rocks. It amazes me how they can climb like that and still not fall.
So have you been to Yellowstone or a place that just really moved you? Leave me a comment below and share your story.
Overnights & Places Visited
Place: Fishing Bridge RV Park in Yellowstone National Park
RV Accessibility: Good for any size RV
Cell Phone Signal Strength: No service through most of the park until I got to the RV park, but it was only voice – no data.
Park Pass: National Park Pass
Cost: $54 for RV Park and I bought the annual National Park Pass for $80
City/State: Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming
Video/Audio Equipment Used
Sony A6000 Camera – For most still images and vlogging
Sony Action Cam FDRX3000 – For dash cam and walking/talking video
Joby Gorillapod – Used for holding the cameras as a tripod or mounting to just about anything to capture a shot.