Our first stop in the ‘Equality State’, the most sparsely populated of all the fifty states in America, was at the ‘Manliest Brew Pub’ – (according to Men’s Health) – the Snake River Brewpub. We sat outside in the blazing sun and chowed down on epic Mac and Cheese and a ‘Big Hole Burger’ and regretted that the drive ahead meant we couldn’t imbibe any of the choice microbrews made within spitting distance from where we were chowing down.
But, as with all of our roadtrips we had to push on and after a quick nose around Jackson Hole, (verdict: would make a really cute pit-stop for a day or two) we were driving through the majestic Grand Teton National Park. At this point it should be made clear that Josh saw a bear here whilst Hannah did not. The universe is cruel and after Josh saw dolphins in Charleston whilst Hannah didn’t too – perhaps she needs new spectacles…but we digress, bears or no bears the Tetons are spectacular. Living in London we never knew skies could look so big. Fluffy clouds floating in cornflower blue skies punctured by rocky peaks atop giant silver lakes. It was utterly spellbinding and we longed to stay longer and fish and ride horses out here.
Alas, the Tetons were merely the backdrop to the journey onto Yellowstone National Park – America’s first National Park and a must-do on anyone’s list of things to do in Wyoming, if not the world. Home to grizzly bears, big old bison, packs of wolves and half of the world’s geysers, truly this was a special place the like of which we’ve not seen before or since. Or smelt – for those geysers (with names like Black Growler, Dragon’s Mouth Spring and Sulphur Spring) really do pong. They bubble and burp and some of them shimmer like diamonds. One of them – the most famous probably, Old Faithful shoots thousands of gallons of water over 200 feet in the air – exploring all the geothermal activity in the park is to marvel at Mother Nature’s mysterious ways.
As well as gawping at Old Faithful and drinking in the kaleidoscope colours of Grand Prismatic Spring we drove to Mammoth Hot Springs where we swam in the Boiling River (not actually a boiling hot river thankfully, but the place were a large hot spring, known as Boiling River, enters the Gardner River, so that the hot and the cold water mix in pools along the river’s edge.) We loved seeing elk and bison as we drove around and I can imagine how you could spend weeks here hiking and cycling throughout the 3,472 square mile park.
We spent our solitary night within the Park at the Old Faithful Inn – a beautiful wooden lodge with roaring fires in the lobby and a crummy “dungeon” room which unfortunately we were assigned. Book early and hope you get a better room than we did. We also ate in the Inn’s restaurant which was expensive and distinctly average, but frankly whilst you’re sipping on a cool beer (Josh) or a well-made White Russian (Hannah) and watching Old Faithful do her thing who’s complaining?
Wyoming and especially Yellowstone National Park was a wild and beautiful place to visit; somewhere you’ll never forget, we promise.
Rate the State:
Good for: wilderness lovers, geothermal fans, photographers.
Bad for: city-types.