Yellowstone National Park

As usual, I am delinquent on updating my blog posts – but this time there’s not a rush to crank them out before our next trip, given the pandemic! So I will slowly take my time in writing these. I’ve also been pretty lethargic recently, because I’m…[PREGNANT!] What!

M and I (ok, mostly I) are big planners, and this past year we’ve been re-evaluating our timeline to start having kids. I always thought I would be the type to push kids off until I was in my mid-to-late 30s, and I certainly am not -nor ever will be, I suppose – the type to CAN’T WAIT UNTIL I HAVE KIDS. (The same could not be said about dogs. I’m currently researching “is it crazy to get a puppy when pregnant??”. Pretty sure I am more excited at the prospect of getting a dog right now, because we just moved to a dog-friendly building finally.) Anyway, after discussing with female mentors at my company about when they felt the best time they had kids were, we figured that given this next year of being in school virtually it might be a good time to start trying. Plus, I had some fertility issues going into this year so we weren’t sure how long it would take. But losing a good amount of weight healthily this year seems like it helped, just as we’d hoped.

The first trimester hasn’t been as horrible as many people say. I did have a few weeks where I was too tired to do anything, and had lost my appetite for eating anything. I think I’m almost back to normal now, minus a little bit of fatigue (although I’ve started feeling ok enough to get back into moderate exercise) and some food aversions/”cravings”. We are thinking about taking a babymoon in my second trimester since it looks like I’m almost back to normal, but who knows what we’ll be able to do given the pandemic! So stay tuned on that.

Yellowstone was the last few days before we confirmed that I was pregnant! Symptoms didn’t start until much later, so our few days in Yellowstone were magical. We spent almost 3 full days near West Yellowstone; I did have to work part-time on two of the days, but given the time different we were still able to have full days after work.

Yellowstone is HUGE. It takes forever to drive from one section of the park to the other. On the first day we arrived, we entered the park around dusk and ran into the herd of Madison River Elk. It was MAJESTIC. We spent a lot of time observing the elk, and then tried to make it to Old Faithful to knock it out of the way since we figured it would be pretty busy during normal hours. We ended up making it to Old Faithful when it was basically dark, and missed the eruption by a few minutes…so we turned back and hit the hay at our hotel. We stayed at the Old Madison Inn in West Yellowstone, which was perfectly charming, especially since we really didn’t spend much time in the hotel itself.

The next day, we explored almost all of the park. There were a lot of road closures because of random fires/COVID, but at 5 AM we hit the road to drive to Lamar Valley which is known for wildlife. Unfortunately it was super foggy so we couldn’t see anything past our outreached hands. On the way back, we stopped at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone (beautiful, especially with the fog) and headed our way to various geysers.

There are a ton of geyser pullouts, it’s tough to see them all! Some of our favorites were Artists Paintpots and the black basin geyser. We also did a hike to Maiden Falls, which was stunning and one of my favorite hikes on the entire trip. When visiting Grand Prismatic Spring, make sure to also hike to the overlook since you can’t see much of the spring up close.

The rest of the day, we meandered our way to Mammoth and then to Hayden valley for dusk. We saw a ton of herds of bison here (unfortunately no bears or wolves), so it was well worth the drive!

Old Faithful. (It was overrated, but I guess you have to see it if you’re in Yellowstone)

To get to the Grand Tetons, we drove south through the park (very convenient!) through Old Faithful and Yellowstone Lake.

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