Bailey Tann

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Six Days in: Jackson, White water Rafting, Yellowstone summer crowds

Tired of carrying my heavy camera and bag around, I packed it up for a day while we wandered through Jackson. Of course, now I wish that I hadn't-- Jackson, Wyoming was a goldmine of a town that I wanted to see every inch of. Tucked in the mountains, Jackson's streets were lined with galleries, restaurants, and numerous outdoor recreation companies offering so many ways to explore the wilderness that surrounds the town. It was one of those places that I immediately knew I wanted to revisit and spend more time in. (Stay tuned, I will go back)

Our white-water rafting trip began around 1 pm. We, as well as other families and groups, all piled on to a bus to head for the river. I usually aim to plan one or two not-hiking-or-on-the-road activities. In the past we have kayaked and gone on boat tours--usually some sort of water sport. Its definitely something I recommended for road-trip enthusiasts. Joining random groups of people is great way to meet people on the road, which is half the fun of traveling around our own country. We shared a raft with a family from Vietnam, a couple recently moved from Manhattan to California, and a group of travelling friends staying in the area. A little girl sat behind me with her life-jacket to her ears. At one point she tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to something on my life-jacket. I looked down to see a bug crawling across my jacket, and immediately loved the little girl who was trying to save me from a bug. She was so excited each time we went through a rapid-- she yelled from the back of the raft when we were on still water for any amount of time to 'go through another one!'. During one of these calm straights on the river, the guys from the group of friends jumped off of the boat and into the freezing water. If her father had let her, she would have been in that water in seconds. She watched the guys and said 'That looks fun!' and our guide responded, 'It is fun!'. (*heart melting little girl nostalgia) 

On the bus back to Jackson, we spoke to a the guys on our raft, Ian and Tucker, who worked at Yellowstone the summer before and gave us the skinny on what to cover at Yellowstone. Which was incredibly helpful because we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into (lots and lots of people). I talked to Ian about astrology and fuck-boys (pardon my french, a term used to describe stupid tooly dudes) and he told me about his dad's photography hobby. We parted ways, but added each other on Facebook where I now get to see his continued travels from my cubicle (where he might see this post and read about himself, HEY!).

So we have zero pictures of the day I just mentioned. But enjoy these from day we spent in Yellowstone. Yellowstone is massive, surrounded by forest an mountains, and as it turns out, very very busy in July. We got started really early, waking up and hiking before we saw Old Faithful erupt (erupt?) at 8 in the morning. Rather than watching with the crowd up close, we watched from afar with a handful of other visitors with the same idea. The activity and surface of the earth at Yellowstone is just bizarre. Truly bizarre. It's all living and moving, erupting and bubbling. The sound the paint pots made (click to see someones vid of paint pots) as the mud bubbled and popped made me a giddy little kid, laughing at the sounds and the shapes of the mud bubbles popping into the air. 

After one particular turn off- I think it was to see the south rim of the Yellowstone Grand Canyon-- we got fed up from waiting in line to park and turned our car around to leave. With the entitlement and snobbishness that comes from visiting National Parks back-to-back like we own the place, we wanted all of the people to GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. Like an amusement park or something-- that's where this kind of business and contentedness belonged. On our way out of the park we pulled over to have a late lunch overlooking Yellowstone Lake. Compared to the out-of-this-world geysers and springs, the lake was more familiar and conventionally beautiful. The sky was mirrored on the surface of the lake--the land filled with flowers and open space. We said goodbye to Yellowstone with plans already to return--without the chaos of tourists-- who were piling out of their cars as we sat, turning our lake solitude into family time. *end crotchety old lady rant

EDIT: Almost forgot to share the yellow flowers print from my Society6 Shop. Check em out by clicking the image for a specific product, or by clicking here to go to my shop. Thanks, guys!

TravelBailey Tann