Impressions of Yellowstone

I’ve been enjoying a lot of Yellowstone love out there amongst many blogs I’ve visited in the past month. It makes me happy to see so many people having their chance to enjoy this spectacular ecosystem still holding on despite mankind’s intrusion and the constant threat of volcanic engulfment. I went there in 2020 for my 50th birthday and I hope to visit once again with TJ, who has yet to see the vast riches of the American west.

Below is a hefty set of pictures I hope will enlighten and inspire you to see this ecological wonderland for yourself. Just don’t be that idiot, the one who thinks just because a bison or antelope are within reach of the road you have all the time in the world to scooch up to them for a closer shot. Keep inside your car if you see a buffalo roadside. They have the right of way, not you, always keep that golden Yelllowstone rule in mind. I’ll never forget the terrible excuse for a father who took his two young children far into the open prairie close to a grizzly cub wandering about. The mass gathering sticking to roadside were all hollering at this lunatic, while I kept asking everyone in sight to be on the lookout for the cub’s mama. I was panicking for that reason, since there would’ve been no time for the stupid clown to hightail back to safety with his kids should the mother griz emerge, as she soon did. Fortunately, the park rangers were put on alert and got the humans to safety as the cub darted away once his mama found him.

I’ll remember that, plus getting into a little bit of heat of my own with the local constabulary for leaving the rental car far away in my haste to search for the mother bear. Those things, plus the second finest steak I ever had at Bullwinkle’s on the west gate of Yellowstone. As outrageous as them having one of my all-time favorite beers in the world, the Montana-based Moose Drool, on tap. I was even able to get the restaurant to sell me two of their Moose Drool pint glasses for my Pop and I, and driving my family nuts chasing down all the Moose Drool six packs I could bring home to Maryland, since the brewery at Big Sky doesn’t ship that far. Skipping rocks with my son at all the lakes and rapids we could find became a happy reoccurrence since it was one of the few things to engage him away from his all-encompassing cyber world. May he grow up later to revisit and rediscover the riches of an encompassing real world.

Enjoy, my friends…

Yessssss, I know you’ve been waiting for it… Old Faithful…

–All Photos by Ray Van Horn, Jr.

16 thoughts on “Impressions of Yellowstone

  1. Funny, I was just thinking about Moose Drool the other day… For some reason I had it in my mind that it was from Jackson Hole, WY. And it might have been way back in the 80s and someone just bought the recipe and/or trademark.

    Yellowstone is a beautiful place. I used to hike in the Beartooths to the NE of the park on the other side of the range (near Nye and starting at the Woodbine trailhead). If you go that way again, be sure to check out the Beartooth Pass — traveling up or down the two-lane switchback will make your heart rise to your throat if you are on the outside lane (down from the pass, heading north).

    New advice: don’t push down your slower companions if a grizzly is chasing you. The National Parks are advising against it.


    • I saw Beartooth on the map, but we were running out of time, heading out to Kalispell, Montana afterwards. I will definitely prioritize it for a return trip. I would imagine a griz would just pounce you shreds if you flop and play dead.

      Moose Drool, I tell everyone, it’s sound disgusting, but it is THE best brown ale I’ve ever had, the closest coming to it being Kungaloosh at Disney World Animal Kingdom. My Pop and I are apeshit for Moose Drool. And Yards from Philly near us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, they sold the trademark because it used to be a typical pilsner back when I remember seeing it. Good on the craft beer folks for picking up such an awesome name.

        Kalispell? Sheese. That was my conception place. LMFAO.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Small world! My best friend growing up, even if it was for a couple years…his parents and I have had a long-lasting bond since I was a little thing. Profound that we have had a lifelong friendship, his family and I, even based on a couple years they took care of me on weeknights when my dad was too wrecked to attend to me until my mom could get home after work. The entire trip to Kalispell was to see them all. It was an AMAZING time to come to people who nurtured me as a child and spend time with them decades later as an adult. I mean, we always talked on the phone, wrote letters, all that stuff. The friend came home to MD and we hung out, but this was SPECIAL, the icing on the cake to a 50th birthday celebration to last me the rest of my life. We got to go Glacier National Park as well, but…you know, just epic.

        Liked by 1 person

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