As a child who has never been very fond of long car rides due to the nausea and the cramped feeling that comes along with long rides, I did not like the idea of driving to Wyoming one bit. But alas, my family’s 1,000 mile road trip to Yellowstone National Park began.
On Day 1, after having to wake up much too early, I was already disliking this trip. After nearly 10 hours of driving, watching the scattered trees along the roads of the highway zoom by, we finally stopped in Salt Lake City. Getting out of the air-conditioned car only to greet the 100 degree air of Utah, my family and I hurriedly scrambled into our hotel. After cooping ourselves in our rooms for hours, we finally mustered up the courage to once again go outside to get some food after our long day. Day 1 completed.
Day 2 was filled with driving and more driving, once again seeing the trees fly by, each one looking more lifeless under the scorching sun than the one before. We came across the city of Idaho Falls and walked along its river banks, breathing in the fresh air of Idaho and taking endless pictures, being the tourists we are.
By Day 3, our car was greeted by a sign –“Welcome to Yellowstone National Park”– and we drove into the green luscious depths of the park. We had finally made it. The car sped up, my brother and I rolled our windows down, and we broke out into a grin, feeling the fresh, cool forest air hit our faces. We gaped at the vast area of trees, a never-ending palette of green, feeling like we had quite literally walked into another world.
Instead of driving, Days 4 and 5 were filled with walking. We walked through countless trails, staring in awe at the different geysers, hot springs, rivers, and waterfalls the park featured, more amazed at each feature of nature’s beauty. Throughout the walk, there were signs of tiredness after having walked under the unforgiving rays of sun, endless clicking of our cameras, and gasps as we took in the scenic landscapes before us, wondering how all of these natural occurrences could exist in one collected area.
And lastly, Day 6 — another long day of driving back home, feeling much too familiar with the interior of the car and the endless highways. Despite having sat in a car for an accumulated 30 plus hours as a person not too fond of long car rides, I would go through it again in a heartbeat if I could. Driving through different states and watching the license plates of nearby cars change from California to Utah to Idaho to Wyoming were adventures within themselves, and every moment was exhilarating. And, the exuberance I felt wandering through the wonders of Yellowstone National Park, despite the great heat, is a feeling I will never forget.
Although I have an entire album of pictures from my trip, I don’t need a single one to remember my journey to Wyoming and each experience that came along with it. Just like how a picture is worth 1,000 words, I’ve come to realize that perhaps an experience is worth 10,000 pictures.