Western Group A work their way north as they pass through Yellowstone in Wyoming, onto Missoula, Montana. Find out what they got up to in between...
"Our group started this week with a drive to Yellowstone National Park. We were finally leaving our campsite and although we had a lot of fun, I think all of us were ready for a hot shower and a bed. Our drive to Yellowstone was about 2 hours and when we got there, we waited for the Old Faithful Geyser to go off. I think we waited about an hour before it finally went off, but it was worth the wait. We also saw the many hot springs around and went to a few of the lookouts. We kept driving through Yellowstone and made a stop for gas where we saw Elk right in front of the gas station. It was amazing seeing them so close. Luckily, we were also able to see Bison in the fields, from a safe distance of course. After Yellowstone, we drove up to McAllister, Montana followed by a day of rest and leisurely shopping in the town of Bozeman.
The following day we met with Mike from the American prairie reserve and he taught us about the history of the prairies in Montana. He taught us that the wildlife population has drastically decreased and been pushed into parks like Yellowstone and the Tetons. (The American prairie reserve’s goal is to bring wildlife to the prairies and make it a safe haven for animals. It’s sad that the populations have decreased but good to know that organizations like Mike’s are doing all they can to help.
Eventually we said goodbye to our beautiful Airbnb and were off to Whitefish, Montana. We stayed at the North Forty Resorts in very cozy cabins and they had two hot tubs! Needless to say we were very content. The day after we arrived, we got up bright and early to go hiking at Glacier National Park. We hiked up to see Glacier Lake which had great views of the waterfall and cedar trees. We had lunch up there and spent lots of time skipping rocks along the water. I think we could go pro after all the practice we’ve had. The hike was only about 5 and 1/2 miles so it was very enjoyable.
The next day we started rock climbing and we all learned the safety rules and how to belay each other. All of us climbed and it was really thrilling being 20-30 feet up on a wall of rocks. Our instructors Link, John, and Hugh were all really helpful and gave us tips for where to put our hands and feet. We cut the day short because it started to rain a little so we drove to our campsite to get situated. The rain stopped while we set up our tents but we weren’t so lucky later in the night. We had our dinner in the rain and sat around the campfire until it was rained out.
We got to climb at a different spot the next day and we all got a lot better, we also had a greater variety of walls to climb. Our instructors taught us how to repel down a wall and it was just as cool as climbing. We got to repel down a wall and then climb back up it so we got pretty good at tying knots and hooking ourselves in. Afterwards our arms felt like jelly and were very sore but it was all worth the thrills.
On our last day in Whitefish we went to an indoor bouldering place called Rockfish Climbing. Here we were able to apply all the skills and lessons we learned outdoors to more difficult indoor walls. We all had so much fun running around and climbing all the different courses. After rock climbing we got lunch in downtown Whitefish. We were really able to soak up the “small town charm” of Whitefish. Then we departed for Missoula, Montana. Catch us in Zoo next week!" - Evan & Natalee
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