Friday, September 12, 2014

Yellowstone National Park: Part 3

Campground Edition

In order to see as much of this vast 2.2 million-acre park as possible I've stayed in several different campgrounds.  Yellowstone’s 12 developed campgrounds are anywhere from 15 – 20 slow and winding miles apart, with occasional traffic jams.  

No problem.  Moving camp in the GDB every day is a cakewalk!  

The NPS divides Yellowstone into 3 'tours' – Mammoth Hot Springs, Canyon Village, and the Lake Area.  I base my camping choices on the proximity to these areas.  Each spot is unique.  

Mammoth Campground has its valley

Madison Campground has its river

Canyon Campground has  … well, you know

and Grant Village has Yellowstone Lake.

All the campgrounds are typical of the NP system, offering small sites developed in the 1930’s by the CCC for tent-camping.  This was before the era of big vehicles and ever-larger RVs.  In fact, some of the sites were tight even for the petite dimensions of the GDB.

Each camping spot was enjoyable in its own way and I would stay at any one of them again. 

However, wireless connectivity and cell service in the campgrounds ranges from poor to non-existent.  But, whaddya want?  It’s wilderness, right? 

In addition to the sporadic internet access, my computer’s fan has stopped working and, as a protective measure, the laptop shuts itself down frequently and without warning.  

Dial-up speeds + limited computer time = perfect storm

Technical issues are always frustrating.  But they become absolutely maddening when one has students with very busy lives who need timely answers to questions and quick solutions to problems.  

In addition, after 15 weeks on the road, my refrigerator needs defrosting.  Here’s a thought: I can stick my too-hot laptop into the too-cold fridge and solve 2 problems at once! 

But these annoyances gain perspective when I'm reminded that I’m sitting on an active volcano.  The world’s most dangerous, in fact.

And loving every minute of it!


  1. Now that's dedication--sitting on top of the world's most active volcano, loving every minute of it -- and worrying about timely answers for students!

    Hope you get your technical problems solved soon so you can enjoy every minute of the rest of the trip!

  2. Didn't you get any snow? I thought there was a storm there recently. I love Yellowstone.

  3. Great photos capturing Yellowstone.

    Mammoth is my favorite campground and I think some of the sites are a little more spacious than some of the other campgrounds. We like to try to get a site away from the road, although that's difficult to do since the campground itself is nestled in the curve of the road, but sites 46 - 49 offer the most privacy. We just left Mammoth to head home on September 10 and the elk visit was a twice daily occurrence.

  4. I'm so envious of your adventures in Yellowstone. This is the second year in a row I've not made it there. Geez! I've been with friends and family most of the summer and haven't be reading blogs or posting on mine. Today I decided to spend some time getting caught up. Your summer adventures have been amazing; however I do empathize with your Internet issues with students waiting. It's hard to explain to those who are regularly stressed out about all their requirements and responsibilities as a student; believe me, I know, having spent close to 20 years as an adult student. But, they'll just have to forgive your absence because of working from a spectacular wilderness! Happy travels Kim. Mary-Pat

  5. You are very dedicated, still trying to work with your students while surrounded by all that beauty. I work, in a different way, around students, so I know how stressed they can get, especially during certain times of the year (finals, anyone?? Bar review time?) I am glad you mentioned how small the campsites are -- just one more reason I will be better off with a smaller, rather than larger, trailer.


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