It was just three days ago when I landed in Bozeman, Montana after a nine hour travel ordeal. Being raised in Arizona, where I was used to sand and cacti, it was hard to keep my eyes off of the scenery that was full of grass and trees and mountains.
Just when I thought that we were done traveling, I learned that we had to drive four hours to reach the Flagg Ranch Resort near the entrance to Grand Teton National Park where we would spend the night. My mom asked me to look at the map to find out which road we needed to take next. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that road maps are not like the maps that I am used to at the mall. Road maps don't have a "You are here" sticker to let you know exactly where you are. After studying the map for a while, I finally figured out where we were, and by the end of the drive, I was a master at reading maps.
â–º Quarter Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
At the Flagg Ranch Resort, I discovered that I could survive a whole day without the television or the internet. Late the next morning, we left to explore Grand Teton National Park, and we decided to check out Jenny Lake. It was so beautiful, with the clear water rimmed by green mountains, that we took the ferry ride across the lake. The other side of the lake had many hiking trails, but we chose the trail to Hidden Falls.
The hike to Hidden Falls was rocky and narrow in places, but it led us to an amazing sight that was concealed by the trees until we got right up to it. An avalanche of water tumbled over rocks into the pool below. We stayed for several minutes enjoying the spray, and started back down to the dock. My brother and I spotted a trail going to Inspiration Point, but my mother had pooped out by that time. The two of us left her at the fork in the trail and climbed up a steep, narrow path. We reached a ledge, and I decided to open a bag of fruit snacks to munch on. My brother told me to look down, but I had no idea of why he was asking me to do that until I saw a chipmunk staring intently at me. He followed us as we walked away, begging for my fruit snacks. I knew that they were a poor food choice for him, so I put them away and proceded up the trail. Inspiration Point was gorgeous and had a calming effect on me.
The following day, we ventured into Yellowstone National Park. We arrived at Old Faithful just around the time that it was predicted to erupt. Standing among a crowd of admirers, we waited for a very long ten minutes as the geyser teased us with small sprays of water and steam. Finally it exploded with a plume of steamy water spraying more than a hundred feet into the air for more than four minutes.
Next, we drove to the Black Sand Basin where the algae had created an array of colors in and near the hot pools of water. My favorite pool was Sunset Lake which was bright orange and yellow on the rim and had a center that was a deep royal blue. The only thing that detracted from the beauty was the awful odor of sulfur that came steaming into our nostrils.
Our mountain vacation to Montana, Yellowstone and Grand Teton was a magnet that attracted me strongly and didn't want to let me go. Yet, I will always have the pictures that I took and my memories of the trip to treasure until I return.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.