Let me start by saying that the Wyoming TA boards are blessed with not one or two but an army of genuinely nice and helpful contributors who share an incredible array knowledge amongst them and more importantly have an endless supply of patience for a dumbo like me. I’ve been following this forum for nearly 2 years and feel like I almost know them personally.
Just to mention a few : Pam with her “Make this your Geyser day”, Deb with her photos (I wished I had a grandma to take me to Yellowstone twice every year) , Peachbelle gently directing the confused souls towards the Yellowstone Top Ten, Voyaging with his no nonsense approach and my favourite TetonBill always riding on his noble steed to the rescue of the distressed.
Some of them even took the trouble of PM-ing me to alleviate my worries about food and on other issues. I believe half the fun of a trip is in planning and it was a pleasure to set out the trip and enjoy the exchanges.
My wife and kids make fun of me whenever we are slightly unsure of our next step, by saying, “Can’t you ask your TA buddies?” But even they were gob smacked when I predicted the appearance of the rainbow over the Artist Point on 29th August 2012 at 0956 hours and 31 seconds !!! ( I gave the due credit to OhioHick !!)
I thought I was a meticulous planner but some of the travellers (Lisapunk for example) would put me to shame any day.
Whenever I thought of asking something, somebody beat me to that.
Towards the end I started coming out with weird queries like “Which side of the plane to sit when approaching Jackson Hole airport?” and was pleased to see no one had asked that before. Got a sensible reply promptly and tried to follow that.
Not that it made any huge difference to my viewing pleasure. There was so much haze from fires when we approached JAC, that I wouldn’t have seen Mount Owen even I if I was sitting on top of Mount Moran !!!
You guys must be dreading another TR. There has been a plethora of TR in 2012 compared to previous years (practically covering every single blade of grass, all the toilets, picnic spots, apps and silly tourists).
And who can ever dream of bettering the inspiration behind all these wannabe experts: The one and only OhioHick with his granddaddy of all TR (it took me 2 weeks to go through that) !!
But saying so the quality of TRs this year is astounding and some of the accompanying photos (e.g. GerogiaAstronut’s pics) were simply mind-blowing.
So I'm not even attempting to write a day by day report but would rather share my randomly collected nuggets of wisdom with you. Some of it is only relevant to travellers from UK but if even one person finds a single line useful I’d consider my effort worthwhile.
Now a little bit of the back ground.:
We are Her Majesty’s loyal subjects from across the pond where the game of kicking a ball with foot is known as Football and not Soccer. We are in our forties, kids 12 and 7. Not really very fit as our day jobs involve mostly sitting on a chair and pretending to look interested and act helpful.
Thankfully the Olympic Games were at the right time to motivate the whole family to do a bit of activity, especially after the achievement of Mo Farah in long distance running. My wife and kids have a medical condition causing low haemoglobin and they take extra care in high altitude. Wife and kids vegetarian by choice ( not vegans) and I also eat meat very rarely nowadays.
I had looked carefully about the month of travel. Because of school going kids I was restricted between mid July and early September. My primary goal was to enjoy the geothermal activities and the natural beauty. Seeing the wildlife was a bonus.
The peak season for airfare changed to shoulder season on 19th August (nearly £400 pound difference) and we travelled between August 19 and September 4th.
Every month has its pros and cons but if I return again I’d come in mid-September to avoid the crowd (not a big problem) and perhaps increasing the chance of seeing the big animals, who had migrated to higher grounds in the heat of late August. June would also be nice but the chance of snow is always there.