By Anna Gentry
My first night staying within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park is frightening. I felt as though staying at Uncle Eddie’s house in “National Lampoon’s Vacation” would be far cleaner and more sanitary.
If you have not already noticed, my dad does not like to spend money. So, when he thought about having another fishcation and a cheap un-insulated shack within the park’s borders, he jumped at the opportunity. Unfortunately, for him his desire to spend less money feeding us and hauling coolers took priority over him leaving his fishing gear at home or finding us better sleeping quarters.
I could not sleep in these horrible camping areas. I was terrified creatures would eat our dog. Buffalo’s snorting in the windows and urinating outside was common, as were other large creatures of the night. I could hear them as I was lying in bed at night. I also knew the reason they removed all the mirrors in the cabin was because if you said, “Candyman” five times in the mirror, someone was going to be fed to an animal. For this reason, I only enjoy my days at Yellowstone Park, fearful of the nights.
My dad has already planned our entire trip. In true dad-style, no unscheduled stops are allowed. My dad grows more irritated as he stops at streams and begins to “hunt” the fish. Growing up fishing, I agree they are mammoth trout and I see the drool wetting my dad’s mustache, but then I consider that is more likely sweat in this 104-degree temperature.
The complaining starts. He should have brought his fishing rod. Now that us ravaging teenagers eat half the food, of course, there is extra room in the car and my dad cannot seem to remember why he did not pack his gear. I feel certain I have no embarrassing surprises in store. At least we did not have a specific destination, such as Clark Griswold did in “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” I am just a teenager that has to listen to my dad complain the rest of the trip how he should have brought his fishing gear. I decide to start keeping a journal at night to drown out the complaints.
We visit the West Entrance one day, the East Entrance another day and the South Entrance into the Grand Tetons is our grand finale.
Overall, on our trip we survive a minor earthquake, the worst living quarters I have ever been subjected to and my dad complaining non-stop it is painful not having a fishcation.
My dad takes 30 rolls of film. When we arrive to the Grand Tetons, he leans forward and the entire lens on the camera falls forward six inches. That is when he learned he should listen to my mom and watch the instructional video. He really did purchase an expensive zoom camera after all.
I have been back to Yellowstone National Park twice in the past two decades. There is something so incredible about the beauty of this great park that it lures your soul to nature. I, however, have never stayed in those horrible cabins again. If I ever get my dad to take another fishcation in another state, we will stay in Hebgen Lake cabin rentals while he spends his days fulfilling his dreams of fly-fishing in Hebgen Lake. This is one circumstance where we will both be satisfied with the results and fishcation.