Exploring Yellowstone National Park

By: Yimin Liu, Greenheart Exchange Work and Travel participant

I’m Yimin Liu (Bunny) and I’m a Chinese girl from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Back at home, I love traveling around China, enjoying the magnificent sceneries, and meeting different people. Before I came to the United States, I had never left China. Flying over to Cody, Wyoming, I was quite excited and nervous. I had many thoughts and expectations before arriving, and Wyoming did not disappoint. The natural scenery is amazing and the people here are warmhearted, polite, and considerate. Of course, my host organization and co-workers are also nice and generous.

Last month, my host organizations took my two Chinese friends, three Ukrainian co-workers, and me to the Yellowstone National Park. It was an incredible and exciting trip! The mountains stood high and mighty along the road. There were also a lot of dead trees on a hill due to a big fire in 1988 that had unfortunately burned them down.

On the road, we encountered hundreds of animals like buffalo, elk, bison, and antelope, which I had only seen in Chinese zoos. For me, the most exciting moment was when a baby bear walked adorably towards our car. I love bears and I had never seen a baby bear before—it was an unforgettable moment!

After our road trip, we visited Yellowstone Lake, Old Faithful Geyser, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs, the lower and upper falls, Obsidian Cliff, Dragon’s Mouth Spring, and some other great spots. Out of all of these sights, Yellowstone Lake and Old Faithful impressed me the most. Yellowstone Lake was so clear and blue, and the sky was also a bright azure blue—it seemed as if the lake and sky were connected! We took lots of wonderful pictures and then we went to the Old Faithful Geyser, one of the most studied geysers in Yellowstone. The guide told us that it erupts every 44 to 125 minutes. Eruptions can shoot 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of boiling water to a height of 106 to 186 feet (32 to 57 meters) lasting from 1.5 to 5 minutes! We waited for about 20 minutes and finally witnessed the magic. Everyone there was cheering and taking pictures and videos of the moment. It was so incredible!

My day trip to Yellowstone National Park went by so fast! We all enjoyed it a lot and bonded as a group. That’s the magic of trips, they bring people together. I loved the trip to Yellowstone! I saw incredible views of nature and animals that I had only seen before on TV. I am also grateful for the Work and Travel program, which allowed me to experience the real American life, allowed meet so many new and wonderful people from all over the world, and gave me the courage to overcome all of life’s difficulties. I hope to have more fun during my final days in the United States!

Day trips in nature and new friendships are just two highlights of Greenheart Exchange’s Work and Travel program. Learn more about our cultural exchanges!