Where are the bears? Where can I get coffee? Where is the bathroom??! What’s the WiFi password?!

Bison at Old Faithful

09/06/2021 Yellowstone, WY
I’m trying to be gentle here, but there are some things that cannot be ignored, and I can’t help but comment on them. There are some amazing critters here in Yellowstone, and as a cashier at the store, we get a lot of questions and some are hilarious! This is my second season at Yellowstone, and I have yet to see a bear in the park. The only time I had an encounter with one was when I was driving toward the east entrance and a grisly bear ran down a hill and crossed the road in front of me. I had to slam on the brakes so as not to hit it, and it ran toward the river bank. I don’t care if I ever see another bear in the park. I went to the bear sanctuary in West Yellowstone with some friends and that was just as satisfying. Bears are all over the park, so please check with the rangers for sightings.
There are other animals to see; bison and elk abound and recently a wolf was wandering around near the campgrounds here. The bison rutting season ended recently and there were a couple of casualties. Several elk hang out in our campgrounds and by the dorms and they are so beautiful! They are very calm there because it’s a safe area. One night after work, there were three of them walking around our parking lot and I had to wait a little bit to park the van.

The fountain/grille closed at Grant recently and we don’t have coffee in the larger store. We’ve been sending everyone to the mini mart across the road to get their fix. OK, the most common question asked anywhere, IMO, is where is the bathroom?. There is a BIG sign pointing to the bathroom, but people still ask. Some employees give extremely detailed directions, while the rest of us just point to the sign.
There is no WIFI in the park, in case you want to know. This is a national park in a remote area, and it boggles us that people expect to get a signal here. If you have Verizon, your chances are better to get a signal. Please don’t come to the park if you are expecting an important call or have a meeting to deal with. You are supposed to be on vacation!
Other questions include: when does Old Faithful go off (every 90 minutes)? Where is the Walmart (Cody, Bozeman)? Why are you carding me for alcohol (it’s the law)? Are there vegetarian options (not really)? Where are the restaurants (closed because of COVID and lack of employees)?
Finally, if and when you come to visit Yellowstone, please do some research before you go. If you have dietary restrictions, bring your own food. The General Stores carry a good variety of food, but cannot satisfy picky eaters. Watch the weather, because it’s very different here than from Florida. It might still be summer where you are, but up here in the mountains (7783 ft.), it gets pretty cold at night. BE PREPARED! The hikers know the most about travelling, but even they get surprised. Now, if you forgot to bring something, that’s different. We are a very understanding bunch up here, but sometimes we can’t help but laugh. Oh, and don’t forget to bring a mask. At this time, NPS requires them in all buildings.

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