Motion Episodes

Natural Beauty Surrounding Yellowstone National Park

Tags: Motion
When Greg Aiello and his friends' plan to visit Yellowstone National Park is derailed by the government shutdown, the crew puts together a plan B that showcases some of the area's other natural beauty, including a gorgeous creek trail, an eerie earthquake site and rare wildlife.
Yellowstone National Park is the place where the idea for national parks was born, both in the U.S. and internationally. The 2 million acres of wild lands contain one of the most geothermically active places on earth. Located primarily on Wyoming, Yellowstone stretches into Montana and Idaho as well.

Greg Aiello invited Denise and Tim, a new couple from Florida, to explore Yellowstone with him. Tim has never been west of Georgia. Denise has always been into adventure, competing as a competition sky diver for about 2 years when she had an accident in Colorado that fractured her hip in four places and caused nerve damage in her leg.

"I was flat on my back for almost 2 months," says Denise. "I had to teach myself how to walk again, and it was a very long, slow recovery."

Long walks and hiking helped Denise gain back her strength.

Tim and Denise were excited to explore Yellowstone together, but a looming government shutdown cast doubt on whether or not the park would even be open. Driving up to the entrance of Yellowstone, the crew finds that the park is closed down. Even the park rangers don't really know what to do, except to turn people away.

"Good to see that they're paying someone to keep us out, but they can't pay someone to let us go in," says Tim.

Although Greg, Denise and Tim were upset about the park's shutdown, they had to make a plan B. They go back into town to ask the locals about some other things to do in the area. They decide to cross the state border and go into Idaho to explore the Targhee Creek trail, part of a larger network of trails in the area that twist near the Montana/Idaho border.

Greg gives a few tips for hiking in an unfamiliar area:

  • Don't be too ambitious with distances. A short hike can be just as exciting as a long walk in the woods.
  • Have a good idea where you are on a map.
  • Stay on or close to the trail you started on. It's easy to get lost off trail without visual markers you are familiar with.
  • Be aware of elevation. If you live in a low area, a hike in a high-elevation can cause significant strain on your body.
The three hikers really enjoy the beautiful scenery. The cool temperatures are perfect for hiking. They stop just off the train to investigate Targhee creek itself.

Next, Greg, Denise and Tim travel to Quake Lake in the Madison River valley to explore. The area gets its name from the 7.5 earthquake that happened there in 1959, violently shaking the hills around it, and burying 28 people under 300 feet of rubble. At a nearby spot, the quake caused a lake to drop another 20 feet, sending a huge wave across its surface that took more lives. The huge landslide caused by the earthquake dammed the river and created Earthquake lake.

The three climb to an overlook to view the valley, where the wind was blowing about 40 miles per hour. Then they descend down to explore the lake, with its hundreds of ghostly dead trees standing in the water. Next, the crew takes in a bit of wildlife at the Grizzly Discovery Center, which was created to house bears from Yellowstone which had become too familiar with people or aggressive.

"This place really blew us away," says Greg. "Getting this close to wolves from two different packs was amazing. And if you've ever wondered what it's like to see a thousand pound grizzly bear just feet away, this is your place."

Because traveling can always include the unexpected, Greg shared tips on how to create a plan B when your initial travel plans go awry:

  • Check into places or attractions near your primary destination.
  • Find a local outfitter like a bike shop or a fishing guide to find out where they like to go in the area.
  • Go in with the right attitude. Rolling with the punches and staying positive will always lead to a successful adventure.
"We made our own adventure, and it was great, and it was something I'll never forget," says Denise.

For more information:
Segment 1
Yellowstone Closed by Government Shutdown
Yellowstone Closed by Government Shutdown
Densie and Tim were excited to traverse Yellowstone National Park with Motion's Greg Aiello. But what will they do when the park is unexpectedly shutdown the day they arrive due to political battles in Washington D.C.?
Watch Segment
Segment 2
Exploring Beautiful Targhee Creek Trail
Exploring Beautiful Targhee Creek Trail
When the government shutdown halts the crew's plan to explore Yellowstone, they come up with a great Plan B to explore the area's other natural features. First up, they enjoy beautiful Targhee Creek trail, and Greg shares tips for hiking in an unfamiliar area.
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Segment 3
Discovering Ominous Quake Lake
Discovering Ominous Quake Lake
Quake Lake in Montana is beautiful but is also an ominous reminder of Mother Nature's awesome and sometimes deadly force. At this site in 1959, 28 people lost their lives in Montana's largest earthquake in modern times. The Motion crew explores this beautiful and eerie site.
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Segment 4
Getting Up Close with Grizzlies and Wolves
Getting Up Close with Grizzlies and Wolves
Motion's plan B to Yellowstone National Park just wouldn't be complete without getting up close and personal with some of the spectacular creatures that call this place home. Greg, Denise, and Tim are blown away as they stand just feet from Wolves, and a 1000 pound grizzly bear.
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