In Travel

Rabid Bat Attacks & Other Things That Happen in West Yellowstone

[Day 25 of my road trip]

We left Grant Village campground at daybreak and drove the winding, scenic road to Norris campground, only to discover that there were no spots open. Like refugees, we continued onward (stopping at Old Faithful to take this cool picture below for a friend), in search of a place to rest our heads.

As we drove along, we encountered a fellow wayfarer walking alongside the road just one foot to the right of us–a bison. I was so stunned I just shouted expletives until my dad yelled, “Hurry! Take a picture!” I fumbled with the camera and managed to get this shot:

Bison on the road by the truck in Yellowstone National Park

And if you look to your right, you’ll see…a BISON!

Here’s a better one after we pulled over.

 bison on the road

People were stopping on the road to take a look at him, and one driver yelled, “WHAT IS THAT???”


We finally found shelter in West Yellowstone, Mont., at a pretty secluded government-owned campground called Rainbow Point.

In West Yellowstone’s downtown area, we grabbed a bite to eat at Pete’s Rocky Mountain Pizza, where I mistakenly ordered Elk sausage and not pizza.

Elk sausage sandwich

Yeah, don’t order the elk sausage. Dry and tasteless. Opt for the pizza. You can thank me later.

Afterward we went back out to the RV where I was attacked by what was probably a rabid bat. Yes, a bat–in broad daylight. It was a tiny little rat-looking thing hunched over in the tire rim of my dad’s truck. I ran outside with my camera, excitedly shouting, “Awww, look! It’s so cute!” Then the thing atrociously crawled onto the sidewalk using the pointy end of its wings (think Gollum from Lord of the Rings), and as I turned to run, it flew at me.

“AHHHHH!” I screamed. “IT HAS RABIES!!!”

My dad and sister came outside and laughed at me–until the bat attacked them too. They came running inside after me shouting, “LET ME IN! SHUT THE DOOR!”

A tiny, rabid bat, crawling on the sidewalk

Not so cute now, is he?


After my dad unhitched the trailer and settled into our campsite, my sister and I jumped at the opportunity to the leave the mosquito-infested woods and head into civilization, with its promise of A/C, a laundromat, and free wi-fi.

We sat at the laundromat for much longer than we had to, milking that free wi-fi for as long as we could before we headed out to explore downtown West Yellowstone. That place is chock full of tourists, so I didn’t mind that I looked like one. Well, I probably looked more like a vagabond than a tourist. I’ve kind of let myself go on this trip–heck, the only people who ever see me are my dad, my sister, and people I’ll never see again. So my hair is a long, tangled mess in desperate need of a good hair cut, I haven’t showered in two days (water is scarce out here), and I didn’t even bother with makeup or washing my face this morning. My sincerest apologies to anyone in West Yellowstone who had to interact with me today.

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