The beauty and wonder of our national forests can only stay that way if those who tread its sacred grounds maintain a minimal footprint.
At Yellowstone National Park, the rules and regulations aim to do just that – even if they go a little too far sometimes.
And one visitor learned the hard way that not playing by the rules will cut your vacation short – and leave you feeling hungry.
An Idaho man on vacation in Yellowstone National Park was caught red-handed cooking two chickens in a hot spring near the Shoshone Geyser Basin, reported Travel and Leisure.
While not the most efficient way to cook a chicken, it’s effective nonetheless.
However, the crispy fried lunch was hardly worth it after a park ranger received word that a group of 10 people, including a child, were hiking with cooking pots and a sack.
When cooking pots and a mysterious sack are cause for alarm, it makes you wonder if this isn’t the ranger’s first rodeo with visitors trying to cook their meals in a hot spring – which happens to be strictly forbidden.
On September 10th, two years after the incident, the suspect from Idaho (who was not named) pled guilty to “foot travel in a thermal area and violating closures and use limits,” East Idaho News first reported.
The offender will serve two years of unsupervised probation and will not be able to enjoy all Yellowstone National Park has to offer during this time, reports Newsweek.
On top of the steep costs for a rugged vacation at one of the most beautiful spots in the United States, the man had to pay $600 per charge.
Now that’s a pricey chicken!
Yellowstone is known for their biggest concentration of active geysers in the world, with well over 10,000 thermal features and up-close views of majestic creatures like elk, bison, and mountain lions.
So why is it against the rules to cook a chicken in a hot spring?
As inviting as the vibrant oranges, reds, yellows, and blues are, hot springs can be extremely dangerous.
Yellowstone officials have reported more than 20 deaths resulting from visitors falling into the hot springs or getting into one expecting a far different outcome.
The park has more than 4 million people come from all over the world every year to admire the natural phenomenons that cover the alluring grounds.
For this reason, there are signs posted everywhere informing the dangers of getting too close to the geysers and hot springs.
But every group has a rebel…or an idiot.
And while trekking off the beaten path may be just the escape you need from a society in ruins, don’t let it lead you straight to your demise.
People die every year from doing stupid things on vacation, as Proud American Traveler has previously reported.
And while we definitely encourage you to visit a national park this coming year, we suggest leaving the chickens at home.