As with Glacier National Park, pictures of Yellowstone are worth a thousand cliches. I’ll try to keep the verbosity to a minimum.

20130803_Android_003cs

Our campsite was five miles off the highway, and it wasn’t a busy highway. Our closest neighbors were cows.

2013-08-03 21.23.01cs

The day of our arrival we learned there was a rodeo and barbecue at a children’s summer camp a few miles down the road. Nan got to see her first rodeo.

20130803_Android_005cs

This sign, seen at the barbecue, is enough to strike terror in the heart of any parent.

20130809_Yellowstone_039-2s

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Yellowstone has its share of scenic beauty, but not on the same scale as Glacier National Park.

20130805_Yellowstone_049s

We took a day trip to the Grand Teton National Park, just south of Yellowstone.

20130805_Yellowstone_044s

The Tetons are spectacular. But Glacier and the Tetons are missing two things that made Yellowstone our favorite place so far.

20130804_Yellowstone_012-2s

 . . .geothermal features, and. . .

20130807_Yellowstone_116s

. . . a huge variety of spectacular CRITTERS!

20130805_Yellowstone_130s

The Grand Prismatic Spring.

20130807_Yellowstone_155s

Palette Spring and Terrace at Mammoth Hot Springs.

20130804_Yellowstone_042s

A visit to Old Faithful is almost mandatory. The crowds begin to form up 30 minutes before the scheduled eruptions. The schedule is usually accurate to plus or minus ten minutes.

20130804_Yellowstone_044cs

It starts off slow. . .

20130804_Yellowstone_059cs

. . . then, KABLOOEY!

20130807_Yellowstone_239s

But what we liked best about Yellowstone was the variety of the wildlife.

20130804_Yellowstone_099s

You can frequently get as close as you dare to the wildlife. (As you can see from the next picture, I wasn’t really this close.)

20130804_Yellowstone_100s

The trick to spotting wild life is to look for the traffic jams in the road, then hop out and have your animal encounter before the Rangers show up and start their “Move along, move along!” routine.

20130804_Yellowstone_114s

Elk cow and calf.

20130805_Yellowstone_094s

Quoth the Raven, “This apple core is MINE!”

20130807_Yellowstone_063s

Osprey.

20130807_Yellowstone_008s

Pronghorns, not actually antelope, so I suppose we must change the Home on the Range line from “Where the deer and the antelope play” to “Where the deer and the antilocapra play.”

20130807_Yellowstone_206s

The gold standard of National Park animal sightings is getting to see a bear, ideally without getting mutilated. This black bear sow was looking back over her shoulder for her cubs.

20130807_Yellowstone_217s

The cubs were lollygagging behind Momma.

20130807_Yellowstone_232s

She finally got them in tow.

20130805_Yellowstone_146s

A river otter. At first I thought I was seeing a couple of female elk in the water, but they seemed to be behaving like seals. I finally figured out what they were. There were two otters playing in the river but one slipped below the surface before I could get the camera up.

20130805_Yellowstone_011s

We were dying to see buffalo while were were there. The first few days we just saw some lonely old bulls from a couple of hundred yards away. This one was just a few dozen feet from the road and people were swarming around him. Nan was a little too close to this guy for my peace of mind but there were other, crazier, people who got closer.

20130807_Yellowstone_076s

In Lamar Valley we finally got our fill of buffalo. Yes, I know they’re actually bison, but in this case I refuse to be Taxonomically Correct. I mean, Bison Bill Cody? Bison New York? Bison Hot Wings? Oh, give me a home where the bison roam? C’mon! After all, the African Cape Buffalo isn’t taxonomically a buffalo either, but nobody is lobbying to call it an African Cape Syncerus Caffer Caffer as far as I know.

20130807_Yellowstone_057s

There were hundreds in this herd. There was nothing in the official Park information we received about Lamar Valley. If we hadn’t been told about it by one of our neighbors at Beaver Coach Sales and Service in Oregon, we wouldn’t have gone there. And we would have missed this.

20130807_Yellowstone_113s

So, why does the buffalo cross the road?

20130807_Yellowstone_117s

“None of your business, Monkey Boy!”

20130807_Yellowstone_023s

A bull, resting peacefully along side the road.

20130807_Yellowstone_025s

He decides a bit of wallowing is in order.

20130807_Yellowstone_026s

He gets up,

20130807_Yellowstone_027s

Gives himself a shake,

20130807_Yellowstone_028s

And heads straight for me. I gave him the right-of-way.

Made a short video to capture the buffalo grunts in Lamar Valley.

20130807_Yellowstone_250s

A classic Yellowstone montage. Black wolf crouches on an elk carcass. Bald Eagle waits for wolf to leave so he can get back to snacking on the elk. Geothermal activity in background.

We liked Yellowstone a lot, so much so that we plan to go back for three and a half months next year. There must be an on-line community of Yellowstone carcass-watchers we can link up with.

Advertisements