(Paul) Today was another beauty. The weather was perfect. Blue skies with cotton ball clouds. Driving into the park this morning we saw a coyote right off the bat. It was just running down the side of the road, panting, kinda thin and looking a bit distressed in my opinion. Then it was on to the Norris Geyser Basin. It lived up to it’s gassy, sulphuric, bubbly, steamy reputation. We also saw several springs and pools.
Then it was on to Mammoth Springs (picking up where we left off the other day) – you remember “tiny hurting pieces”? Sadly on this day Mother Nature chose to show us Mammoth Dry Springs. Still a beautiful scene but it wasn’t the same without the flowing, hissing water. Oh, and on the way here we saw another coyote but this one was bigger and healthier. Got some pic’s but he was a good 400+ yards away so it tested the limits of my photo gear.
No worries though… on to the Black Tail Plateau. It was a scenic 6-mile, 4-wheel drive through the highlands of northeast Yellowstone. Lots of wildflowers and another buffalo. But this dude was a handsome boy. He’d shed all of his winter coat and was a dark, dark, brown. I was putting along at no more than 10mph and he had his eye on me from maybe 50 yards away. He looked confident… almost cocky. I have to admit that my first thought was “If he charges, I’m gunning it outta here. No way I’m letting him dent up my sweet pick ‘em up truck.” But we played it cool and he strolled across the road in front of us at 30-35 yards. He was all puffy chested and I read his mind when he paused and locked eyes with me. He said, “That’s right city boy. Stay in your little red wagon while I stroll over here.” It’s killing me we can’t get pictures posted.
Next was Tower Falls. I like waterfalls. I want one. From there it was time to head back to base camp but we hit another bear jam. But something was different about this one. There was a big yellow Yellowstone tour bus, and amongst the hoards of people with their camera’s there were two photographers with 2 foot long lenses and 5 foot tripods. You don’t see this kinda equipment for elk so we bolted from the truck and were about 100 yards away from a momma grizzly and her two cubs. Got about a dozen pic’s, in good sun, and then momma started coming up the mountainside right in the direction of us “intrusive humans”. The Ranger demanded everyone get BACK IN YOUR CARS AND LEAVE NOW! So we did. Then Lisa remembered that the Canyon general store had… yep, “two cherry slushies to go please!”
It really is killing me we can’t post pictures. We’ve taken over 600 to date.
Week One has been a string of blessings. Looking forward to another day in Yellowstone and then heading down to Grand Teton on Sunday.
(Lisa) It was another great day but Paul failed to mention that it was hot today. Like 90 degrees hot. For this area, it was toasty. All the sights have been amazing. It’s hard to comprehend that we are sitting on a volcano. But when you walk around smelly pools of bubbly water, you remember! And it seems like every time we walked around the pools of bubbles, the wind would shift and blow that rotten egg smell right in our face! Blah. Tomorrow is our last day here and then we have to pack everything up and move. We plan to have a light day of just a few sights, shop a little in town and eat dinner there. Oh, today we had pancakes for breakfast and tacos for dinner. I like to throw in our meals so I can remember what worked and what didn’t. And for the record, during the grizzly bear and cubs sighting I, too, learned something new about Paul.