Thursday, June 16, 2011
Day 6: Yellowstone / Grand Teton National Park GroupShoot
We had a 3:00 am wake up call and left West Yellowstone at 3:56 am for the Tetons. 11 of the 13 MPEGers made the trip. We arrived at Oxbow Bend at 6:09 am, just in time for some very nice light and a beautiful, cloudless morning at Oxbow Bend. The reflections were the best I have seen there.
After Oxbow Bend, we broke up into two Groups, Jared lead some members primarily interested in landscapes to the Signal Mountain area and I lead the wildlife folks to the Cattleman's Bridge area. We regrouped at Oxbow Bend at 9:30 am.
At Cattleman's, two members left for the car early. Cindy and I followed shortly. I radioed ahead to make sure the other two were "Ok".. and they radioed back and "there's a bear here"... and I said, " like where?" and they said just a feet from you in the woods to the right" and I said, " Oh, "Sh........oot"...
Both of us got our bear spray out and walked slowly back to the cars. It was a nice, big black bear just 10 yards or so from us..... of course, this caused a bear jam and before you knew it, we had 15-20 people there gawking.
We proceeded on to Cunningham's cabin and spent a good deal of time there, then Schwabacher's Landing then to Mormon Row. I wanted to wait until 10am or so for some clouds to develop for the Mormon Row shoot..... and indeed, we had great clouds. Actually, the day was perfect weather wise until it got windy in the afternoon as predicted.
The plan was to finish up at Mormon Row, grab some lunch then "go on our own".......well, that plan collapsed quickly.... and here's the story... As I was walking back to my car to put my stuff away, a lady comes up to me and says," Do you know where the coyote pups are?"... and I said, " No, I don't" and she said, "well, they told us they were by the pink house here" and I said, " I am not aware of them"..... THEN as I walked further to my car, I happen to glance to my right and THERE they were! Running around the log cabin beside the pink house! 3 were out playing and for a brief time, all 5 were out (their Mom never showed up as we left at around 5:30 pm or so). I snapped the pic above when all 5 looked our way. This was a great experience.... We spent 5 hours there!
Around, 5:30 pm, I said to Jared, let's head back to West Yellowstone, but let's stop by Jackson Lake Dam on the way back and let's see if anything is going on there..... Well, we witnessed eagles, osprey, pelicans, a very stupid human (will post a complete story on the MPEG Forums soon) and I snapped a pic of an incredible wildlife encounter that many will swear it was "photoshopped". One bystander even offered to be my witness if people didn't believe it. He asked for my business card so he can view the pic on my website and say "I was there" to his friends. I will post this amazing event on the Forums as well.
We stayed at Jackson Lake Dam for 2-3 hours then drove back to West Yellowstone in record time after being up for 21 hours. We got back to the hotel at midnight. We both fell into bed and woke up 8.5 hours later.
June 15 was just another unpredictable, breathtaking, amazing, unbelievable, and incredible day in these two fine National Parks.
We are planning (Thursday) to spend just an 8 hour day in Yellowstone. The MPEG "final night" dinner is tonight at the Wild West Pizzeria at 8:00 pm.
I (and Jared) am staying 3 more days and departing Sunday, June 19, Father's Day.
Day 7 coming up tonight!