Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 4: YNP/GNTP - 2011 Fall Trip

Bison Jam in Lamar Valley by Mark/MPEG (Midwest Photography Enthusiasts Group)

Another YNP day in the books.  What a day it was!

We started out (again) in Lamar Valley looking for the Lamar Canyon wolf pack. I really wanted Kim to see them so we left earlier this morning hoping for better luck.... and lucky we were!

We found the "YNP wolfers" at the pullout east of the Hitching Post pull out. And within minutes, of arriving, the pack (I counted 6, others say all 11 of the pack were there) was clearly visible to the naked eye and moving west towards the Hitching Post pullout so we all jumped in our cars and head there.

The wolves arrived at that area as predicted, played around for a while, went up the Cache Valley trail and disappeared. Kim and I traveled west of Lamar as Dan and his wife stayed in Lamar. Kim and I checked out the Slough Creek area and found some pronghorn and bison. We headed back east to Lamar and got into a 3 mile long bison jam. Bison jams are a slow go. See bison jam pic above. Note the beautiful fall colors of the grasses in Lamar (actually all over Yellowstone). In the pic, this is the car in front of us.

Dan and Bonnie stayed in YNP as I took Kim on the a tour of very scenic Beartooth Highway, (on the way there just east of Cooke City, a red fox shows up and is walking down the road towards us, I stopped the car and snapped a few pics of him on the road), we had a great lunch in Red Lodge, MT and then drove to Cody, WY, then to the YNP east entrance, then over to Hayden Valley. Lots of drive time but the Beartooth highway was breathtaking! This is a must see, IMHO. The drive to Cody from Red Lodge showcases beautiful country as well!

On the way into YNP, Kim and I got into ANOTHER bison jam in the Fishing Bridge area. Thats two for the day! Geez.

Kim and I went on to Hayden Valley, snapped a few landscapes, no wolves sighted, some mule deer does, and a bald eagle perched on a tree stump. We then drove to West Yellowstone (Madison) and found Dan there snapping pics of a beautiful bull elk and his harem! Gary D. from Facebook found us in Madison and we all chatted for awhile. We decided to have dinner together at my hotel tonight.

Overall, another great day in Yellowstone.  A big weather system moving in by Thursday, maybe a foot of snow at 7, 000 feet or higher.

Stay tuned for Day 5.  This trip is going fast as they all do!

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