Yellowstone National Park
Laura & Alan Grayson
Sat 14 Jun 2008 16:54
So there we were driving out of Billings Montana. Nothing to report there, Oil town with a refinery just on the outskirts, kinda reminded me of Houston, especially the smell. The route we were told to follow was called Chief Joseph Scenic Byway. They weren't wrong gorgeous country. It was the sort of country that I was expecting from Colorado up. I guess it is just a shame that Utah got in the way. There were lots of large farms with log houses which just suited the country down to the ground. We had a steady climb and decided to spend the night at the top of Dead Indian Pass just because the scenery was fantastic. You would not believe how frigging cold it was though. 8100ft up and there was snow on the ground all around us. We even saw a couple of snow mobiles on a trailer which had snow dripping off them. All I can say is I'm glad that we have a great propane heater and a great thick duvet to snuggle under. We can even turn the heater off when we go to bed which is quite nice. Waking up in the morning and looking out the window is a treat, well once we got the ice off and could actually see out. Hard to believe we left San Antonio where they were having 100/35 degree weather and here we are in June wading around in the snow and loving every minute of it.
We rocked into the northeast gate of Yellowstone park under a slight snow fall thru the town of Cooke city which is a city you would imagine spends 9 months of the year (under a foot minimum of snow) snowed in. How they survive in winter I don't know. About 5 miles into the park we spot a couple of Moose browsing along the banks of a river, They are some big animals. A mile further on there is a Bison lying by the side of the road chewing it's cud, then we see the big herds of Bison everywhere. It is so good to see that many of them roaming in the wild. Hope they get to be a lot more. Further along we see Pronghorn Antelope and Elk, a lot of elk which is really good to see. We have seen tons of Ravens, a couple of Marmots which are a bit like weasels, Hawks, one Golden Eagle (we think) and a couple of pretty spectacular waterfalls. This is all before finding a place to park for the night.
We pulled into the Canyons Campground and register for a spot, then had the most glorious hot shower you can imagine ( there are some downfalls to hitting the road hard). We cooked a nice feed of Beef Stroganoff and were just into the 2nd glass of wine when Laura yells out " Bear Bear Bear". I look out the left side rear window of the van and there is a Black Bear and her cub in the next campsite. She is running one way when she suddenly stops and rears up on her hind legs and has a quick look around and then bolts back the way she came. I reckon it was because of all Laura's screaming. I managed to snap off a quick photo just before she ran out of the next campsite. Talk about time to refill the glasses. About 10 minutes later a couple of park rangers came around to check it out and make sure all was OK, mainly to check on the bears behavior to make sure she wasn't being a pest. They seemed pretty happy with her behavior, Hell we were just happy she came to see us. Apparently she was just a small mom but this is my hand beside hers so I think she was just about big enough for me to lose the arm wrestle contest. I think I'm going to have pretty good dreams tonight.
Catch you all on the update tomorrow. So WHAT WILL TOMORROW BRING !!!