Sorry for the delay in posting anything lately, but the internet service here at Yellowstone N.P. leaves a lot to be desired.
Nevertheless, we are now ensconced at Yellowstone after a really gnarley trip up here from Fort Hall, ID. The last 100 miles or so of the drive was over wet roads and falling snow. As we entered the park and headed towards Old Faithful and our new home, it began to really snow and blow. We are talking May 9th here. I had never pulled the trailer through any weather worse than rain, and now I still had 30 miles to go. A two lane road through the mountains and woods. I was more than a bit nervous and all I could think of was You are pulling your only home through a snowstorm…..don’t do anything stupid! When suddenly a buffalo, yes a BUFFALO like this one,
ran out from the trees off to the right of me and proceeded to pace me for a few hundred feet or so until he dropped out of sight. It was not a good afternoon. Fortunately we arrived safely at the employees campground without further incident and got ourselves settled in amongst the snow piles. The campgound itself is no great shakes, and not nearly as nice as the one we had at the Bosque Del Apache. Things are really run down, but we are here and it is what it is.
The weather has been less than stellar. Often cloudy with rain or snow and the temps haven’t got much above the 50′s. Nightime temperatures have been any where from the mid to upper teens into the mid thirties. Let me tell you it’s been quite a shock after Arizona!
We are still in training for our jobs in the Yellowstone Association store where we work. It is in the Visitor’s Center at Old Faithful. I was surprised at the amount of people visiting the park even though the Summer season hasn’t yet begun. There are a lot of tours groups. I cannot imagine how busy it will be when the Summer crowds hit. Black Friday everyday perhaps. Luckily Old Faithful erupts every ninety minutes or so and then the entire building empties when everyone runs out of the place to witness the event.
There are a lot of critters around the campground, mostly Red Squirrels, Uinta Ground Squirrels, Chipmunks, and this little beastie who was hanging around when we first arrived.
It is a Pine Martin. They are a member of the weasel family about the size of a house cat and very cute.
As I write this post there are signs posted at the far edge of the campground warning everyone about a bear in the area. This Grizzly to be precise.
I took this picture of her a few days ago when she and her cub were first spotted along the road that runs by the campround. It’s presence caused a very large bear-jam of tourist’s vehicles along the road. The mere fact that she is in the area adds a sense of anxiety when the dogs are taken for walks. We have also purchased a can of bear spray after seeing her, and hearing numerous horror stories about our ursine neighbors.
On our second day here Kay was thrilled when we spotted this Trumpeter Swan on the Madison River.
She really has a “thing” about swans.
As for other birds we have seen Juncos, Ravens, Jays, Ospreys, a lone Golden Eagle, Clark’s Nutcrackers, and, oh yes, Robins in the snow.
We took a walk on the Firehole River which runs by the Old Faithful Visitor’s Center and some of the geyser basins.
It was on one of the rare nice days so far. The geysers and thermal springs are really fascinating to behold with the water being heated by the magma chamber below us here in the heart of the super volcano. There were about 15 geysers in a 2.8 mile walk and that doesn’t include hot springs and pools. This one is called Morning Glory:
A few days back I went to West Yellowstone, the nearest town from where we are (about 35 miles) to refill one of our propane tanks and on the way home ran into some very slow and heavy traffic:
Fortunately I was going towards the bison as the line of tourista’s cars behind the lumbering beasts was about a half a mile long, and the buffs weren’t showing any sign of pulling over. I understand, from what I’ve been told, that this is not an uncommon occurrence.
The next day we took a drive around the southern end of the park towards Lake Yellowstone. It was a rather grey and dreary day not good for photographing ice and snow. The lake, which is huge, was still frozen over. Stopping at Yellowstone Falls the sun made a bit of an appearance. The falls are quite spectacular.
Next up on our schedule we will be going to the Park Service Headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs near the northern entrance to the park for a daylong Park Service training session. Then it will be the Memorial Day Weekend when everything breaks loose. Katie bar the door!
Have a nice Memorial Day everyone.