Monday, October 6, 2008

Yellowstone Report - Day 5 & 6

Contrary to yesterday, the weather today (Monday) was great. Crisp, clear and cool in the morning. No action from the NE entrance until the Lamar Valley where the Druids were out again. Only 8 were visible this time, but they were running around and chasing each other and having a good old time.

At one point the wolves gathered together and howled...That is such a great sound as it echoes through the valley!

At 8:45 we had to pack up and move on because we had a hike to get to. We made a short stop for this shot from the pullout towards the Petrified Tree:

Elk Creek

We met some friends and had a great hike past Lost Lake and about halfway to Calcite Springs before we retraced our steps a bit and exited by Roosevelt. We had talked about turning around a few times, but the weather was perfect and we were having fun.

Here are some shots from the hike:



The hike took us well beyond Noon, so we headed to Mammoth to have lunch. After that, we parted ways and headed down to Sheepeaters to see if any pika were out. No luck there even though the sun was shining. Too bad. No pikas this trip...

We headed back towards Tower. Since Blacktail Plateau Drive was closed, we decided to park at the exit and walk up a ways. No mammals, but I find the trees in that area very interesting:

Dead Tree

The scenary in little America was amazing...:

Typical Scene in Yellowstone

Outside of seeing 6 more druids as the sun set in the Lamar, there was no other action the rest of that day unfortunately. But, we woke up at the crack of dawn the next day to hit the Lamar at Sunrise. I never get tired of fall colors mixed in with snow:


And, of course, the Druids were out again. This time we saw 15 of them playing, running, howling, and having a good old time. After they headed up the valley, we continued on to Slough Creek. Down at the bottom pullout, there was only one other car. Turns out they had 5 wolves scoped at the base of the hill where the Sloughs denned last spring. Not being experts, we didn't know if these were the Sloughs or not, but we made that assumption. After they disappeared, we headed to Elk Creek looking for moose. We got there just in time to see the backend of one disappear into the trees. It was even too quick for a patented Moose Backside picture..oh well.

Since we needed to return our scope and check out, we head back toward the Lamar. We found two last uses for our scope.

The first was those 5 wolves again. This time they were on a ridge just above the river in Little America. They gathered on the ridge and howled for us. Simply Beautiful! I really need to save up some money to buy a scope and camera for digiscoping...

The second was a nice sized Grizzly cruising down the riverbed in the Lamar. After enduring a mind numbing 1/2 hour bison jam at Trout Lake, we checked out of our cabin and headed back into the park for the last time... :(

We took a quick trip up to Mount Washburn for one last attempt to find bears. No luck with bears, but the mountain cooperated:

Mount Washburn

We spotted a bald eagle flying over the area near the self guided trail, but not much else until Mammoth. #6 was relaxing so I took an opportunity to snap off some shots:

Bull Elk

Obviously, this guy was tuckered out. There is nothing like a hard nap after the rut:
Dang women, wore me out...

We left the park sad, but exhilerated from another great trip. We decided to take Old Yellowstone road out instead of 89. We saw 44 pronghorn between Gardiner and Corwin Springs on that road. I guess they knew cold weather was coming since they were already in their wintering grounds.

Thanks for coming along for this trip report ride. We are already contemplating a May trip... :)

1 comment:

Michele Wassell said...

Lovely photos! Great post..