Vacation notes (2 of N)

  • May 20: In the morning, we saw a small herd of bighorn sheep near the Yellowstone Picnic Area.  Later on, we saw a grizzly bear hanging out in the Lamar Valley: sleeping, grazing and hanging out.  Heading back into the cabin for dinner, we talk to our host.  He’s going through a nasty divorce which may wind up causing them to lose their business (for reasons I shouldn’t get into).  Helpful hint: if you’re going into business with someone, even a spouse, set up an LLC.  You don’t want everything to be owned jointly.  In the evening we see still more grizzly.  It’s apparently a grizzly year – it looks like we’re going to have to cruise the Tower Junction area if we want to see any black bears.  On the way home that evening, we saw three moose by the side of the road.  I got out and took a few pictures which were (at best) okay given the lack of light.  Neater than the pictures though, was hearing them tear off the plants and chewing them.  That was very cool.

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  • May 21: We saw quite a few pronghorn hanging out in the Lamar Valley.  They’re very pretty animals, and hey… they can run 60 miles an hour.  As mentioned yesterday, we wanted to head up to the Tower area to scout for black bear and to check out some nests we’ve seen in year’s past.  No perregrin falcon, no owl’s nest, but the osprey did have a nest again.  After Tower, we headed back into the valley to go and hike Trout Lake.  On the way, we ran across a wolf out in the middle of the day.  He was trying to cross the Soda Butte creek.  It took him a while, but he finally managed it.  Anyway, Trout Lake is a pretty little lake up in the hills on the north-east side of valley.  A short hike, maybe .6 miles to it, but it’s all vertical (not literally, but trust me… it’s H for horrible, particularly at 7000 ft above sea level).  Anyway, we hiked up to the lake and around a bit.  There was still snow up there and several different ducks (Barrow’s Goldeneye and a Cinnamon Teal) as well as a Canada Goose (which became something of a trip joke since the geese were everywhere).  We didn’t see any otter this year, but…  That evening, we headed back into the park… more moose and bear (black and griz).  We also got some good beaver shots near the Confluence.  Someone told us about an owl’s nest in the canyons to the west of the valley.  We headed over that way and found the nest.  Couldn’t identify the owl species.   Finally, as the sun was setting and we were losing the light, we watched a wolf chasing a coyote and then making a herd of elk nervous in the hills along the north of the valley.

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  • May 22: Our anniversary!  16 years – it’s hard to believe (it’s also hard not to type the joke about having been happily married for 6 years now… 😉 ).  Given how warm it was, we thought a nice hike under the trees would be good, so we planned to hike Lost Lake.  Along the way, we stopped at the “owl’s” nest.  Turned out to be a red-tail hawk – still cool, but not really an owl.   After the nest, we drove up to Tower Junction, crossed the barrier to the (closed) Roosevelt Lodge and started the hike.  We took the trail up to the Lake and then over to the Petrified Tree.  There weren’t too many animals on the hike, but it was still a lot of fun.  On the drive back, we saw a young (yearling?) grizzly at the Confluence.  As we were watching, he got spooked (by a pronghorn I think) and took off running – very odd.  For our anniversary dinner, we went by the “fancy” restaurant in Cooke City – the Bistro.  The food was excellent, but by the time we finished, it was a bit late to head back into the park.

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  • May 23: Laundry day (~/o See you there.  Under things, tumbling. o/~).  We asked our cabin host if he knew of a public laundrymat (other than the one we usually use which is kinda nasty) and he let us use his washer/dryer.  That freed us up to drive up to the Beartooth Pass, which had just opened for the season.  There were way too many people up there – it turns out that it was some sort of festival(-ish).  Oh well, it was still pretty.  The evening was quiet, but we did watch a black bear sow and her two cubs rooting around in the valley.

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1 Comment

  1. Bettejean said,

    June 4, 2009 @ 10:04 pm

    Great pics and engaging narrative. Sounds like a wonderful trip.

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