S: YELLOWSTONE 2011
BC: Angela, Rachel and Claire's Awesome Yellowstone Vacation June 2011
FC: YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK | 2011
1: GETTING THERE | Let the fun begin! | Saturday June 18th | Bozeman, Montana off to the Grizzly Encounter | We left early on the 18th and headed for Yellowstone. We flew out of BWI, a plane change in Minneapolis and then onto Bozeman. We arrived without any flight issues and got our rental car. We headed to the Wal-Mart to pick up a few things and then grabbed lunch at Famous Dave’s right by the Wal-Mart.
2: Jake | Brutus | cage bear was kept in before coming to MGE | We then headed out towards Livingston and stopped at the Montana Grizzly Encounter. Here we picked up the prize I won on FB and upgraded to a sweatshirt for Angela. When we arrived we saw Jake and Maggie and a bit later Brutus came out with Sheena. Brutus spent some time walking around and then he decided to ham it up for us and started posing.
3: Park Entrance | Brutus | We headed out after a short visit – Destination Yellowstone National Park! | The Grizzly Encounter
4: The SILVERTIP | This is the place where we stayed in Gardiner, MT.
5: Old Faithful
6: We stayed at the Silvertip in Gardiner, MT. We checked ourselves in and after unloading the car we decided to venture into the park. We stopped and bought an annual park pass and headed out towards Lamar. Weather was a bit rainy. We had some food from the Mexican restaurant upstairs- ummm not the greatest. A bit disappointed I guess because we never ate there again. | Yellowstone
7: We drove for a bit and saw a few pronghorn near Tower. | DAY 1
9: From the previous hike. | Day 2 | Woke up and since Rachel was still a bit under the weather, my back not the best and the weather was pretty overcast we decided to do some driving for the day. We drove past Mammoth, pass the hoodoos, and down towards Madison stopping at Gibbon Falls for a photo or two. We then drove out to West Yellowstone and had lunch at the Timberline and we did some shopping. We returned to the park and came upon a herd of bison close to and also on the road before arriving at Madison. Here we watched some really stupid people stand right next to some bison at side of road. They could literally reach out and touch them. Rachel and Angela were all set to take a video of someone being tossed up in the air by a bison. Then the ranger arrives. Needless to say she was not too happy. She proceeded to yell at this one lady and gave her a good chewing out. She deserved every bit of it and more. When heading back, we decided to head out towards Canyon and north to Dunraven pass and check out Mt. Washburn. There was still a tremendous amount of snow on the ground. In some areas it was as high as the car sometimes a bit higher. The trail to Washburn was still covered with snow. We later checked with the ranger and found out the trail was still closed. It was a huge disappointment because we wanted a re-enactment photo of the girls at the top but at the same time I was a bit relieved I did not have to do the hike. I was worried I would not make it and did not want to be frustrated by this. By not being allowed to do this hike meant that the failure was not my fault. I guess we have to go back again if we want that shot. We drove into Lamar and right after we made the right turn at Roosevelt, right past the bridge we saw a large black bear that was a dark cinnamon color. He was right on the hill by the side of the road eating grass. After watching this bear for a while we drove out to Lamar. There we saw a few pronghorn. We drove for a bit and then headed back to Mammoth and on the way we spotted a black bear on right side of road. Very happy only day 2 and we already saw 2 bears. We drove past the Blacktail Plateau Trail and it was closed. We checked often during the trip but it never opened while we were there. Ang and I have some fond memories of an old grouchy bison on that trail. It has always been an enjoyable time on that trail for me. We also saw 2 buck elk on hill to left of road on the drive back. We headed into Gardiner and stopped at Rosie’s for dinner. Dinner was very good but a bit pricey.
10: Day 3
11: Drove into Mammoth to check on some of the trails with the rangers and to pick up our bear spray. Rachel was intrigued with the ground squirrels at Mammoth. She got a number of pictures and was very entertained. We picked up the bear spray at the general store. We then headed out to the Artist's Paint Pots and hiked around a bit. We watched the mud pots bubble for a while and continued on our hike back. Coming down we also spotted a deer to the left of the trail. We headed south and took a ride around the Firehole Falls. Due to the large amount of snow run off all of the waters around the park were running very high and very fast. The day before we got here a guy died taking a whitewater raft trip with the Flying Pig Rafting Company. Also, the boiling river was never opened during our trip. We were unable to do some “hotpotting” during this trip.
12: Petrified tree | Day 4
13: We drove out to Lamar. Here we encountered a bison road block and watched the bison for a bit. We spotted coyote in Lamar valley and watched it pounce on a few voles for breakfast. We headed out to Cooke City and ate breakfast at the Bistro Café.
14: We took a hike out to Trout Lake looking for otters. We were too early for the otters but we had a nice hike and enjoyed the wildflowers and peace pipe. | Day 4
15: We headed back towards Mammoth and on the way by the petrified tree turn off there was a black bear directly on roadside. This is where Angela found a Ranger friend who let us park in the area where the bear was.
17: We then went to the Roosevelt Corral for the cowboy dinner. We headed out on the wagons (after having to hike to them due to the high water level) Luckily we shared the table with a nice elderly couple and proceeded to have a delicious steak dinner- with all of the fixings. | Day 4
18: We drove south from Gardiner thru the park to head to the Tetons. Upon entering the park, Rachel spotted an Osprey right by the side of the road. We continued down the west side of the park stopping at Kepler Falls. After a brief stop we headed out of the park to Grand Teton National Park. We drove to the Swan Lake Trail and took a short hike. | Day 5
19: Pioneer Grill in the Jackson Lake Lodge
20: Day 5
21: Mormon Row | Angela said to back up a bit she thinks she saw something. We backed up and there were 2 Bull Moose on other side of a lake. We watched them for a bit, took some shots and were on our way. Rachel was thrilled to finally see a moose.!
22: Got up and drove back to Yellowstone. We stopped at the West Thumb Geyser Basin and walked around for awhile. Here we got to listen to a woman narrate her video she was shooting and we all found that rather annoying. So, of course we had to mock her. After finishing the boardwalks here we drove up to the Fishing Bridge and headed out towards the East entrance. We drove a short ways and did not see too much going on so we headed back and drove up through Hayden Valley to Canyon. Here we hiked down the Brink of Lower Falls.
23: Brink of the lower falls | I don't know if you have noticed but I'm not in the greatest shape here! | Day 6
25: Day 6
26: We headed out to the Old Faithful area to walk the boardwalks. Our geyser karma was not with us today. We just missed Daisy and did not catch any other eruptions on the way. Here we finished up any shopping and then were driving back to Gardiner. We weren't even out of the Old Faithful area for a minute when we spotted a crowd. Of course, we had to stop. There was a Grizzly and a cub across water. Here the entertainment battle between the grizzlies and the people was a close call. Here we also heard binickelars boy.! Stopped and saw a black wolf on the way. But the best stop was the black bear pooping at roadside right by the road...lol
27: Day 7
28: Up at 4ish we headed out to Lamar. We got as far at Phantom Lake and here we found a Bull Moose drinking water in the lake and eating. We watched him munch for a bit and then we headed on. Shortly before the turn towards Lamar we saw a Grouse and watched him show off by puffing up his chest for us. I think Angela somewhat slept through this stop- even though she was the designated spotter for the morning. I had to elbow her to wake her up to remind her of this! Once in Lamar we saw some deer and lots of pronghorn. Past Soda Butte at a picnic area we spotted a black bear - up on hill across a river. We had our own private bear for a bit, then a group showed up and we had to share. We were heading out to Cooke City to get some more Grub at the Bistro when a Coyote - ran across the road in front of us.
29: Driving back in around Soda Butte we saw an Eagle in tree as we were watching the eagle a Magpie was flying around the area. We then saw a Badger walking around her den and soon after a coyote shows up. We saw the Badger lead the coyote away from the den area. We watched as the coyote followed the badger around. But “Honey badger don't care!”
32: Black bear and 2 cubs at roadside and crossing past tower towards Mammoth - near Blacktail Plateau trail. Hiked up trail by Grand Prismatic.What a view. Saw 2 grizzlies on either side of the road -circled ranger around his car.
35: hiking | What a beautiful view!
36: Roaring Mountain
37: I'm not going to lie to ya'll. I thought this was going to be the longest week of my life! | Time to head home