"There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of this great human principle." Franklin D. Roosevelt

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bear in the River

Yesterday was the last day of the week for having early shift. I worked the register in groceries, which I rather enjoy, and everyone was in a great mood. The weather was perfect (77 degrees and sunny) and everyone was planning picnics and sightseeing. It was very steady so the time went by quickly. During my afternoon break I went to Hayden Valley and watched a bull bison swim the Yellowstone River. The current is moving quickly so with a lot of swimming, grunting and flowing downstream a bit he finally made it across and was greeted with cheers from the people watching.

In the evening Carl and I had planned on going out to watch the wildlife. We decided to head to Hayden Valley. It has been rather quiet down there, very few bison left but there are herds of elk. Earlier this week Carl watched a pack of wolves take down an elk calf. It happened right after another herd of elk had chased them off. The stars, moon and sun must of been aligned perfectly because it was an incredible night of wildlife watching. Just south of Grizzly Overlook we watched a grizzly moving along the edge on the opposite side of the Yellowstone River. He eventually waded out into the river and the current quickly started moving him downstream. He just floated along but I'm sure underneath the surface of the water his paws were paddling like mad. I had grabbed my video camera so I got great video of the entire thing. He eventually made it back to shore and wandered off into the sage brush.

We decided to continue our journey south and then head east past Fishing
Bridge. We've seen bears earlier this year by Steamboat Point. After driving for quite a distance without seeing anything we decided to use a turnout to head back. When we pulled into the turnout we found a grizzly roaming around and digging just over the edge. We watched him for quite awhile by ourselves and were eventually joined by others when they saw me videotaping.

Looking to the northeast we could see a storm heading across the Canyon area. Lots of cloud to ground lightening strikes. We headed back. We missed the storm but did have another one overnight. This morning there was more rain and lightening but now the sky is clear and sunny. Another warm day is in the works.

Carl and I have made plans to go down to LeHardy Rapids one morning this week to watch the trout head upstream for spawning. On Thursday I am planning on taking Sam to West Yellowstone to watch the IMAX movie 'Yellowstone'. Sam is from Cairo, Egypt and has been working in the EDR. He came here 1 week ago and has up to this point only seem 1 mule deer. No elk, no bison. So I will give him a mini tour of the park on our way to West Yellowstone via Old Faithful. I feel bad since he has no car and it would be like me going to Egypt and no one taking the time to take me to visit the pyramids.