"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

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wonderful Day

Here is a special "Hello!" to Bob & Family in Milwaukee, Richard & Family in Texas and Richard, Genevieve and River. Thanks for e-mails and I will personally reply to them shortly. The organization Buffalo Allies was brought to my attention. Anyone who has followed my blog may realize that the bison hold a very special place in my heart so I will absolutely be looking at that website (buffaloallies.org). Please keep those e-mails coming, I love hearing from people and their experiences in Yellowstone.

During my afternoon break yesterday I took my usual cruise through Hayden Valley. I came across an unusual sight. A small pickup had managed to drive about 50 feet off the road. I am assuming the driver was not paying attention to the road. When I came upon it there was about 4 people standing around by the road while the driver was laying across the truck seat with his door open. It was a confusing sight so I turned around to see if anyone needed help. They assured me the driver was fine. I waited around in the nearest pull out until the ambulance and ranger came.

Last night I decided to take my usual north loop drive. My first sighting was a coyote trotting along near the clearing just south of the Norris campground. The evening was starting out well. Once in Mammoth I found the usual herd of elk wandering the grassy areas. The elk calves are getting large and their spots are barely visable. The calves lounged in the grass and would twitch their ears and scratch them with their hind hooves as the bugs bothered them.

I decided to continue on to Gardiner and stop in at the Yellowstone Association. It was fate. Upon reaching the door I saw a sign taped up that their was a book signing by Lee H. Whittlesey!! Oh joy! Mr. Whittlesey is the author of the book Death in Yellowstone which is the biggest selling book in the park and a book I personally have read 5 times. I had given my copy to to Brandon and I had mistakenly thought he took it with him when he left (I found out last night he did indeed leave it behind in his room for me). I bought a new copy and had Mr. Whittlesey sign it for me. It was an exciting moment to meet an author of a book that I have enjoyed so much.

Coming back into the park I saw something that I had never seen before. In all my travels west I had never had the opportunity to see a baby pronghorn. And there along the river was a small herd of pronghorn with babies. My night was really progressing nicely. East of Mammoth I found the bull elk that hangs out in that area. I snapped a really great picture of some guy who thought that getting a video of the elk from 10 feet from it was a super great idea (NOT!) Later when I loaded the picture on my computer I saw that the elk had turned it's head and was giving the guy what appears to be a dirty look. The cars were really piled up behind heading to the west and I had to drive slowly to get buy the elk which was standing 5 feet from the road. When I drove by I looked out my passenger side window and all I could see was huge velvety antlers.

My day ended with listening to a coyotes singing across the road from the dorm at 10:45. What a wonderful day.