"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

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One Year Anniversary

The Park is steadily getting busier. The store is a constant stream of guests. New arrivals came in on Monday to the 'big' store. The Adventure Store is sometimes referred to as the 'little' store and the General Store in Canyon is referred to as the 'big' store. There are so many new faces that it is hard to believe that we will all know each other in just a few short weeks. A family is being born.

I went to Cody this weekend and along that short drive I managed to spot a grizzly bear by Sedge Bay and 3 moose just east of the East Entrance. 2 of the moose were probably the mama and yearling moose I saw a couple weeks ago. Patrick took me to the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, which I highly recommend! There are 5 different themed museums in the building but I only managed to see the Buffalo Bill area and I will be saving the other four for other visits. Our return to the Park made an unplanned detour after finding out the East Entrance had been closed. because of weather/snow. So at 6:30 that evening we had to make the 6 hour drive back via the Chief Joseph Highway which is beautiful but by the time we got to the Northeast Entrance it was dark. We made it back at 12:30 after seeing a white leggy wolf by the South Rim Drive. It was just wandering down the road squinting his eyes from the cars headlights.

I have decided there are a few people who don't realize that birds are included in the No Feeding the Wildlife rule in Yellowstone. After watching a man throw crackers still in their cellophane wrappers to Edgar I had to put on my 'mommy pants' (what I refer to when I have the unpleasant task of asking someone nicely not to do something) and remind him that the ravens are wildlife and cannot be fed. Edgar doesn't care for me much because I think that he has figured out in his little brain that when I'm around there will be no more delicious crackers for him.

After dinner last night I headed out for Hayden Valley. By Otter Creek a grizzly bear came out of the woods and onto the road. He continued on right out into the Yellowstone River and swam across while a Canada Goose swam toward him and then realized this was not something it should be making such an intimate acquaintance with and immediately honked and swam away. What a lucky sight to see! He walked around the opposite shore occasionally scratching and sniffing the dirt and then climbed back into the rive and swam back. I moved to the picnic area parking and watched as he wandered around there for awhile. Then he was back in the river swimming to the other side. I eventually left him and went to Hayden Valley where I watched a lone bison graze. I'm sure that seems anticlimactic after my grizzly sighting but there is something calming about just sitting and watching a bison. They are still my favorite animal in the Park.

This evening I went to Gardiner to run a couple of errands and on my way back as I came across a very large bear jam. I could tell the bear was close to the road (and the people!!) because every once in awhile people would turn and walk very briskly toward their cars and once they reached their cars people would wave them back and they would walk back toward the bear. I stayed in my car waiting for an opportunity to drive between all the parked cars. When I finally had a clear shot I maneuvered through the vehicles and I got a glimpse of the bear........and how close the people where actually to him. They were a mere 50 feet!!!

Tomorrow is my one year anniversary in Yellowstone. It has been one fun and crazy adventure. I'm looking forward to starting year two and I can't wait to see what is in store for me. More bears, bison, moose, wolves, elk, bighorn sheep and more friends. Thanks everyone for sharing Year One with me!