"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, February 20, 2012


My First Bison Jam of 2012

Bison on Floating Island Lake
Ram in Lamar Valley

My lack of postings is directly related to my jet-setting lifestyle.  Yes, since my last posting I have once again flown.  On February 10 Patrick and I flew to Las Vegas for a long weekend.  I am not much of a gambler (When I was 19 lost my laundry money in a poker game) but Las Vegas is thrilling none the less.  And while we were gone Yellowstone got snow.  And it was enough snow to crystallize on my windshield causing my right arm and my window scraper a good a workout when I got back.

Life is very different in Yellowstone during the winter.  Driving is limited.  One can drive to Cooke City but needs to backtrack since the road closes for the winter just past there.  There is only one way out and that is to the north.  Bozeman becomes a winter's day destination.  A mere 1 1/2 hours from Yellowstone lies shopping!  And Patrick and I have become Cosconites. Neither one of us cannot go to Bozeman without a trip into Costco where we can engorge our shopping appetites with massive blocks of cheese, huge cans of tomato sauce and  mighty cans of coffee.  We are hooked.  And every shopping trip there ends with me slurping on a berry slushy.

On the Blacktail Plateau
And so lately I have been following the temptations of civilization and not following the road to Lamar Valley.  But this past weekend I found myself Las Vegased, Costcoed and New Yorked out.  I followed that road to Lamar Valley and I was not disappointed.  Sunday morning I packed my camera, some Mt. Dew and my CD collection and followed the pavement that I have been following for the past couple of years. 

It had snowed the previous evening and there were zig zags of footprints in the snow.  I found a group of bison on Floating Island Lake playing a game of Follow the Leader.  Each bison was carefully stepping in the footprints of the leading bison.  My biggest excitement was seeing wolves in Lamar Valley.  There was a carcass that they had been feasting on.  One lone coyote watched them from the distance while one of the wolves leaped and pounced at the numerous ravens that were congregating on the carcass.  The pull-outs were lined with numerous guests with cameras and scopes.  I only managed to shove my camera out my window as I drove by.

Wolves with Carcass in Lamar Valley
Sunday was my wolf day.  From the moment I awoke in the morning until deep in the afternoon wolves were howling in the Mammoth area.  I love hearing them.

So I went back to my Yellowstone roots:  I spent the day watching the wildlife on my drive to Lamar Valley.  Then what did I do?  I did my taxes and watched Celebrity Apprentice.