Monday, June 7, 2010

Hello, Yellowstone!

Our hopes were dashed when we woke to dark clouds and wind, but, we headed out anyway.

My brother got his map out and suggested places to see. (One of which was not to stop at the petrified tree.) We had never been on the east side of the park before. My goal was to see a bear. Is that too much to ask for.

Traveling through the Yellowstone Valley toward the park was breath taking. The Yellowstone river meandering along the side of the road leading us to the park.

Along the way, Nicole and I were telling Liz of the many things we were going to see. First we would see elk, then probably bison. We entered Yellowstone near Mammoth Hot Springs. As we drove closer I expected to see a plethora of elk. There were no elk by the hotel, no elk on the great lawn and no elk on the way. No wait! ONE ELK! Can you believe it, ONE. So disappointing.

Continuing on our way toward Tower Falls. I have seen pictures of Tower Falls and it is beautiful. Zipping down the road we pass a sign that says :to petrified tree". Well the girls saw this and they wanted to go so off we went. It is a narrow road and dead end. Have you seen a petrified tree. Well, once you have seen one you have seen them all.

Of course we took the obligatory pictures and piled back into the truck. Around a bend we drove and all the traffic is stopped. Well maybe this is where the elk are. I jump out with my camera and look what I saw!!!

What a cutie bear cub! He had just slid down from being way up in the tree. When he slip down he started scratching his back on the tree. We couldn't have been more lucky. When the bears where on the road they were a mere 30 ft away. I was getting nervous that they were coming closer. No sooner had a thought that then they went down into the little meadow next to the road.

What an experience. So glad we went to the petrified tree after all. As we came out of the Petrified tree area we saw another brown bear loping up the hill. Can you believe it? 3 brown bears. What are the odds. My day has been made.

Our next stop was this pretty little falls off the side of the road.

As we passed Tower Falls we came to a meadow. Many cars were stopped on the side of the road. Of course we had to stop and get out to see what everyone else is. I can't believe it....luck has shined on us today. Across the road in the meadow was this lovely site......GIZZLIES!!!

Holy Smokes!! 2 brown bears and cub plus a grizzly mama and cub. All in a matter of an hour. SO this is where all the great wild life is hiding, on the east side of Yellowstone Nat'l Park.

We sat watching the grizzly's for about an hour. So amazing. Words cannot describe watching this mother with her cub. She didn't let it get too far but yet let it think it had some freedom. Much like we mothers do.

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