Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 2: Bozeman MT to Cody WY via Yellowstone

A little late start after limping in at 12:30am the night before. We were able to visit with Cassie for a little bit during breakfast. The drive from Bozeman to West Yellowstone was incredible. The scenery was beautiful. Conner was the first to spot wildlife. Dan said he’s going to rent him out in the fall during hunting season. We were traveling 55mph and he spotted a huge elk buck, minimum of 2000 yards, 700 feet up on a ridgeline above a meadow. We pulled over got out the binoculars and sure enough there were two, a male and female. We watched them as they disappeared into the trees. The picture is zoomed in 10x optical, looking closely in the middle, you can see two white dots right by all the trees in the back.  I tried to edit the picture and zoom in but wasn't able to on this laptop.

We stopped in West Yellowstone so that the boys could buy some souvenirs. They picked rocks. We visited the Grizzly and Wolf Center at West Yellowstone. Highly recommend. There are 8 grizzlies and 8 grey wolves. They only show 2 bears at time. I overheard one of the guides saying that they have to be careful which two go in the pen at the same time as one of the females is very particular. The wolves were split into 2 packs, highland and lowland. It was fun watching a couple of them play. We entered Yellowstone at the West entrance. A friend recommended that we stop at Firehole and go swimming. We asked the park ranger about it, but it was closed because of high water levels. The boys were a little disappointed. Again, eagle eyes Conner was the first to spot a lone bison. Laura spotted a bald eagle and a nest. Then Dorothy saw a herd of elk. There were at least 10 of them. Amazing. We stopped at Paint Pot and saw all of the various types of geysers. The colors are amazing. It was incredible watching them. Next stop was Old Faithful. We got there just in time to pay an exorbitant price for a hot dog. We walked over to the old lodge. It’s 3 stories tall and made of logs. Old Faithful was worth the wait. At 5:24pm it started and lasted about 3 minutes. Then it was time to finish the drive to Cody.

 As we were leaving the park, cars were stopped along the road. It was a baby grizzly and two extremely stupid people out of their car. Out of country tourists trying to get a close up picture. They were only about 30 feet from the bear. They are lucky that momma bear didn’t come out from where ever she was. Dan yelled at them to get in their car, the park ranger was yelling at them too. We almost got to see Darwinism in play. After that excitement, we continued along our way and saw some of the most incredible nature: Yellowstone lake, the rocks, canyons, etc. What a beautiful country we live in. We arrived in Cody around 8:30pm. Ate another late dinner at the Ilma hotel. The hotel William Cody built. The original cherry wood bar is still there. It’s gorgeous. And then bed, another late night.

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