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Published: August 9th 2007
Lot's of warnings for bear and coyote's frequenting the area. Bear proof trash bins. Rules about not leaving anything outside that has a scent. This includes pet water bowls, suntan lotion, pets unsupervised, etc.
As we approached Yellowstone we saw various signs to remind us that wildlife is just that, wild. I find it interesting the different precautions that are needed, depending on the camping situation. There was one sign that stated not to sleep in the same clothes that you cook in. I assume that was for tent campers. The area we camped in was only for hard sided campers, no tents or pop-ups due to it being a bear management area.
At Fishing Bridge Campground we were biking back to our site. At the end of our row there in a sharp turn. I was leading, so George wouldn’t get way ahead of me. I’m not a fast biker, and as I came to the turn I braked hard due to seeing a big hairy animal around the bend. My brakes squealed enough that another camper came out to see what had happened. The three of us were standing in the road amazed to see a Bison grazing in the campground. As we watched he grazed more in our direction. George rode his bike back the way we had come, so he could get on the other side to take
Bison in campground
This bison was undisturbed by the campground activities. He meandered grazing throughout the area. He's fulltime to the area and we're only seasonal!
When we were at Mammoth Hot Springs Campground we had an elk grazing near our site. Both the elk and bison are a lot bigger when seen close up!
In the Yellowstone we saw so many bison that it became less exciting after a while. There was one night that was interesting when the bison were stopping traffic. There was a large group of them on each side of the road. It seemed to be a lot of males, that were rough housing. There was some head butting and some pushing each other around. It looked more like practice than the serious contests that will come later in the summer.
We didn’t see any bear, but we did see people looking at bears off in the distance. In summer there are probably real traffic jams due to the number of visitors each day. The only traffic jams we experienced were “wildlife jams” due to animal sightings. We did have a silver coyote cross the road in front of us. We also saw two bald eagles perched beside a river.
We did experience some beautiful days and some dramatic days. A cold front came
Elk in campground
There were lots of signs that this campground at Mammoth Hot Springs was frequented by elk. We were not surprised to see it grazing slowly through the campground. This was the view out the window.
through on our last day in the park. It rained all day and the clouds were interesting on the mountains. Sometimes they would be higher than at other times. The most interesting view was when the tops of the mountains were above the clouds and only the middle section of the mountain was covered by the cloud. Our last night was cold with the temps in the 30’s. It snowed in the higher elevations and the mountains were even more interesting with fresh snow on their peaks. At that point we were at the north end of the park which is a lower elevation than further south. We later talked to people that were camped in the southern areas and they reported having snow.
In 1988 Yellowstone had a fire that made the news. It was sensationalized and our impression at that time was that the park was devastated. Actually the park is so massive that it was a small percentage of land that was affected. We saw various areas that have had a fire at some point in the past, including the area of 1988. It’s amazing to see how new life springs from these areas. At
Waiting for Old Faithful
The time of the next erruption is posted at the Visitor's Center plus or minus 10 minutes. Everyone arrives early and waits. I knew if I put my videocamera down, that is when it would begin.
the Grant Visitor’s Center they have a film and display about the fire of 1988. It was interesting to learn how quickly the animals return to the burned areas and how the plants reseed or grow from their undamaged roots.
A classic, but better in person than on film or pictures.
Mammoth Hot Springs
We toured this area on two different days. It was interesting to see it at different times of day and weather. The Ranger who did the tour was amazed at the changes that had occurred while she was elsewhere over the winter. New hot springs begin and old one become inactive. Or old inactive one become active once again.
We toured both sides of the canyon. It was another place that we saw on two different days and at different times of the day.
We opened up the awning and let it dry out once the weather was better. George devised a system that should keep it more secure, now that the lock/spring system is no longer functional. My arms were surprisingly sore the day after we had to wrestle the awning.
Classic shot of Old Faithful erupting. More impresive in person than watching it on TV.
step has been a problem. I was following the RV in my car through a steep mountain pass, and was fascinated at the step going in and out on it’s own. George has worked on it repeatedly and has it so we can rely on it.
Where to next?
We spent a couple days in Great Falls, Montana picking up mail, doing laundry, using the internet. In Yellowstone we generally had no phone signal, no TV reception and one radio station. It’s been great to be connected to the outside world again. At this campground we have met several people that are also heading to Alaska. It seems like a staging area before entering into Canada. There have been discussions on phone service, gas prices, exchange rates and what is permitted to take across the border. We checked out the Canadian website to clarify what we could take and were surprised to see that root vegetables are a problem.
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