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Published: September 22nd 2015
Today we drove around and through Yellowstone park. After our experience with the altitude yesterday, we chose to not do the planned hike for the day. A little disappointing but felt it was necessary.
We started out in Lamar Valley which is known for its wildlife. It wasn't long before we saw a large group gathered with many cameras out, so we decided to join the camera party. We searched the area but did not see anything. So we started talking to some of the people standing there and realize they are watching wolves. This must be the same secret wolf watching club we ran into last year. I call them the 'Wolf Stalkers Club'. Membership grants you unlimited communication with other members so you always know where the wolves are and where they are going to be. Membership requirements are: 1-you must own a powerful spotting scope or camera lens that is to too heavy to actually carry. 2-you must own some type of radio device to communicate with other members of the club - in which you will be given a number as your call sign. 3-you must be extremely patient having to wait for hours at a
time foregoing all other sights of the park. I will never become a member of the WSC.
Since the wolves can only be seen if you have a powerful scope, we were not going to be fortunate enough to see them ourselves. David had recently purchased a scope for this trip, but was unable to zoom in on the right area. The park service had apparently gained there own membership to the WSC for there was a park ranger at this stop with his own scope and radio. I guess if you can beat 'em, join 'em. At least that way they know where the WSC are and can help control them and protect the wolves. He was giving everyone a chance to view the wolves through his scope and I took my turn. But he rushed everyone - literally giving only 2 seconds to see them and if you could not find them through the scope within those 2 seconds, your turn was up. That ranger was not the most pleasant person I have ever met. It was time for us to move on.
A little further through the valley, we saw a few more people stopped
and learn that they are watching a grizzly. Awesome. So we joined that party for a while. No special club membership required. David had also purchased a special lens for his camera so this gave him a perfect opportunity to use his new toys. The bear was pretty far off, but we were able to seen him through our own camera lens and watched him for quite a while.
We proceeded even further through the valley to find another large group gathered. After getting our cameras and joining in we learn that they are all members of the WSC and are all just waiting for the wolves to come out so they can watch them. They haven't even seen one yet - just waiting. No thank you - we will not be spending our time in Yellowstone waiting for animal that may or may not come out for viewing. After leaving the valley we went to find the Blacktail Plateau Drive. That is one area I have not been able to see for the road is always closed when I visit the park and it was closed again today. Bummer! So we were forced to move on. That is
where we encountered one of many bison jams. A large herd of bison was walking down the road - fortunately for us, they were in the opposite lane and traffic backed up for miles. Those people looked so irritated and were likely stuck in that for an hour or two.
We continued on around the park looking for wildlife but mostly finding more bison jams. We stopped by an empty trailhead and had a picnic lunch in the middle of the woods using a log as our chair and table. So much nicer and quieter than those busy picnic areas.
After our lunch, we continued touring the area, stopped by a visitor center and then headed toward our cabin for the night. That gave us a little time to reorganize a few things and go for a walk down at the river. It was nice to just leisurely walk around enjoying the sounds of the water with no agenda. We later had supper at the lodge and soon after called it a night. Tomorrow is the Grand Tetons.
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