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Published: August 22nd 2015
Tragedy in Yellowstone. A hiker (a park employee) was killed by a bear while hiking on a popular trail here in the lake area. It has been in the news. According to news reports, the hiker was alone, off trail, and not carrying any bear spray. He was found on Friday the 7th
after he did not show up for work, partially eaten and hidden in the bear’s food cache. The news reported that the hiker was in an off trail area he was known to frequent. Rumor has it…. RUMOR… that he had heard that there was a fresh kill and went to see. I gotta say, we actually do get kind of excited to hear there has been a kill- especially like in Hayden Valley where we may expect increased bear and wolf activity to watch (hopefully from a safe location!). Traps were set and an adult female grizzly was captured. Possibly 2 cubs as well. Different news reports say different things. They were looking for a sow and cubs from evidence gathered at the scene. There are a couple pages on line that suggest that the bear involved may be Blaze (reference May 17 post). Blaze is very popular
here in the Lake area, she is frequently roadside and has been for years, and is tolerant of crowds taking her picture. The bears will likely be killed if testing shows they were involved in the death of the hiker. Very sad, very tragic all the way around.
There have been 5 gorings by bison this season (and the above incident is the only bear incident). One of the goring victims did die later, but her death may not have been directly caused by the goring, as the park service says there have been no goring deaths. I heard it may have been a head injury from a fall…related to the incident. And Jack almost got me killed by a bison. Well, not really, I guess the worst case scenario would have been damage to the jeep. We were driving down the road, already having so many delays because of bison walking down the road. Our lane was clear and as we started through one came running down the hill. Jack was determined that we were not going to let him get in front of us and stop, so he swerved and accelerated. Much more interesting to
say it all dramatically. Anyway, there are lots of risks here and It is easy to get complacent about safety, and these are tragic reminders that it can be dangerous here.
In other news…..
Some of us got together and went out to dinner one night to say goodbye to “the kids”, Aaron and Ariel. And the new folks came in. Everyone new is very nice and working very hard. And I just got word that one of our young GSAs was kicked out of the park, so just as I was hopeful we were all set until the end of the season, we are down 1 again.
One evening, Jack and I, along with Norma, Jim, and Bill, went up to the Lake Butte overlook to watch the sunset over Yellowstone Lake and the full moon rise. That is a beautiful location to look over the lake. That eve there was a big party up there, and Norma and I met some folks while the guys hiked further up the hill to take some pics. Former park workers from the Old Faithful area were having a reunion and it was
fun to hear some of their stories from working in the park 20 years ago!
One“weekend” we headed to Idaho Falls. I elected for us to drive south, through the Tetons on the way, which was a mistake. It was rainy in the Tetons and the clouds covered the mountains. I still want to go back and rent a boat on Jackson Lake! Anyway, it was a long drive to Idaho Falls.
We went to the Craters of the Moon National Monument, a large desolate (but strangely beautiful) area of volcanic rock, lava flows, and cinder cones dating back 2,000 to 15,000 years. If anyone had been to the island of Grand Cayman (kids?), Craters of the Moon looks a lot like Hell only WAAAAAAAYYYY bigger!
When we returned to Idaho Falls we had dinner and took a short walk to the falls. Idaho Falls is a very pretty city of about 30,000 I think. The falls were pretty, but not like the natural, amazing falls of Yellowstone and the surrounding area!
The next day we headed back toward Yellowstone via a different route! Our first stop on
the way back was at Harriman State Park. We were so amused by these pelicans and cormorant diving. The pelicans all in a row with their butts in the air looked like synchronized swimmers. This is when I realized that I had left my camera back in the hotel………
So, back we went, an hour and a half each way , to retrieve the camera. *Deep sigh* We had planned to go to Mesa Falls, but time constraints and weather threats cancelled that. We did stop by Island Park Idaho on the way to West Yellowstone to go to the Johnny Sacks Cabin. The cabin was closed, and I’ve not read much about Johnny Sacks himself, but we were interested in the area, as Big Springs begins there, coming right up out of the ground, 120 million gallons a day, one of the major tributaries to the Snake River. It was pretty cool. You can hear water bubbling and running but cannot see it. While there, a storm blew in and we headed out. Passed a family walking in the hail and stopped to give them a ride, all 4 of them piled in the back seat
of our jeep. The little girl said “poppa, I don’t want to walk in ice cubes anymore, they hurt!” Cute.
We grilled out at Casa Jones with Martha, Craig, Norma, Jim, and Kate, and that was fun. Lotsa laughs and lotsa food. Missed you guys, Cheryl and Bob!
Then, Jim learned there had been a big cancellation for the Roosevelt Cookout, so several of us went to that. Before we went home from there, Jack, Kate, and I went to Lamar Valley (this is when Jack almost killed me….). We did not see any wolves, it was pretty dark, but we sure could hear them howling and yipping. We stood there for quite a while listening and trying to catch a glimpse. I haven’t seen a wolf since May. L
Finally, this weekend Jack and I drove the Beartooth Highway from the northeast entrance to Yellowstone to Red Lodge Montana. It was truly amazing, indescribably beautiful, and so, so high, 10.900 feet at the highest. Way above tree line, scary at times…..for me at least….but well worth the time! Pics don’t, can’t do it justice. Found these mountain goats, so cool!
So close! And no one else saw them and stopped, so it was awesome.
Looking forward to Tim and Roxann coming the first week of Sept, and Rob and Cass the first week in Oct! Then, we head home mid Oct. Looking forward to visiting family and meeting “Baby O”, Chelsea and Kyle’s yet-to-arrive addition. The first great nephew on my side of the fam! Jack has lots of greats!
Congrats to Andi- a SENIOR this year! And to Riley- HIGH SCHOOL..WOOHOO!
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