Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Western Road Pt 1

First thought: It's nice how it costs more to drive through Chicago than it does to drive across Indiana and half of Ohio.
I had a marvelous sunrise drive up the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming. Im not sure there is a more beautiful place and time than driving up a mountain at sunrise and seeing the entirity of the countryside (including 2 states!).

These were the first critters spotted on the drive. This couple was in the Big Horn mountains, and was 2 of 15 moose spotted that day!

They were playing or fighting (not sure which), and it was amazing to see the female get up on her back legs for a second.

From there, the trip continued through the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway. Gorgeous huge country there. A few large herds of elk and deer were throughout this part of the drive. It winds into Montana, up by the Beartooth highway.

And from there, the Yellowstone enterance.

The Yellowstone welcoming committee was out and greeted me right away.

Yellowstone is breath-taking. Truly. There is no place on Earth more awesome than the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. I need to find a way to live there... anyway, a huge herd of about 500 bison roamed the Lamar valley. Continuing on I saw a wolverine by the side of the road. It stopped, looked at me, and dashed into the sage. I am still really excited, as I have never before seen a wolverine. This big horn sheep was next.

And the first black bear of the day. I ened up seeing 4 bears, two of which were Grizzleys and 2 black bears. This guy was pretty close - 30 feet or so.

Then he crossed the road and ate some leaves and branches. He stood up on his hind legs at one point to get he lower branches. He stood at least 4 1/2 feet tall. It was tremendous to see!

This is the frist Grizz I spotted. I couldnt get a great picture as it moved quickly acorss the street and up the forested mountain. But it was a gorgeous silver colour.

Just outside the Lamar Valley. Love it.
As i took this picture, a pack of wolves started yipping and howling near by. I couldn't actually see them, but they were definitely close and on the move. The yips of wolves are beautiful and haunting, and the song was happy.

It began raining as we left Yellowstone. It was kind of perfect, actually, adding that little ominuous vibe that so suits the amazing park.

More to come soon!


  1. btw...if anyone else is having trouble posting comments, i found a little workaround.

    After you click "post comment" and it eats your comment, 2nd click on the comment box and select "This Frame" and then "Open this frame in new window" and your comment should be there and able to post.

    Just an FYI...