Yellowstone Up Close and Personal
May 24 - 25, 2009 Trip Report
Trip Report ~ by John William Uhler
~ May 2009 ~
|Sunday - 24 May 2009
The crew for this trip was Carlene and myself. We left Rexburg about 2:30 PM on US 20 northeast headed to Parkadise. We were going to meet some of our friends at Gardiner, Montana to have dinner or at least dessert together.
The weather was nice, simi-cloudy with a few showers on the horizon. We made good time as the traffic was light and we got to the park a little before 4:00 PM.
At about 4:13 PM we noticed several cars pulled off the road with folks looking to the south. We had never seen anything in this area but bison and elk, but just to be sure, we pulled over and got out the binoculars. This was just several miles into the park from the west entrance, just past the end of the 1988 lodge pole burn area. Sure enough, in a small meadow we spotted a large black bear just grubbing. We had only seen one other bear in this area in all our trips to Parkadise. That was a very large cinnamon bear last year. We watch for a short while and then headed east. towards the Madison Junction.
There was one bald eagle on the nest along the Madison River. Also, there were elk in another meadow below where the black bear was grubbing.
Just after Seven Mile Bridge and just past the Swan wildlife pullout, at about 4:20 PM, there was a very large bear jam. The bear, a very large cinnamon bear, was on the north side of the road about 50 yards from the road in the pine trees. Looked like the same bear that we saw last year in about the same area. Very nice bear and sighting. Cars and trucks were all over the place, people stopping in the middle of the road running from their vehicles to see the bear. We continued east. The traffic coming west from Madison was backed up for several miles. No rangers, no crowd or parking control.
We saw Canada geese, mallards, bison and calves and elk along the Madison and Gibbon Rivers. Gibbon Falls is just roaring with all the spring melt off and the meadows along the Madison and Gibbon were starting to look like small lakes. We had a nice drive north from the Madison Junction with a few rain showers along the way. The temperature was in the mid 50's.
Traffic was light from the Madison Junction north to Mammoth.
At 5:10 PM, just before Swan Lake Flats, cars and trucks were parked all over the place. In the pine trees just before you come into the meadows, on east side of the road was a small cinnamon bear. Looked to be about a year old as it was very small and very light in color. It stood out like an orange thumb. This was the first time we had seen a cinnamon black bear in this area. We had seen several grizzly bears on past trips, but no blacks. It was a nice little bear and gave folks a thrill to see and enjoy.
We then continue on to Mammoth Hot Springs to have dinner at the Mammoth Dinning Room. We had a nice dinner and Rachel and her friend Jesse joined us. We visited for a while and then decided it was time to head north and down into Gardiner to meet our friends at the restaurant at 7:00 PM.
Rachel and Jesse had dinner as they were too late to have it in Mammoth. Carlene and I visited with Bruce and Geri (from Washington), and Tonya and Jean (who both work in Yellowstone). When they had finished dinner, we ordered dessert. They use to serve the best chocolate suicide cake at this restaurant, and it was Carlene's and others favorite. You could not help hearing their ummming and awing as they savored each bite of this chocolate delight. But alack and alas, they don't have the same cake any more, which was a great disappointment, but we still had fun visiting with family and friends.
It was very nice to be back in Gardiner where we had lived for six years. It was also very nice to see and talk to our friends who still live there.
After our time together, we headed back into the park and to Mammoth to spend the night. We did not want to make the long late drive back to Rexburg. We stayed with our friends, Dave and Sharon in Mammoth. We had a nice long late night visit with them before hitting the sack.
Monday - 25 May 2009 - Memorial Day
The next morning we were up and out into the park to do some filming and looking for wildlife. I took some video and pictures of the Albright Picnic Area. We also took some time to watch the great horned owl in Mammoth.
We stopped along the way and took some video and picture of areas of interest and just had a nice drive south and west out of Parkadise and back to Rexburg. I took some video and pictures of the Tuff Cliff Picnic Area, and then we headed for home.
We did not see any bears or wolves on our way out. Traffic was light and no traffic jams along the way.
On this trip, we saw bison, elk, ducks, geese, a bald eagle, and three black bears (2 cinnamon and one black).
As always, we had a great trip with family and friends.
Until next time my friends, take care and God Bless!
|I n d e x|
|Adult Programs||Entrances||Old Faithful Live WebCam||Visitor Stats|
|Amphibians||Entrance Fees||Pets||Volcano Observatory|
|Animals||Fall Closure||Phone Numbers||Waterfalls|
|Bear Management||Fishing Fees||Ranger Led Activities||WebCams|
|Bear Sightings||Fishing Regulations||Reptiles||Wildflowers|
|Biking||Getting Here||Reunions||Winter Closing|
|Boating||Hiking||Rivers, Creeks & Streams||Winter Opening|
|Books||History||Roads||Winter Weather Reports|
|Butterflies||Junior Ranger Program||Schedule||Wolf Project|
|Camping||Lakes||Search Page||Wolf Sightings|
|Campground Maps||Location||Spring Opening||Wolverine Help|
|Challenges||Lodging||Star Talks||Yellowstone ~ the Name|
|Chat Page||Lynx Help||Trip Planner pdf||Young Scientist|
|Clinics / Medical||Mammal List||Trip Reports||Youth Conservation Corps|
|Yellowstone National Park WebCams|
|Old Faithful Live||All Old Faithful||Old Faithful Static||Old Faithful VC||North Entrance||Mt Washburn||Mammoth||YVO WebCam|
|Gardiner, Montana||Silver Gate, Montana||West Yellowstone, Montana||Cooke City, Montana|
|Livingston, Montana||Cody, Wyoming||Jackson Hole, Wyoming||Yellowstone National Park|
|Bighorn Rams||Grizzly Bear at Old Faithful|
|Bison / Buffalo at Old Faithful||Grizzly Bear near Roaring Mountain|
|Black Bear||Grizzly Sow Nursing Cubs|
|Black Wolf||Otters at Trout Lake|
|Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel||Otter at Yellowstone Lake|
|Grizzly Bear at Blacktail Ponds|
|Beehive Geyser Eruption||Old Faithful with Bison|
|Beehive Geyser Eruption Two||Pocket Basin|
|Fan and Mortar||Roaring Mountain|
|Grand Geyser||Rocket and Grotto|
|Old Faithful One||West Thumb|
|Cave Falls||Mesa Falls||Undine Falls|
|Gibbon Falls||Rustic Falls||Upper Falls|
|Lower Falls||Tower Fall||Wraith Falls|
|The Great Outdoors Net||Great Outdoor Recreational Places|
|Gardiner, Montana||World Humanity|
by John William Uhler
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