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Yellowstone Up Close and Personal

17 April 2009 Trip Report

Trip Report ~ by John William Uhler

Damian ~ Copyright © John Willima Uhler - All Rights ReservedSerenity ~ Copyright © John Willima Uhler - All Rights Reserved

~ April 2009 ~

Friday - 17 April ~ Opening Day 2009
Buffalo Parade by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

Opening Day dawned bright and beautiful. Clear blue spring skies, warm temperatures, and dry roads.

The crew for this trip was my third oldest daughter Rebekah, and her two children, Serenity and Daemon. We loaded up and headed north to Parkadise about 12:30 pm and had a nice drive through Island Park and on to West Yellowstone. We saw two osprey on their nest in Island Park and that was about all the wildlife until we entered the park.

We looked for the bald eagles on the nest. We didn't see any there but then my daughter noticed one of them sitting just a little ways east in a large conifer. It was a way's from us, but I took a picture for evidence.

At about seven mile bridge, we were greeted by an opening day parade and just stopped and enjoyed the treat. We saw a small herd of five buffalo crossing the Madison just after the bridge. We saw a number of small buffalo herds between 5 and 10 or so, but no calves were seen on this trip.

We saw another small herd of buffalo and elk and a small flock of Canada Geese at the wildlife pullout just before the Madison Junction and campgrounds.

Buffalo grazing by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

We turned left and headed north towards Gibbon Falls and stopped at a pullout just about Terrace Spring for lunch. The kids got out and ran around a little while consuming their PBJ sandwiches. We watched a golden eagle souring up and then come spiraling down close to the Gibbon River.

We decided to turn around and head down to the Old Faithful area as Daemon wanted to see a bear, his favorite animal (mine too). We had an osprey escort us just past Madison for about a half mile along the Nez Perce Creek.

We saw ducks and geese floating on the Firehole River. Even with the recent snow storm, the road were clear and dry and the traffic was very light. We saw again, a few small herds of buffalo on our drive down to the Upper Geyser Basin. We did see two loons just past the Fountain Flat Drive in a pullout. We stopped and said hi to KenT and Roadie. Roadie reported no bear sightings at Old Faithful. KenT headed for Canyon and Roadie to Norris (surprise, surprise...).

There was one small coyote jam along the way and folks were having fun chatting among themselves and a ranger.

Old Faithful Eruption by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

We managed to pull into the Old Faithful Inn parking lot just as Old Faithful was erupting. We got out and enjoy the thermal action. Not a lot of folks there, but those who were there enjoyed the show, including our small family group.

We walked around the area and explained geysers to the kids and played in the snow. The board walks are not cleared and we didn't have moon boots, so we walked where we could and tried (at least the adults did) to stay dry.

Old Faithful Inn by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

The kids were ready to head back home, so we again loaded up and headed north. We saw the same small herds of buffalo, and elk on the way to the West Entrance. Unfortunately, we didn't see any bears or wolves, but plenty of other wildlife.

On this trip, we saw two osprey in Island Park. Once in the park we saw a bald eagle, bison, elk, Canada geese, Mallard ducks, and an osprey. It was a fun short opening day trip for my daughter and my two grandchildren. Great times for family and friends always seem to abound in Parkadise.

Until next time my friends, take care and God Bless!

Old Faithful Lodge by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

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