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Yellowstone Up Close and Personal

22 May 2009 Trip Report

Trip Report ~ by John William Uhler

Wolves near Canyon by John William Uhler © Copyright All Rights Reserved

~ May 2009 ~

Friday - 22 May 2009
Mount Haynes by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

The crew for this trip was Carlene and myself. We left Rexburg about 8:30 AM and headed to Parkadise. We were going to meet some of our friends from Washington and the Netherlands and just spend the day together in the park.

We made it to West Yellowstone at 10:00 AM and met Bruce and Geri at the Grizzly RV Park and set out to enjoy our time together in the park. We took two vehicles, I rode with Bruce and Geri, Carlene and Gracie road together in our van. It was a nice simi-cloudy day with the temp about 56 degrees as we headed into the park.

We did not see an eagle on the nest along the Madison River, but there was one of the pair perched in a tree on the north side of the river.

We saw mallards and Canada geese along the Madison, but no swans. We saw bison along the way, and a few elk in the meadows along the Madison River. The spring melt off had begun and the meadows were turning into lakes as they normally do this time of year.

We had a nice drive to Canyon and just saw mainly bison and elk along the way. We arrived about 11:30 AM and found Hélène and René and Hélène's father and mother (Jos and Jose) waiting for us. We went into the snack bar and had lunch and caught up on our lives since we had last been together. We had a great time and a nice lunch.

Dunraven opened at noon, so after lunch we made a nice drive over the pass towards Tower. We stopped at several pullouts, but did not see any bears or wolves. We had a nice leisurely drive and just enjoyed spring in the park.

We stopped at Tower for some ice cream and to look for wildlife, no moose or bears at that time.

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

We headed for Lamar to see what we could find. In Little America there was a major pullout parking along the road. A badger and kits were at a den a little ways off the road. You should have seen the big lens and gear trained on the badger den and family.

We headed east and saw antelope, bison, and elk along the way. We stopped at several pullouts before the Lamar ranger station with no luck at finding bears or wolves.

We stopped at the Outfitters Pullout with no success and the restroom was closed. We headed to the Footbridge Pullout and scanned the area for any bear or wolf activity. None. We then headed east to the Soda Butte Picnic area for a needed restroom break. We scanned along the way with no success.

After our little break enjoying the picnic area, we headed west and stopped at a few turnouts along the way. We scanned and chatted at the pullouts with family and friends.

Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

We decided to leave our friends in Lamar and head back towards Rexburg. We were just going to take a nice easy drive home. At about 6:52 PM, at the little ponds on the north side of the road just before the Yellowstone Picnic Area, there was a nice black bear just moseying along. Nice to see a black bear and enjoy its grubbing for food. We called our friends and told them about the bear.

We left the bear and decided to drive back over Dunraven on the way back. Just before the Calcite Overlook, at about 7:05 PM, there was a small black bear in the small meadow before Calcite. We again called our friends and let them know of the bear.

At about a mile above Tower there was a very large cinnamon black bear just off the road by Antelope Creek. We were pretty excited as we had been skunked up until our drive home. Three black bears in about fifteen minutes or so. Pretty cool. We again called our friends and shared the bear information.

We had a nice drive over Dunraven and just about a half mile before Canyon, Carlene looked over the the left and saw to wolves just off the side of the road. They were just slowly walking in the snow up towards Dunraven. There was one gray wolf and one black wolf. I had to take pictures on the run as we tried to pullover and get off the road. It was about 7:25 PM when we saw the wolves (see the picture at the top of the page).

We called our friends to let them know of the wolves, but they had decided to drive to Mammoth and around to West Yellowstone. We were pretty excited to see so much within about a half hour on our way home.

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, osprey three black bears and two wolves. As always, we had a great trip with family and friends.

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

Osprey by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

Raven by John William Uhler Copyright © All Rights Reserved

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