On the road with Ed and Judie travel blog

Barrow's Goldeneye

Black Bear

Bison Napping with the Babies

They own the road

Anything to scratch an itch

headed for water with the babies

Nice elk photo

Ed's Fence Row

Grizzly with four cubs!

Blue Grouse, Apparently a very rare bird to be seen

And, they puff up to exhibit them selves

Tobie and Joy in position when they guard the truck

Calcite banks of river, note the steam rising

Soda Butte

Tower Falls

Huge Boulder in the river

Sheep on the ledge

Bighorn sheep just lambed

Wednesday was our first big day in Yellowstone. After breakfast at Rosie’s, a local Gardiner Café, we went into Yellowstone at the North Entrance and then 5 miles to Mammoth Hot Springs. This was an old Fort and has the Visitor Center, hotel, restaurant, Adm. Center, and employee housing. The Elk were grazing on the lawns around the buildings. After our stop at the Visitor Center, we headed east towards Roosevelt Lodge (which was still closed). We stopped at Undine Falls for some shots with the high flow this time of the year. There were lots of Buffalo and a Black Bear along the road to photograph. At the Tower-Roosevelt Junction we continued east to see the Lamar Valley. We were told there was lots of wildlife to see there. The Valley is wide, with lots of small lakes or ponds and interesting views of the snow capped mountains. We saw many Buffalo with young, Elk, pronghorns, and Barrows Gold Ducks along the Valley. When the valley narrowed and the road started to climb we turned around and went back to the junction.

We then headed south from the Junction with stops at Tower Falls and a Calcite slope that has steam coming out along the river. This section had lots of good views of the canyons, mountains and forests but not much wildlife except for a stop to see a male Blue Grouse who was showing off for the crowd of people stopped along the road. Apparently the blue grouse is uncommon, and there were many birders there taking photographs. The road climbed high to the point we had snow around us at the summits. Canyon Village was our last stop going south and we headed west from there. The westerly section to Norris Geyser was through the burnt out forests with young trees starting back. The forests were not logged after the fire so there are lots of downed dead trees in the forest.

We walked down the trail at Norris Geyser to the info center and the overlook. This is a very large area as you will see in the photos. Local steam pots along the trail and lots of steam in the distance. Continuing north, we saw a ‘traffic hazards’ sign, lot of cars and many people peering over the edge. We stopped to check it out and there was a Grizzly Bear with 4 cubs about 2 months old playing at the bottom of the slope. They were a couple hundred feet below so we had to combine some of the telephoto lens we had to get close up pictures. We are pleased that a few photos turned out clear. It was an exciting period to see them play and the mother chased several Elk away from her brood.

Between Mammoth Hot Springs and Gardiner Judie commented that we had seen most of the large wildlife listed except mountain sheep. Around the next corner we encountered a group of cars stopped and everyone was looking up at the mountain. Of course, we had to stop and there on a ledge about 200 feet above was a mountain sheep that had just given birth about 5 minutes before we arrived. Again we put on the telephoto lens and got some good pictures of the sheep, however, we couldn’t see the lamb.

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