Friday, June 6, 2014

Yellowstone: June 6, Thursday. Bears at Tower Junction, Lamar Valley, and Cooke City

We decided to drive to Cooke City, which is outside the northeast park entrance, to stock up in supplies.

Enroute, at TowerJunction, we saw

which meant that something was going on. In addition, there was ranger standing guard, which meant

Bears! When we arrived, the sow was sleeping at a tree and the triplets were in the tree. But, she almost immediately woke up. The cubs scampered down and began wrestling, rolling around, and running about.

The ranger kept on eye on the people, making sure that no one was standing in the middle of the road. Then after an hour or so, the mother laid down in front of a tree, the triplets climbed up the tree and she went back to sleep.

I was told that she likes to spend spring in the area between the Tower Falls lookout and the road to Lamar Valley. Then, in around July, she goes back to the high country. She only has cubs every other year, so that means it will be 2016 before she has more cubs.

we stood near the Max Waugh group and learned that they had been taking photographs about 16 hours a day!

We have a lot of bighorn sheep photographs, so we drove right past them to the bison herds. The calves keep on nursing while the mother walks around :)

Next we came to an osprey nest that was across the river and at the top of a tree stump, next to a shorter tree stump.

Mule had a great time telling people where to look to see the nest, chick, and sometimes mother.

Before leaving the park, we stopped to look at the mountain goats there were about half way up the mountain and difficult to see. A Yellowstone tour guide said that they are always on the same mountain, but move up as it becomes warmer.

The first town after leaving the park was Silver City, which was only a spit and a holler big. However, just around the bend was Cooke City, where we had lunch at Soda Butte Lodge.

It included a calf that lost it's nerve and went back to the other side, then started agin, then went back again . . .

However, the shopping was worse there than back in the park. The restaurant lady suggested Cody, about an hour and a half from Cooke City.

We decided not to go to Cody and headed back to the park. Where we waited for a group of bison to cross the road

When we finally drove past it, it was still standing on the original side of the road, next to its mother, looking at cars.

We watched a beaver cross the water, then started back. Enroute, first we were I the front of a line of cars following a bison down the road.

Then a herd of bison headed towards us, passing our car on both sides. I turned off the headlights but a lady coming from the opposite direction decided to turn her headlights off and on. I was hoping that she wouldn't annoy them. Bison have jumped on cars in the past, butted against them, and even an accidental swinging if their heads would scratch my car to smittherings. They were close enough that I could have smelled their breath or kissed them. I rolled up my windows and hoped that beyond most possible odds they wouldn't scratch or dent the car. The first of the group passed and headlight lady kept flashing. I didn't yell at her cuz I didn't want to startle the bison. On and on they came. Then the last one passed and with no new scratches, we continued back.

Exhausted again, we went to sleep.

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