Day 6: YNP/GTNP - 2011 Fall Trip

October 05, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

Today was a bad weather day and tomorrow is worse (based on prediction). 1-2 inches of snow expected Friday but we are heading to the airport Friday morning. I hate rain in YNP. It puts me in a bad mood.

Based on the forecast, we went south to the Tetons today. Left West Yellowstone around 7:30am and arrived at Oxbow Bend around 9:30am. The weather was better than YNP. It rained heavy then some sun, lots of clouds then cloudy most of the day.

On the way down, I snapped a few YNP scenics. Except for a few bison and a couple of mule deer does, the wildlife seems to have vanished. Maybe they sense the big weather changes and snow coming?  We went looking for moose and we found a cow moose bedded down in tall grass. No photo op, IMHO but a zillion people were there shooting away. Grabbed a few images of the Chapel of the Transfig. I wanted to find Kim a bear and we found a cinnamon bear but he/she was back in the brush eating berries and Kim only had a 3 second glimpse of him/her. (Noteworthy in that, a significant amount of leaves have come down since our October 1 visit. We lucked out with a great day in GTNP on October 1.)

After finding essentially zero wildlife, we had a nice lunch at Signal Mountain Lodge. I snapped this image (see pic above) from the back of the restaurant. Not a bad view while eating, huh? The clouds obscured the mountains which was a bummer but that was what the day was like.

We headed back to YNP (snapping a few scenics like Lewis Falls.) by 2:00 pm. We stopped at the Old Faithful General Store, and then headed up to Norris and saw no wildlife except for a couple of bison. It was raining pretty hard by now and we decided to head back to the hotel BEFORE dark! In all my 5 trips to YNP, this was the worse weather day and least productive wildlife viewing wise. It was frustrating. I never even used my 500mm at all today.... and to top it all off, as we were headed to the hotel, I spotted a mature bald eagle in the top of a tree by the Madison River all hunkered down in the wind and heavy rain.  I thought this would make a great "bad weather" wildlife image... so we found the road to get down to the eagle. Kim was driving. I asked Kim to pull up across from him (he was across the river) and my thought was to photograph him out the backseat window with the 500 + 1.4 TC. So Kim stops the car, I quietly get out of the front seat , get in the back seat, scramble for my 500, trying to manage it to be handheld, and just as I was about to open the window... Kim said those dreaded words: "nevermind, he flew off"...... I was less than pleased. I would have made a sailor blush with my reaction.

I thought , of course, he flew off at the last second. It was consistent with the day. Sucky. then more bad news, as we arrived in cell service, my Apple iPhone received a text message, stating that Apple founder, Steve Jobs had died.


R.I.P. Steve, you literally have changed the World. My condolences to his family and the World.


We had dinner with Dan and Bonnie. They were in the Tetons today too but we didn't know it until we had dinner with them. They were going to check out the Beartooth Highway today but decided against it with the impending bad weather.


Our last day in YNP is tomorrow, Thursday, October 6. The weather looks bad all day.

Somehow, I need to find a way to end this trip with a bang!

Stay Tuned for  Day 7, the final trip blog post.



















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