What a day!
Update from yesterday's blog: (Dane said my waterfowl was indeed a grebe, a western grebe! It's a very handsome bird)
We started off with a beautiful sunrise at Oxbow Bend. Hands down, the best sunrise I have ever had there! Everyone was happy.
We proceeded to stop by Jackson Lake dam, then went over to String Lake. Three of us hiked the trail about 1/2 mile and we came upon 2 mule deer and then face to face with a cow elk on the trail. She looked at us, we looked at her and she veered off the trail. We did have our bear spray out (of course) as we walked the trail as it is bear country. Coming upon the cow elk on the trail by surprise (as we turned a corner) made our hearts skip a beat or two or three. Dane found some marmots there as well.
We drove back to Signal Mountain for breakfast. Everyone was very eager to get to Yellowstone.
(Our two days in the Grand Tetons went very well. Everyone was pleased with the time spent there.)
We proceeded north to Yellowstone after breakfast. I took the members (who have never been to YNP) on a tour to make them familiar with the different areas of YNP.
We drove to the West Thumb area then to the Fishing Bridge then to Hayden Valley then to Norris, then to Mammoth to Tower/Roosevelt then Lamar Valley then to West Yellowstone via Dunraven Pass (Canyon to Norris to Madison) to our hotel.
In this trip we saw: a bear with 2 cubs at a distance, a mountain goat close (but no parking) , a black bear having a dandelion salad (see photo above) bison, lots of baby bison, elk, coyotes, pronghorn, 3 golden eagles soaring above us (one flew within 30 yards, of us across the road, 20 feet above the ground and we just stood there and watched it dumbfounded, we had no cameras set up as we had just arrived and exited our cars. I will really perturbed (mild word) at the missed photo op.
We were told we missed a fairly "close to the road" wolf kill by a few hours (they took down a pronghorn fawn) and nothing was left by the time we got there- a Yellowstone bridesmaid again!
It started to rain so we headed to our hotel to check in at 7:30 pm. Everyone was pretty tired and was looking forward to a good dinner and a bed.
There is a cold front coming in YNP for the weekend (Saturday/Sunday) with snow/rain 40-50% the whole weekend and cloudy. Good waterfall "picture taking " days.
Monday-Wednesday look great weather wise.
Jared and I will be leaving at 5:30am for Swan Lake Flats in search of the Grizz sow and her two cubs. Some members will follow us, the rest are on their own.
Despite the forecast, ANY DAY in Yellowstone is a GOOD DAY!
Stay tuned for Day 4.