Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Yellowstone, Day 5

Today started out great. We were off to Mammoth Springs and along the way we were hunting for bears. We sang our jingle for good luck and all of a sudden Mr. B came to a screeching halt. “What did you see, I asked?” He didn’t even reply, just jumped out of the truck with his binoculars. I followed him about 100 yards into a marshy meadow. We looked around and saw nothing, but a stream of water surrounded by trees. False alarm.
We start walking back towards the truck and all of a sudden I spotted tracks, fresh ones. They were Grizzly tracks! How could we tell? They were bigger than our heads. I looked at Mr. B and said, “What should we do? Please make some noise.” He looked at me, but didn’t say a word. Cue the Lady Gaga Bad Romance again. Why is this the only song that comes to my head in moments of fear?
We ran/walked fast to where we could see the truck again and realized maybe we should go back and take a photo. If we don’t actually get to see a grizzly on this trip, at least we can say we saw his tracks, right? So we went back, like any normal human being wanting to put themselves in life threatening danger. We snapped a few photos and ran like hell. Once we were in a safe place (the truck), we stayed and looked around everywhere, hoping to spot him. He was nearby, had to be, but we never saw him. Well, I take that back, Mr. B claims that’s what he saw when he initially stopped. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t?
I can tell you we laughed all day thinking of the scenarios and stories we could be telling if we actually came face to face with “Big Foot.”
After our near bear-run-in, we continued on to Mammoth Springs. Mammoth Springs is essentially a small town inside the park. It is home to Fort Yellowstone and the Upper and Lower Terrace, where we found some pretty unique hot springs and a few elk sipping from its ever flowing water stream.
From there, we decided to drive the 5 miles to Montana and see the Roosevelt Arch. Across the top it read, “For the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” Too be honest, I have no idea what the history is behind it and Mr. B just told me to google it. Yeah sure, considering I am sitting inside the camper and have all the access in the world to internet. Not! His assumption is that President Roosevelt was the one who named this land a National Park and in his honor they created the arch as the North Entrance to Yellowstone. I shall google the real history when I get home, but for now that sounds good to me.
The arch is cool, but the town of Gardiner, Montana is even cooler. We found a bar that had every wild game animal on the wall that you could imagine. We decided to take the bartenders suggestion and had lunch on the Yellowstone River. Mr. B ate Elk Tacos and I had an Elk Burger.
Our afternoon was a lot less exciting that our morning. We drove and drove and drove some more. We drove the Dunraven Pass, but really should have passed it up. It was pretty, but very boring.  As quickly as we could we headed back to the campground, but just before we arrived, we saw about 15 cars pulled off on the side of the road. That is always a sign of wildlife nearby. We looked and sure enough there was a White Mountain Goat climbing the side of the cliff. How people spot things that can truly only be seen with binoculars is mind boggling to me. I suppose that is why I don’t hunt. If I did, I would always come home empty handed.
No exciting stories to report from Camp Bores this evening.
It is our fifth night in the camper and we are off to bed before the moon is out. The alarm is set for 4:45AM. Yes, that sweet bartender I mentioned earlier convinced us to wake early to see sunrise. She promised it would be worth it and was pretty confident we would see a bear if we were up at that time of morning. She better be right. Then again, I am not sure I will be able to remember the lyrics to Lady Gaga that early in the morning.
I will report back tomorrow. It will be our last day in Yellowstone before we head off to the Grand Tetons National Park.
Hopefully we see more than tracks tomorrow.
Adios kids.
Grizzly Track
Montana Bar
Elk at Mammoth Springs
Roosevelt Arch, Montana
So close to Santa.

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