After some time at the V.C. and bookstore/gift shop, there was a "Small world moment". I was identifying some wildflowers for some of our group, and when I finished there was a lady waiting to say something to me. I acknowledged her, and she identified herself as having attended a program or two of mine a couple of years ago at the North Rim. She is on her way to the North Rim and will be working in the Interpretive Department there this summer along with her husband. As I approached our group I was greeted as "Miss Celebrity" and was given the first class treatment as I got into the car, etc. We continued to look for moose in the area before heading for Yellowstone. The drive to Mammoth Hot Springs was scenic but little wildlife was seen. We did see a grizzly in the distance but did not attempt to photograph it. Once in Mammoth Hot Springs we off loaded our gear at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. It was approaching sunset time but there was too much cloud cover to go photograph, so we went to dinner.
The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel is probably a registered historical building. The rooms have sinks, but the toilet and shower are in a common area. For 30 rooms there are bathrooms with two toilets for ladies, and a single shower. It is the same set up for the gentlemen. The beds, which are most critical, are quite comfortable. You have to pay for internet service either by the hour, day, or three days. I will try to use an hour tomorrow or the next day to check e-mail and do a quick post on the RavenTravels Blog. (Later: Never able to connect :-))
Wednesday 4 June: Up at 0425 to be off to sunrise at the Hot Springs. There were only a few clouds, butbwe took advantage of what we had, and enjoyed the experience. After breakfast we went out in search of some wildlife. There was some right outside our Hotel building. There were two elk cows that had had babies near by. Mark thinks one was a day old, while the other had been born this morning. It was not the best photo opportunity as they were in the protection of a building which was directly in the background, but it was still great to see. The two calves stumbled about and it was quite humorous.
After going out to a more natural setting where we looked for bear and elk we returned to the Hotel. We had a couple of hours of down time to rest and get a nap. I first went to the V. C. and picked up a couple of maps and the Guide for future use and reference before taking my nap. Did go out and found the female elk with calves, for a short time they were on a slope behind the Hotel, and not among the buildings and cars. It was quite nice. Dinner was in Gardiner, MT at the Cowboy Grille. They served very good BBQ. The famous peach cobbler was too sweet but quite eadible.
After dinner we were off again in search of wildlife photography. We went to the Lamar Valley and experienced the large herd of bison there. As Mark said it is America’s answer to the serengeti in Africa. We kept our eyes out for elk, black bear, grizzly, moose, and bighorn sheep as we drove along. We were rewarded with our second visit with a black bear who did put on a good show. We actually had him up on a dead log for a short time, evening light on the bison herd with lots of babies who were fun to watch cavorting around their parents. Home at the Hotel about 2200!!
|Mom with Newborn|
|A romp on the lawn|
|Entry at Gardner for Yellowstone N.P.|
|Rim Light on Bison|