Monday, May 4, 2009

The Great Escape

Last Thursday Bob (hereto forward known as Dad), Sheri, Ken, and Gorgeous Glorious Me hitched up our covered wagon (aka Sheri's Montero) and headed east to the Wild West. How oxymoronish. We had made plans to go to the Buffalo Bill History Center in Cody WY. I called Wednesday to see what roads were open in "The Park." For outsiders- "the park" refers to Yellowstone National Park. The most direct route was closed until May 8. The second most direct route was closed until May 1. One day after our departure. But the good news the most out of the way route was wide open. So we took that. Dad and Sheri are great to travel with because they will take bathroom breaks as often as needed. My dad, George, will get up before dawn and drive drive drive to get somewhere by noon with zero bathroom breaks if at all possible. I don't know if it's my meds or old age or what- but my bowels just aren't what they used to be. Anyway, they stop a lot which is nice for me. We get to the park entrance and the ranger tells us there are animals everywhere and to be very careful. That was the understatement of the year. It took us 5 and a half hours to get through the park. There were animals galore. We saw every animal Yellowstone offers (according to it's magazine) except for a pelican. By the end of the day it was Elk Schmelk.... let's get to the hotel. Our highlights:



There were Elk. Around every corner there were elk. Herds and herds of them. Running, sitting, eating, losing antlers, doing everything elk do. They were everywhere.










We saw 2 moose laying in a meadow getting snowed on. Ken felt bad they didn't have a house. My opinion: they're animals. They've never had a house. It's not like they got foreclosed on and now they just sit outside in the bare cold weather. They are built for snowy conditions. C'mon now.

We were constantly sharing the road with bison. I think they should put in a bison lane which would be much like a bicycle lane but for bison only. Sheri kept getting out to get better pictures. That made me very nervous. Yellowstone hands out a flyer explaining that even though buffalo appear tame, many visitors get gored every year. At one point we were pretty close to this big ol' buffalo and Sheri was making all kinds of weird noises to get it to look at her. And just quick as lightning she was 6 inches away from a snorting growling buffalo. His head was almost in the car. Sheri let out a few profanities and rolled up her window. It made her nervous to roll her window down after that.... until....





What's that grumbling down in the bushes?



Is that? No.... is it? It IS! A grizzly bear!



Sheri was out of the car in a heart-beat. Then dad got out. Then Ken got out. Am I the only one with any common sense? There is a grizzly bear yards away from you. A grizz can run 35 MPH. And you people are standing there snapping pictures! Are you kidding me? I stayed in the car for the first 5 or 10 minutes or so but the crowd grew to about 10 people and looking around I knew I could out-run some of them so I figured I was safe to get out. It was a beautiful animal. HUGE! We snapped about 500 pics and then got in our car to hit the road.

Some dip from California zoomed around us trying to see over our car to get a better look at the bear. He got what he was looking for.


He just about hit the thing.

The bear crossed the road and kept on his merry way. I think he was off to look for a pot of honey. Dad told me probably more like a carcass. Bears rarely hunt and kill their own prey. I wish someone would have told me that BEFORE I wasted all that time sitting in the car worrying that my family was about to get eaten by a bear.

8 comments:

Brett and Tiffany said...

Yellowstone is awesome...especially when you see fun animals like that! I am glad no bear attacked you that day! You can never be too careful!

robcallfamily said...

That sounds so fun. I love all the pictures(especially the bear). We hope to get up there sometime in the near future. I want to see a bear in the wild so bad! That's awesome!

Gramma n Grampa said...

WOW! That is so awesome. I've always wanted to go in the spring and haven't made it "yet". I've seen one bear in the wild coming out of Warm river. It was the last weekend the camp ground was open for the winter and we were heading home. I was shocked. But soooo excited also! Great pictures. Did you make it to the museum?

Karlenn said...

Oooh, I love "the park." What an interesting post!! You are sooo lucky to have seen a grizzly bear. My dad always said he'd pay us fifty bucks if we saw a bear in the park, and we never did. :) I'm calling you tomorrow. We need to hang out, stat.

weloveadoption said...

It is fun to see animals at Yellowstone. That is neat that you got to see a bear, too. Love the pictures.

Heath Family said...

What a great trip! I've never seen anything but bison. I love reading your blog. The way you write is hilarious!

johnandjana said...

Sounds like you guys had a great adventure. I've been trying to getJohn to go to the Park the last few weeks. He goes to West Yellowstone every week, so its not quite as fun for him to travel that far again. Hopefully we will go soon though. I've never been in the springtime.

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