It was an 8 hour drive back across Idaho and western Montana to the north edge of Yellowstone park, where I stayed with my sister, her family and a friend.
I was there three days, and each morning we piled into a car and went in search of views of landscape and wildlife. The weather was unpredictable. We got caught in some serious snow the first day (May 22!). Because of the mountains, it could be sunny one place and snowing a few miles away. We got a frigid view of Old Faithful, saw bears and bison, and ate a very bad lunch in West Yellowstone (have you ever had tater tots with Velveeta sauce?).
We went on short hikes here and there. Yellowstone gorge and the falls were breathtaking, although the path at the top there was snowy and muddy. We saw geothermal pools and steam vents, and hiked up to a small lake. There was lots of driving through the huge park, but we were out and walking around enough to make it tolerable. The air was crisp and cool.
A lot of people visiting the park are there to see wildlife. Along the road there are occasional clusters of cars parked at a place where a bear, wolf, or mountain goat was spotted. People have tripod-mounted scopes and cameras with massive telephoto lenses. Everyone is friendly and will often let you take a peek. Some have been there for weeks and come back time and again to capture it all. It seems incongruous to have crowds watching these animals go about their lives.

We caught one scene where a couple of wolves were prowling near a herd of bison. You could see an antelope or elk sprinting away. The bison were unperturbed. One wolf went down along the river bank, maybe looking for an element of surprise. But then it headed back, probably because there wasn’t anyone to attack. No way it was going to get the better of a grown bison, and the herd was sticking together.

We watched this unfold for a while, although it was hard to make thing out from our distance. Then we pushed on, went on one last short hike, caught sight of some bighorn sheep and went to the rented house for a good dinner.

The next day I drove to Fargo (11 hours) stayed in a hotel, and drove the next day to Chigago (10 hours). Now I’m back and finishing off plans for my visit to LA in less than a week.

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