Sunday 5/26 Day 4
Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 7:06 am
Left the room at Canyon at 6 AM, drove over Dunraven. Temps were in the low 30s and the roads were shiny but we pulled into a turn out to check and they weren’t icy. We also let a few cars go by so they could check for us, and also allow us a slower pace. Stopped at Dunraven pull out to FaceTime with son and granddaughter with the beautiful snow peaked background. Continuing on to Roosevelt , No bluebirds to be seen at the rest stop and station, Apparently the late snows are causing the insects to come out a little late. saw a jam just north and joined the crowd to shoot a mom black bear and her two cubs. The Cubs were hidden in a tree but finally mom called them down. The first climb down the opposite side but the second came down facing us. Quite a distance, but still fun. They hung out on the far side of the tree looked like maybe nursing with mom. We had to move off our elevated perch to make way for a bison that walked right through where we were standing. That was our first bison close encounter for the day. We drove west to turn around and saw our first elk herd in the distance. Now off to Lamar! Got stuck in the short bison jam crossing the bridge over the Yellowstone and continued east. The time and miles past quickly towards Slough Creek, seeing the usual suspects but no great photo ops. Wolf watchers at Slough Creek said there were a few sightings in the distance, we continued on to look for the sandhill crane on the nest. Pulled over by the pond saw some bison and red dogs, then walked closer to shoot the sand hill. The area is posted to keep people from getting too close so I snapped off a few distant shots. At that time, a somewhat rambunctious bison decided to confront our vehicle, the only one in the pull out. It would approach and rub its nose on the bumper move back And jump around a bit, then repeat. I couldn’t return to the vehicle, but was glad I had the bear spray on my belt. Another woman who had walked down alone had to jump into our car. The horn didn’t work since I had the keys. Finally, after the woman’s husband drove down, the bison backed off a bit(after licking our headlight). That allowed the woman to hop into her husbands car and me to crawl into the passenger seat on the opposite side of the bison. That was the end of our second and last close bison encounter of the day. I grabbed a few shots of the yellow headed blackbird‘s in the marsh And decided that since it was so nice out we should hit the Beartooth Pass and eat lunch with a view. The sign said roads were closed, so we went as far as we could and then turned back to a nice pull out to eat a late morning snack. Hit Slough Creek again on the way back west. Pronghorns at Slough Creek and throughout Lamar Shot some juvenile and female bighorns at the Yellowstone picnic area, and then stopped at Tower General store for the real deal huckleberry ice cream. They only had a half a scoop of a huckleberry/fudge mix so we took the rest of that and added some maple walnut. I guess we’ll have to keep trying! We crossed Dunraven and decided to go through Hayden one more time before heading back to Canyon for the night. We were hit by some Slushy hail entering Hayden, but it only lasted a short time. As we approached a field where there have been owl sightings we slowed the car down and scanned the trees. Suddenly a huge pair of wings flapped by. Finally my first great gray! It landed at multiple locations while hunting in a counterclockwise direction never perching for too long. An unbelievable way to end the day. We headed back to Canyon to reminisce over a pint and had an early dinner. Time to crash.