June 26 – 27, 2013 – Yellowstone National Park

We left Cody Wednesday morning and drove through the beautiful Shoshone Canyon to Yellowstone National Park.  We are staying in West Yellowstone, MT so we needed to drive through the park.  About halfway through the park traffic in front of us stopped and people started getting out of their vehicles.  We knew we would be sitting for a while so Mariah and Nancy got out and walked down the road to see what the excitement was all about.  There was a bear walking in the trees just below the road.   Mariah is so lucky to be able to see a bear on her first visit to Yellowstone!

A short distance down the road we saw this beautiful elk grazing beside the road.

We arrived in West Yellowstone and are staying at Buffalo Crossing RV Park which is behind the IMAX theatre and next door to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center.  We can see the top of the fencing for the bear enclosure from our back window.  We also have heard the wolves howling a couple of times.  The park is also less than a mile from the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park.  Our site is large enough that we can park both vehicles on it with lots of room.  

After getting set up and having lunch, we walked to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center.  This is a sanctuary for rescued grizzly bears, wolves, and raptors.  They have two wolf packs – the High Country Pack with 4 members and the River Valley Pack with 3 members.  Here are three wolves from the High Country Pack.

They have nine grizzly bears that were orphaned as cubs and rescued or relocated here because of bad behavior in the wild.  These two bears, Sam and Illie, were rescued near King Salmon, Alaska after their mother disappeared.  The grizzly bears from Alaska are bigger than the Yellowstone bears because they are from a food-rich area of Alaska.  Sam, standing beside the pool, weighs 1,000 lbs and Illie, in the pond, weighs 800 lbs.  The bears in the Center from Yellowstone weigh between 300 and 400 lbs.

We also saw bald eagles, golden eagles and a great horned owl. There is an impressive display of “bear proof” garbage containers and food storage lockers.  They use the bears at the Center to test these containers – not many of them are really bear proof!  Mariah, in her new wolf t-shirt, sitting inside a tipi.

After dinner we went to the IMAX Theatre and saw a really nice movie about Yellowstone National Park.


Thursday we toured the South Loop in Yellowstone National Park.  We drove through Firehole Canyon and stopped at Firehole Falls.

After walking through the Upper Geyser Basin we stopped at the Midway Geyser Basin where this beautiful geyser was spouting off.  

The steam at Biscuit Basin was a beautiful blue color.

Walking back to the parking lot we saw this Osprey carrying a fish in his talons – he is looking for a place to land so he can enjoy his lunch.

This little geyser was spouting in Black Sand Basin.

We stopped at the Upper Geyser Basin where we ate lunch while we waited for Old Faithful to erupt.  It erupted right on time!

We also stopped at Kepler Cascades.

We then headed for our camp site as we were all very tired after a full day of sightseeing.  We had a great day and got to see many beautiful areas and a lot of wildlife – mainly buffalo and elk.


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