Montana Road Trip:
Yellowstone National Park
Gallatin National Forest, MT
In what seems to be a developing trend, we took our biannual or annual trip to visit our friends Elizabeth and Brent in Bozeman, Montana.
At their beautiful house on the edge of town, we met up with Tracy, Victoria, and Kim. As with our previous trips, this one was not short of great conversations sprinkled with a little modern Jackass-isms. All in all it was a great time spent in and around Brent and Elizabeth’s house.
Tor and I had a great time sleeping out on their deck at night. Though it was a little cool, we had no problem staying warm in our sleeping bags. Each night we were treated to the sight of a few early Perseid meteors streak across the dark sky right before drifting off to the land of nod. Every morning we were woken by the sounds of Calliope and Rufous hummingbirds chasing each other off the feeders not a bad way to start the day.
We took a day trip over the Beartooth Pass and wandered the tundra through the sphagnum bogs trying not to get eaten alive by the mosquitoes. Even a couple of American Pipits looked like they were trying to escape the clouds of bugs by flitting erratically around the rocks or perhaps they were taking advantage of the abundant clouds of protein by catching a few.
We continued down the road into Yellowstone were we stopped to watch the herds of bison graze the lush Lamar Valley. Later in the evening we were lucky to see a grizzly bear on the side of the road. We watched the bear graze in the grass, sometimes it would stop to raise its nose in the air to sniff the occasional tourist who would slow down to look. At dusk in the Lamar Valley, we could hear the male bisons’ deep grunts carry across the valley floor, as the rut was only a short ways a way.
On another day trip, we went to the Gallatin National Forest a short distance away from Bozeman. We were on the search for a supposed sphagnum bog with sundews. We drove the forest roads trying to navigate our way to a GPS point that in the end turned out to be a drainage pond next to the entrance of the forest. Whoops. Still we had a good time poking around the forest, enjoying the blooming wildflowers, and seeing Bozeman spread out below.
This trip marks our third failure to see a wolf in Yellowstone. However, Brent promised if we went in the winter we were guaranteed a wolf sighting. We’ll have to hold it to him one day.
Other Critter List