Tuesday morning we donned hiking gear and headed into Yellowstone to explore some back country. Pam did her research and chose the Lost Lake Trail as the scene of our first adventure off the beaten path of the park. It’s a four mile loop that begins at the Roosevelt Lodge, climbs steeply up for a bit, then levels off for a great hike.
We hiked past wetland areas . . .
Through fields of wildflowers . . .
across ragging rivers . . .
Ate a snack far from any signs of humans . . .
and enjoyed wide mountain vistas.
After our hike we drove deeper into the park to see the sites. As we rounded a bend we came upon a traffic jam, with a line of cars in both directions. If you’ve ever been to Yellowstone, you know what this is. It’s called a “wildlife jam” as there is something interesting near the road. The most “prized” wildlife to see to most people is a grizzly bear. The second most “prized” viewing is a black bear. As we neared the center of the “jam” we were able to see this . . .
It turned out this bear wasn’t alone, but with her two cubs.
A ranger quickly arrived and got everyone moving again. He allowed everyone to drive very slowly past the bears, allowing time for pictures, but prevented people from stopping. Now, Pam gets a little excited when she sees animals, especially bears, so she wasn’t satisfied with our one pass of the bears. So we turned around just down the road and returned for another pass, hoping to get another look at them. Just as we approached, another ranger stepped on to the road right in front of our car to stop traffic. She came to the window and told us they had been monitoring the bears all day and stopped traffic to let them cross the road. So right in front of us we saw . . .
Needles to say, this was the highlight of the day (especially for the passenger in the car)!
Tomorrow we take the motorcycle over the most beautiful highway in the country, the Beartooth Pass. More on that later . .