Thanks for the run-down, Paul

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Posted by Granite Head ( on 13:32:30 05/11/18

In Reply to: Trip Report posted by Paul

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - photos will follow in a few days

Came in west after spending 45 minutes photographing a bull moose with knobby velvet at Snowflake Springs, just a few miles north of where highway 191 enters that sliver of Yellowstone on the Montana side.

Eschewed all the geyser basins and popped over to Canyon, then down through Hayden (very few bison are back yet, especially compared to Lamar, where actually quite a few spent the winter). Cones up at Le Hardy's where the deep snow has not been cleared from the boardwalks, and where a grizzly boar was working on a winter-kill bison as recently as last week (on west side of the river). Crossed Fishing Bridge, truly on its last legs, where preparations for reconstruction are well underway, past the hugest version of Indian Pond I've ever seen, over to Lake Butte where grizzlies Raspberry and Snow (who should have been liberated year before last) have NOT been spotted. Headed past Lake (ice is certainly breaking up in that area) until just north of Bay Bridge to watch a tagged grizzly's antics.

Returned to Norris from Canyon, turned right, had to wait only 6 minutes to get into the extensive construction zone between just north of Roaring Mountain and almost Indian Creek, but the signs say you might have to wait a half hour.

Onward to the the Northern Range, which indeed is filling up with bison and occasional red dogs, as well as pronghorns, people watching the osprey nest at Lamar Canyon, and a very nice black bear below the Yellowstone bridge.

Beau coup bighorn ewes, year-old lambs, and one junior ram at Yellowstone picnic.

Here's a summary of this one single day of touristic insanity:

People blocking half a traffic lane one on each side of the road and almost directly opposite each other, forming a very effective bottleneck for those who wanted to keep moving and walking away from their cars to photograph a bear with their phones.

And a car, 20 yards off the road at Lava Creek, belly up. Ambulances long gone by the time I saw it but there were almost certainly injuries if not worse. But come on, people, there isn't one dot of ice on the road there!

And the guy in the minivan with Iowa plates who showed how I was going to slowly in the 35 MPH zone approaching Canyon Junction by passing me and getting to the junction at at least 45 MPH. I pulled into the parking space right next to him at the Canyon VC (yes, it s still possible to park there!) and while a large number of (presumably) family members poured out of the van and headed to the restrooms, begged him (still in control of my temper) to not speed in the park.

And, the guy and his wife driving around in the sage just east of Blacktail Ponds; when I gestured to the driver the man to roll down his window so I could point out the error of his ways, he obliviously did so, at which point his wife started yelling in a language that might have been Italian, Portuguese, or the devil s speech, who knows. I should have photographed that for posterity but the people in the pullout opposite gestured for me to roll down my window to excitedly tell me there was a wolf up the hill (heading east to the Forces of the Northern Range pullout) stalking something. They were being kind, sharing their excitement. I was genuinely happy they were so thrilled with what they were seeing in Yellowstone.

And the road rage guy, state of Washington plates, playing games with me until he saw me photographing his license plate, at which point he just gunned it through the Mud Volcano area. Never saw him again, thank God. Would anybody like to see the image of the back of his jeep, all his outdoorsy bumper stickers, and plate number, so you steer clear of him before he kills you with is impatience?

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