Our trip into the park today started just like every other day.
With a Bison Jam.
Our plan today was to head over to the Hayden Valley and do some Bear Huntin.
I told Kate if there was anyone who could find her a Bear it was me so the pressure was on.
The Hayden Valley is incredibly green this time of year due to the snow melt and the swollen Yellostone River.
The Hayden Valley is one of my favorite places in the park.
I would just love to throw on a backpack and head off into that valley and get lost for a week or two.
Here is a similar view of the Hayden Valley taken last September
(taken a mile or two north of the above photo)
Quite a different scene.
Slowly driving thru the valley I had my eyes peeled and sure enough I spotted a brown dot in a far meadow. After debating with Kate (she said it was a bison - I said it definitely was a bear) we pulled over to take a closer look.
As it ambled along, it's lumbering walk told me it definitely was a bear.
As it got closer - there was no doubt that not only was it a bear - but it was a Grizzly!
(Ursus horribilis) With a latin name like that you know it's just got to be a bad ass.
I've shown Kate previously how in Yellowstone all you need to do is pull over and sure enough others will pull over to see what you are looking at. It you stay long enough you might cause a traffic jam.
Today we hit the jackpot! Within about 10 minutes of us pulling over we had a full-fledged traffic jam complete with the park rangers directing traffic and trying to stop the completely insane from getting too close to the bear.
Did you know a Grizzly can run about 35 mph. That's faster than a quarter horse.
I pointed out a man who had closed to about 150' from the bear, but was about 200' from his car.
The problem being that he was now in a spot where if the bear charged him, the bear would reach him before he reached his car.... not a smart position to be in.
Now that I had acheived my objective for our visit, it was time to move on.
Our next stop was Yellowstone Lake.
It's so scenic this time of year with the snow on the high peaks.
Tomorrow it is time to pack up and head south to Grand Teton.
While it is always sad to leave YNP, the Tetons will be just gorgeous this time of year with the snow cover. Hope to have some great photos for you from there.