The long weekend of 13 Jan 12, Tracy and I made a trip up to Yellowstone. We've just about
decided that we don't like making the really long drive up there in the winter, but I had gotten a
new spotting scope for Christmas, and I wanted to try it out. On Friday we drove to West
Yellowstone, and on Saturday we headed on up to Bozeman and then into the Park. Like
everywhere else in the Rockies this year, there wasn't nearly as much snow as there usually
is, and we didn't see any signs of wolves at all on Saturday or most of the day on Sunday. We
did some hiking into the Lamar Valley on Saturday, and on Sunday we hiked up to Tower
Falls. We got an early start on the walk up the road to Tower, so we had the hike up and the
falls to ourselves. That was nice. The road was crowded by the time we were heading back
down, so an early start is a good thing. Later in the day, we finally came across a dead elk not
far from the road. Within 10 minutes of people finding this kill, wolves were already heading to
it. It didn't look like the dead elk was a result of the wolves, and I couldn't help but think that
the wolves were sitting up in the hills watching cars stop on the valley floor, knowing that if cars
saw a carcass, then the cars would stop. We saw several wolves up close on the very western
edge of the Lamar Valley, and that was nice.
We stayed at the Alpine in Cooke City both nights, and we woke up Monday to about 8 inches
of new snow. The drive back out was uneventful, even though I was worried about the snow
on the road dropping down into Mammoth. Once in Bozeman, we took a different road west
out of town, toward Norris, MT, and then to Ennis, MT. This was a really nice drive. It was an
easier drive than going down 191 toward West Yellowstone, because it didn't go through the
mountains. I also thought the area was really pretty and would be a nice place to live.
Anyway, it was nice seeing wolves with my new spotting scope.