Travel Journal – September 13, 2007
Today we drove the northern loop of Yellowstone. I’ve included several photos from the day below. We went in through West Yellowstone to Madison Junction, then north up to Norris Geyser Basin, up to Mammoth Hot Springs, out the north entrance and then back into the park. We ate lunch at a little picnic area right on the 45th parallel — halfway between the equator and the north pole. After lunch we drove down towards Tower Junction, except we took a dirt road called the Blacktail Plateau Drive. Once back on pavement, we went on past Tower, up over Dunraven Pass. By the time we got there, smoke from the wildfires in Idaho and Northern California were really reducing visibility, so we decided to save the drive to the top of Mt. Washburn for a later day. The smoke was bad enough that we could smell it inside the truck with the windows closed. After that, we completed the rest of the northern loop through Canyon Village and back to Norris.
Madison River, several miles east of the west entrance at about 7:30 AM. The air temperature was very close to freezing.
Bull elk wading in the Madison River, about 3 miles further into the park. Good sighting early in the morning — sometimes it’s the best time to see the animals.
It was about 40 degrees this morning when we ventured out on a trail, Karen was glad she had picked up a pair of gloves, though I didn’t need any. It was a really pretty trail by some of the boiling mud pots and steaming water areas.
The driver in this car had obviously read the warning about buffalo being dangerous animals. As this buffalo was walking away from us as I started inching forward, the car it was walking toward started backing up! and did so several more times until traffic arriving behind him prevented it!
Deer relaxing under a trampoline in the small town of Gardiner at the north entrance to the park — there were about 4 deer in this yard.
Wandering Garter Snake at the 45th parallel. Karen spotted it while I was taking pictures and called me over. Karen had purchase a couple of small field guides yesterday, so was able to identify him even as I was snapping pictures. It was actually a very small snake.
We saw this coyote on the Blacktail Plateau Drive. It was the third one we’ve seen and the second that we’ve been able to get some good pictures of.