This morning we moved out of our Grant Village room. In the entry road to the hotel, we came face to face with a large, male elk walking in the street. It was our first up close sighting in Yellowstone. The plan was to drive up the western side of the upper loop towards Mammouth, then across to Tower, out through the Lamar Valley before turning back around to return to Canyon Village for the night. One of our first stops was the western side of the ‘Grand Canyon of Yellowstone’ where we got a different perspective of the waterfall and canyon.
Throughout this area, it is amazing how quickly the terrain changes. One minute you are driving through geyser fields, then grasslands, up a mountain, down through a boulder field and then barren mountains all within a couple of miles.
Mammouth was the nicest town in the park. There seemed to be a rhyme and reason to it and consistency in the architectural style. It was in Mammouth that I saw a bike that caught my eye.
We went over to take a picture only to realize that its owner has been riding it around the world for the last 5 years.
His last two years will be spent riding North and South America. Since we were close to the Northwest entrance, we decided to leave the park and eat lunch in Gardner, Montana. That gave us the opportunity to enter the park just as the first explorers did. Coming back through Mammouth we saw a herd of elk sitting on the lawn in the town center.
With 3 million acres the only animals we have seen to date has been in towns, weird! Lamar Valley is called the Serengeti of Yellowstone and that is where we headed. We saw lots of bison as well as mountain goats.
A ranger, who showed us the goats, also told us where wolves bedded down for the day this morning. We were determined to see more wildlife before we left. Most of the rarer animals are only out at dawn and dusk so we decided that we would play the waiting game. We showed up at the spot at 5p.m. and stayed until 7:30. The wait paid of as we saw some grizzlies and an adult and baby wolf. At the end of the day we checked into a nice cabin in Canyon Lodge. Tomorrow, we start making our way back to Denver via Jackson, Wyoming.