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Steveandruthstravels

Yellowstone NP

UNITED KINGDOM | Sunday, 11 October 2015 | Views [167]

A very lazy start to the day, no rushing about for breakfast as we had already bought some yogurt and an oatey mix. So, the weather forecast was occasional cloud, but tomorrow it might rain so the road east to try and find these elusive bison, bears and moose.

We came across a unpaved road that rejoined the main road 6 miles later so we took it - the Blacktail Plateau Drive. It swung up and down and round through dry sagebrush country but offered wonderful views across towards the Yellowstone River and the mountains beyond. The sun was shining with a few clouds but the temperature was a miserly 57F. No bison.

After rejoining the road, we came upon a signpost for a petrified tree, so we took a look. It was a redwood tree trunk (redwood no longer grow here it's too cold) that had been caught up in an ancient lava flow and turned to stone, only emerging as the surrounding softer rock had eroded away. Fascinating, and just as we were leaving a school party came tramping up to be given a lecture by one of their teachers, we moved swiftly on.

Up the hill from there is the Tower Waterfall, a 40m cascade between towers of volcanic rock, a very pretty sight. The road dropped down from there into the Lamar Valley, a broad green valley, said to support large numbers of bison, and as we drove along we began to see small groups of bison, mostly from afar, but as we rounded one bend and looked along the valley a small herd was at the roadside, moving from one side to the other, slowly! Cars had to stop and cameras and phones were produced to catch the event. At last, we saw them en masses and they are magnificent beasts.

We took another side road, also unpaved, to Slough Creek where we found a picnic table and had lunch. The area looked as if had been heavily used by the bison, trampled grass and many, many "cow pats". There were also five trucks with animal carrying trailers and we wondered what they were for, but no one to ask so we'll never know. Another lovely spot, looking south across the Lamar Valley.

We continued up the Lamar Valley to the end before turning round and heading back but there and back we came across several small herds of bison, spread out across the valley, by the roadside, on the road, alongside the river; it certainly was a great place to see them. The weather by now was closing in and Ruth was tiring, so we decided to head for home.

As we arrived at the hotel there were many elk wandering around causing mayhem with the traffic! Especially as there was one particular Buck who was very interested in the female elk, kept calling them but they weren't interested and just trotted away from him.
After a rest we drove north to Gardiner for dinner, only five miles away and in Montana, another state to add to the list we'd visited. Dinner was ok, chicken for Ruth and trout for me and a locally brewed amber beer.

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