Goodbye Yellowstone Roads

We said goodbye to the Yellowstone roads, as we drove them for one last time, on a Sunday afternoon. And after nearly a week of family reunion and sightseeing at Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, it was time to go the hell home.

We got our abrazos and valedictions out of the way in the evening. That way I could give my hungover relatives a chance to sleep in, while my wife and I hit the road early the next morning. I’m sure they appreciated that.

And we appreciated their company. They added to our Yellowstone experience, making our memories fuller and richer. I’m thankful for their presence.

Gratitude is a good thing, so I have some more thank you’s to pass out.

I want to thank the American taxpayer. If you pay taxes, thank you for the $4.27 that the average taxpayer contributes annually to our parks.

And I want to express my gratitude to our hosts at these two national parks. Both parks seemed orderly, very clean, and well-managed. So thank you, park rangers.

But they weren’t the true hosts. It’s the true hosts I want to thank the most. These would be the permanent residents of the parks. The animal kingdom citizens that contribute so much to the character of this wilderness.

They’re not hunted, and seem to possess little fear of humans. And so they went about their business, paying scant attention to all their biped admirers that slowed their cars or gathered in throngs by the sides of roads. And they nonchalantly and unwittingly posed for quite a few pictures for me, and so many others.

The following is a photographic tribute to the animals that hosted our visit. Thanks all you critters, both large and small, for your hospitality, and for putting on so many interesting and entertaining shows. (Except you, mosquitoes. You know what you did.)

A black bear crossing Cottonwood Creek near Jenny Lake, in Grand Teton National Park. Thank you bear, for ignoring me, and not eating me.

This fearless pheasant was captured walking on a fence rail on Fairy Falls Trail, near Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Hot Spring.

A mule deer that has apparently never known the terror of hunting season. We encountered her while hiking around Mud Volcano, in Yellowstone’s Hayden Valley.

Canadian Geese beyond the steamy mist of Beryl Hot Spring, in Yellowstone.

I like bison, because they’re related to gnus. This gnu cousin in the Hayden Valley was rubbing up against the pine tree behind him. I don’t know bison well, but he kind of appeared ready to charge, when I snapped this photo. I can take a hint. I quickly got the hell out of there, retreating to my car.

While shooting bison like I was Buffalo Bill, I quickly recalibrated my camera to macro mode, to capture this Monarch butterfly. My next few shots of buffalo were also in macro mode. #%$*!

A marmot on a rocky hillside, behind Grand Geyser, in Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin.

The best shot I could get of an osprey, hovering over the Firehole River at Biscuit Basin. This raptor put on an aerial acrobatic show for a gathering crowd, as it swooped, circled, and plunged into the water, searching for fish.

A duck in a buffalo watering hole, in the Lamar Valley.

A couple of bull elk by Yellowstone’s Madison River. It was rutting season, and one of the elk is calling some nearby females to join him for a party.

These guys were all over Yellowstone, and could be seen as reliably as Old Faithful. In fact, this chipmunk lives near some hot springs in the Upper Geyser Basin, near Old Faithful.

Categories: Travel

31 replies »

  1. Let me be the first Big Lebowski fan to say it: Nice marmot!
    OK, now that that’s out of the way – $4.27 a year for all this beauty??? A bargain at 10x the price!
    Wonderful photos, TG – and hilarious commentary. “Except you mosquitoes. You know what you did.”


    Liked by 2 people

    • Never take a bath with a marmot.
      Yeah, I think $4.27 a year is a good deal. Although we also have to pay entrance fees to get into our parks. It’s still worth it, though.
      Those skeeters were real pesky. They got me a few times, even after I used Deet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Those are all great photos, Tippy. I forget if the B700 has a setting to turn off the shutter “click” (the A1000 does). You were wise to get the heck away from that bison if he heard that click – and lucky, too. Bison are probably way faster than you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry Hubby wiped out my computer because it’s caused so many problems so I’m just trying to sign in again to everything. I’m probably going to shut down the Gibber Jabberin blog and just use my CrankyPants one for commenting on this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like you have your hands full, with a digital dilemma. The sentimental part of me will miss Gibber Jabberin, and your pink avatar. Those were the days. Your forum was a lot of fun, but I remember when I hosted it for a little while, and boy, it sure consumed a lot of time.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I might miss it just a bit too. Thank you Tippy. You did a great job of it but yes it is very time consuming. I’m hoping now my computer will be working better.

    Liked by 1 person

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