Monday, June 30, 2014

Day 32- Mammoth

On Saturday, we noticed the truck making a strange noise when we turned left.  However, it was a Saturday and nothing was open.  We drove on up to Mammoth and did find a place for David to take the truck today.  On his way to take the truck, he saw a bird fly over and got our best shots yet of the Eagle.  Since David will be working at Creekland where the mascot is the Eagle, we are going to blow some of these up and frame them for his office!  I can't get over those piercing eyes!

Once David got back, we had to adjust our plans for the day.  The tiny mechanic in Gardiner didn't have the part in so he can't fix it until tomorrow- but it is in such bad shape that we don't think we should drive it any more than we have to!  We were planning on driving up through the northeast entrance and doing a few short hikes along the way, (which also means that we would have driven on every paved road in the park) and hope to search for the wolves that we reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995.  We were told that seeing the wolves is a long shot because they typically stay 1-2 miles away from the roads.  We did run into some people yesterday that were able to see some through some very high powered binoculars that let them see the wolf pups over one mile away.  So, we went to plan B.  Those of you that know me well know just how well I roll with the punches when things don't go according to plan :)  Before lunch, we took the boys on the short trek up to Mammoth.  We couldn't access the trail because there were elk EVERYWHERE!  In addition, many of them had babies with them (one is pictured below) and that is the time that elk are the most dangerous.
If you look down in the trees behind the boys, you can see a few of the elk!.
We went to the visitor center, checked out the exhibits, walked through Fort Yellowstone (which used to be an army base), which is now primarily residence for those that work there.  We headed back for lunch and you can see David and the boys looking down into the campground to figure out what route to take back since the elk haven't left.
By the time we came back and got lunch together, many of the elk had started meandering through the campground.  You can see one below just a few campsites below us between the boys.  
After lunch, we headed back up into Mammoth and decided to walk the Lower Terrace.  This was not my best idea.  The two younger boys were tapped out after the hike from yesterday and there was a good bit of whining that took place on this walk.  We couldn't finish it fast enough.  It was very neat to see the formations that are formed by the springs up here.
In this spring, the water just started coming out again.
This was the view of the upper terrace from the lower terrace overlook.  At this point, we were moving fairly quickly because the boys were running on empty.
We did see this bird, called a killdeer who was playing in the springs.  Apparently, he likes it hot :)
As we were preparing dinner, I just had to smile.  The elk were everywhere and they didn't mind that they boys were riding their bikes right past them.   In fact, they didn't even lift their heads to look at the boys.  You can see how close this one is to Hunter!
At this point, one of the girls is in our campground- directly in front of our camper.
This one is taken when the elk is between our truck and the camper.  
It wasn't the day that we had planned, but we managed to salvage it and still have a pretty great day!

No comments:

Post a Comment