States visited: 49!

visited 49 states (98%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
Miles driven so far -
LOOP 1 (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010): 29,000
LOOP 2 (May - August 2012): 10,800

Highest altitude with camper: 11,158ft (I-70, CO)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Yellowstone’s North Drive: Thursday, June 24th

After a very late night, we had an equally late start to the day.  We watched the recorded England match from the day before and were happy that they managed to come away with a 1-0 win.  The assumption was that England topped the group with Slovenia taking second, but it was not to be, one minute after extra time, the USA scored in the other match so they ended up top of the group with England second – there was great joy in the camper after we finished watching those games!

Dave and I had been discussing what we wanted to do these last two days.  He had been keen to do the North East drive, which many people had recommended, however, our final decision was that, it was probably too far to drive simply to try and see more wildlife.  Of course, as is so often the case, after having a quick chat with the Ranger, the lure of more animals got the better of him and the ‘no’ decision was reversed in favor of the drive!  We hustled for a quick lunch, packed some food and were back on the road through Yellowstone by about 3pm.  At this point, I think the truck might be able to take itself on this route all by itself!  Nate finds a way to keep himself occupied in the truck, feet up, sucking a pop, watching a movie, not a bad life really!

We stopped to get a picture of the tree seemingly growing all by itself in the middle of the lake.

We took the couple of hours drive back up to Tower-Roosevelt, getting some great photos of a black bear in the woods on the way, then drove eastwards to the Northeast Entrance near Cooke CityLamar Valley is extremely vast with a lot of open meadowland.  We saw multiple herds of bison and a few pronghorns.  Our hope was that we would see some wolves in this area but we were unlucky in our search.

We drove past Ice Box Canyon, a really deep gorge with a lot of ice on the rocky walls.  This stretch of roadway didn’t really have any major points of interest marked on the map, although there were quite a few that we felt should have been.  When we got to the main entrance, just a little way beyond the border into Montana, we asked the Ranger if she knew of a good place to see wolves.  She told us that a ranger had just headed into the park in a yellow truck with lots of antenna, when he was around, it meant wolves were about because he had radio transmitters for two of the males in the pack.

Sure enough we caught up with him, first of all passing a couple of different groups of people with their spotter scopes trained on both grizzly and black bears – even with our binoculars (finally, we had remembered them, need to leave them in the truck!), we could barely make out a little brown speck, and that was only when it moved!  The Ranger told us to follow him to Slough Creek campground area.  When we arrived, there were already a few people set up; a couple of cars had been there for 3 hours!  There was a wolf den up on the hill so all lenses were trained on the cave opening.  Unfortunately while we were there, nothing appeared and time was really pressing along, so we had to give up the wait.

As predicted, it was another late night, although the kids are tired and quite grotty on these long drives, they do love the chance to watch movies, the chance of seeing wildlife is a bonus!


Marlene said...

You had me with the photos of the bears!!!!!

The Valentines said...

We were lucky to see so many during our time there. It was a beautiful, amazing National Park, I would recommend it if you're ever planning a vacation, so worth the trip!