We spent a great evening watching the elk and their babies from our campsite. The next morning we decided we needed another night at this site, but first we needed to clean up a bit. We drove just outside the park, to Montana, to take care of business. We were pleasantly surprised with a one-stop shop- laundry, showers and wifi.
We crossed the 45th parallel. A great reminder of how far we have driven and how far we still have on this leg of the journey. On this day, we drove out to the Lamar Valley for some excellent wildlife viewing. We spoke to a ranger who told us the best way to find animals out here is to look for the crowd of humans with really long scopes and lenses.
True enough. The first group of ‘spotters’ had their focus on a momma bear and two cubs in a tree. It was amazing, and I’m sure we wouldn’t have seen them on our own. Bode was trying to get a better look, and instinctively I followed him a bit (he was looking at a bear after all), when I got a woman rudely tell me I was in the way of her scope. I hadn’t stopped in front of her, I was moving. But, I guess if you spend that much money on equipment and full on camo gear and hang out in a park with hundreds of others, perhaps you think you are more deserving of your space than others. She wasn’t the only one with an attitude, though. Rule of thumb: the bigger the lens, the bigger the a-hole.
The rangers had blocked off an area around the bears, and to get to see them from the other side, you had to drive 100 yards. So as we were doing this, the bears came down the tree and we got a good view of all 3 before they disappeared into the brush.
We continued on to the next group of humans. These guys were nicer and let us use their equipment to see two wolves that were pretty far away. This was what Bode really wanted to see, so it as really an incredible experience. There’s a wolf in a photo below, but good luck spotting it. I guess if we were bigger jerks, we’d have a much better lens.
Bison and marmots were everywhere as well. Bighorn sheep too. Then another fun night camping.