Saturday, May 28, 2011

Are we at the North Pole?

To say there was some snow today in Yellowstone would be a huge understatement. The drifts were taller than our Honda Pilot!

The breathtaking drive to the northwest Silver Gate entrance to Yellowstone is forever imprinted on my mind. The hairpin turns and layered landscape made for an adventurous trip! It was beautiful and sunny until we reached the Bear Tooth Highway. Shortly after we made the turn the snow started to fall and in no time we were transported into a winter wonderland. "Are we at the North Pole?" Sydney asks. "No," replies Juliane, "they don't have THIS much snow!" and indeed it was deep, steep and coming down in sheets. What a sight!! Cooke City was blanketed in fresh white snow and some small houses were nearly covered completely!

We passed through the Silver Gate with ease. No lines or problems. Once past the gate we began our decent into the Lamar Valley. As we dropped in elevation the snow became less and less. Finally on the valley floor we only saw it in patches.

The Lamar Valley we were told is like the Serengeti of Yellowstone. This is where most animals make their winter home. We missed this area last year so it was at the top of our list this year. We spent three hours watching wildlife. First we saw a group of friendly Ground Squirrels. They kept coming up to the girls to see if they had food to share with them. Then just down the road from that we saw...a MOOSE!!! A huge deal for me. I have never seen a moose in the wild! So cool. Check one more thing off my bucket list! We saw plenty of Bison (Buffalo), Pronghorn and Elk in small herds. Some bison roam away from the herd (probably males) and those we saw dotting the landscape and munching grass along the roadside. Then we came across a huge group of people watching the woods. So we stopped and watched with them. It was a young black bear cub. So cute. We never saw it's momma, but I am sure she was not far off. A good reason the rangers were keeping people from getting too close. At the same time a pair of bighorn sheep ambled down the hillside right beside us snacking on grass as they went. What a great experience! Can't put a price on that.

On the way back we stopped at a roadside info station to play in the snow. That sled came in handy!! What fun we had taking turns down the hill and making a snow lady.

On the way back we hit the snowfall much earlier. Those fun hairpin turns became slick and a little scary. A few times there was a complete whiteout. But we made it back safe and sound.

YouTube Video

I could go on and on. It was such a great day, but I am exhausted. (we all are) and so I bid you all sweet snowy dreams from Wyoming.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Yellowstone Ave,Cody,United States

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