If you go out in the woods today...

If you go out in the woods today,
You'd better not go alone.
It's lovely out in the woods today,
But safer to stay at home.
For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic
Wow, what a day we had in Yellowstone! Mark said he's probably been through the park about 20 times and he's never seen a bear. A shopkeeper I spoke to in the town of West Yellowstone said he'd lived there for 20 years and seen exactly one bear in all that time. I don't think a day like ours happens all the time.

When we were about 2 miles outside the eastern side of the park we saw a bunch of cars pulled over so we stopped, in true tourist fashion, to see what they were gawking at. Calmly munching plants 50 feet off the road was the sweetest moose. It made my day! The only other time I had seen a moose was on the very last day of our honeymoon in Yellowstone 16 years ago.

As we got in the car to continue on, we saw the same group of cars pulled off 100 yards farther along. We couldn't see what the people were looking at, so I rolled down my window to ask. A man told me that they had been watching a black bear, but it had moved off into the bushes and you couldn't see it any more. Man! So close! I was really disappointed. It would have been sooooo cool to see a bear. Little did I know.

From there we drove on into the Northeast, or Silver Star gate of the park. A few miles along, there was the usual wildlife traffic jam, and there, calm as could be, was a black bear having lunch in a meadow, about 50 yards off the road. Now I'm happy, happy, happy, cause I've finally gotten to see a bear in the "wild," even if it is in The World's Biggest Petting Zoo (also known as Yellowstone National Park. But wait. It gets better.
From there, we continued on, heading for Roosevelt Lodge for lunch. Before you get to the lodge there's a little bridge that you cross over. We were about the sixth car stopped on the bridge. That would be because strolling along right there on the bridge was a mama black bear with her twin cubs. Perhaps the coolest thing EVER. Unfortunately, they meandered off the end of the bridge and down the hillside to the river below before I could get any pictures. I don't know why Mark gave me the evil eye and threatened my life if I got out of the car to get closer for pictures. Honestly.
But wait. It gets BETTER.
After lunch we took a little side road because Max wanted to see the petrified tree. A little ways along this road were about 30 people staring off into the woods. Hmmm. That's a lot of people looking at a petrified tree. We got out and joined the crowd of gawkers and soon realized that there was a bear visible through the trees. Being a bear expert and all, my first thought was, "That's a pretty big bear." My second thought was, "They didn't have multiple park rangers stationed at the areas where we saw the other bears." Then I overheard one of the other camera-toting tourists ask the ranger, "Hey, what kind of bear is that, anyway?" Turns out this was no cute little black bear, but an honest-t0-goodness, get-the-kids-back-in-the-car-Ethyl, grizzly bear. Apparently, this bad boy had been hanging out in this general area for the last couple of days so the rangers had taken up permanent residence to ensure that some fool didn't allow his "I'm on assignment for National Geographic" tendencies to run rough-shod over his common sense. Why are you looking at me in that tone of voice? It wouldn't have been me. Seriously.
From there, we moved on down the road. We had become so jaded by our multiple bear experiences that we barely slowed down when we saw a family taking pictures of a black bear poking his head out of some berry bushes on a nearby hillside.
So that was our amazing day in Yellowstone. I'm expecting National Geographic to be calling any day now.


  1. Melissa BrothertonAugust 2, 2009 at 10:25 PM

    Nice animal pics, love the bear shot!

  2. Oh my goodness, look at these photo's they are just beautiful ~ you weren't kidding that you saw some wildlife!


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