Quick in and out March 12

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billandkaren
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:50 pm

Quick in and out March 12

Post by billandkaren » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:43 pm

Made a short trip into the park and thought some of you might like a report of the conditions.

This past week we headed to our cabin near Henry's Lake in Idaho to do some snow shoveling. We were concerned by the weather reports we had seen since January about the amount of snow that could be on our deck and roof. When we arrived, our worries were confirmed--4 feet of snow! After shoveling for parts of two days we decided to head over to Gardiner and make a quick trip into the park before heading back home to Colorado.

On our way through Paradise Valley we saw lots of elk and a few bison. The highlight was a golden eagle on a road kill carcass. We stayed in Gardiner and headed in the park early the next morning. A beautiful verticle rainbow (sun reflecting off of ice crystals) greeted us as we made our way past Mammoth and towards Roosevelt. Lots of snow!!! Over a foot in Mammoth and about 2 feet in Lamar. Obviously more at the higher elevations. Should be a very green spring!!

As we passed Yellowstone Picnic area we spotted a young coyote trotting down the road ahead of us. It was a steady trot and seemed to be with a purpose in mind. He ignored us as we slowly drove past him (or her) and took a couple quick pictures. As we were nearing Slough creek we noticed a group with their scopes out. The Junction Buttes were visible on a distant hillside. There were 7 that we could see through the scopes. We were told that the Eight-mile pack was out the day before back by Hellroaring. As we were watching the wolves, the coyote trotted on by right behind us, ignoring all of us as he kept on true to his mission. He had gone a couple miles I believe since we first saw him.

We left the wolfwatchers and started heading east again. As we got close to the bridge before Slough Creek, Karen noticed some ravens and mentioned the possibility of a carcass. But we couldn't see anything except the ravens and kept on going. We were glad we did because just past Slough Creek, we spotted a red fox in the road ahead of us. We had not seen a red fox in the park for several years so this was exciting for us. He headed off the road to the left then went parallel to the road giving us a nice view as he popped in and out of the holes made by the bison through the snow. He then crossed the road in front of us and headed back to the west. This made a three-dog-day for us in less than half an hour!

As we drove through Lamar, were able to spot a couple of bighorn rams on the hillside by the bend in the river just before hitching post. Several groups of bison were using the road which slowed us down a bit. Some of them were looking a bit thin as a result of the amount of snow, I presume. We went as far as Pebble Creek before turning around. We wanted to head towards home in order to beat the blizzard due to hit on Wednesday. As we recrossed the bridge where we saw the ravens, a group of people had gathered and sure enough, there was a carcass visible as we were heading west. There were 4 coyotes (one of them was likely our road-trotter from earlier) and a fox, maybe the same one we had seen earlier. He seemed to be holding his own against the coyotes, but then trotted into the brush.

Only bison and elk the rest of the way out until we saw a bald eagle flying towards us over the river between Mammoth and Gardiner. A great way to end our trip.

--Bill



lah
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:47 pm

Re: Quick in and out March 12

Post by lah » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:41 am

Thanks for the report!



RikWriter
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:36 pm

Re: Quick in and out March 12

Post by RikWriter » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:07 pm

Awesome. I'll be there in a couple months.



tlveik
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:59 pm

Re: Quick in and out March 12

Post by tlveik » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:18 pm

Enjoyed your report. Thanks!



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Max
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:27 pm

Re: Quick in and out March 12

Post by Max » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:39 am

Thanks guys, and congrats on the fox!

Max



yellvet
Posts: 180
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: Quick in and out March 12

Post by yellvet » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:05 pm

Thanks for the report, Guys. I bet we drove pretty close to your house when we were driving home from SoCal last week. We usually drive by Henry's Lake on Hwy 20. In fact, that snowstorm you were trying to avoid hit Nye as soon as we got home. And it's been raining, snizzling and snowing, off and on, ever since. Glad you made it home OK. And thanks for your report. Nice to know that my favorite red fox is still hanging around. :)



billandkaren
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:50 pm

Re: Quick in and out March 12

Post by billandkaren » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:39 pm

yellvet wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:05 pm
Thanks for the report, Guys. I bet we drove pretty close to your house when we were driving home from SoCal last week. We usually drive by Henry's Lake on Hwy 20.
Yeah, you were about three miles away. Glad your back safe to the beautiful land even though now is probably the ugliest time of the year. We will be back out in May. Can't wait!



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