Winter 2020 Trip Report, Days 0-5 (Jan 11-16)

Share your latest adventure in Yellowstone.

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Max
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Winter 2020 Trip Report, Days 0-5 (Jan 11-16)

Post by Max » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:56 pm

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I’ve been looking forward to this trip for a few reasons. It’s been a couple years since my last winter visit to Yellowstone. Gone are the days when we’d make the trip out after Christmas each year (at least until our son is older). So now I only get out when I’m leading a tour, as I will be doing next week.

The holidays this year were insanely busy, so there’s probably no better place than lovely, snowy Silver Gate (our second home) and wintery Yellowstone to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet… even if I am working!

I was also excited to get back here, a little inspired even, after the success of the bison photo taken during my last winter trip to the park. In recent years I’ve approached my Yellowstone trips with a laid back, relaxed attitude. Nothing rushed, no pressure to produce. This time, while I am looking forward to the peace, I am also feeling a new sense of vigor, thinking about the possibilities in this stark, cold setting. In terms of moody environment, there’s no better time than winter to be here.

We’ll see how long that feeling lasts. Maybe I’ll ultimately find it more important to chill out a bit in the chill, at least until my tour starts.

Read the full report in the blog.

Max

(I will update this thread with future report posts.)
Last edited by Max on Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.



lah
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Re: Winter 2020 Trip Report, Days 0-1 (Jan 11-12)

Post by lah » Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:01 am

What a great start to your trip. Hope that keeps up!
Any idea which pack that is?



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Max
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Re: Winter 2020 Trip Report, Days 0-1 (Jan 11-12)

Post by Max » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:31 pm

Linda, people were saying it’s the Wapitis. I did not see the alpha female. I counted at thirteen... a dozen that went up over the hill and a gray that lingered behind. Not sure if the black that was there later was part of the first group or not, so there may have been as many as fourteen that I saw.

Max



lah
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Re: Winter 2020 Trip Report, Days 0-1 (Jan 11-12)

Post by lah » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:17 pm

Thanks. I know the Wapitis have been in that area lately.



Dorothy
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Re: Winter 2020 Trip Report, Days 0-1 (Jan 11-12)

Post by Dorothy » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:27 pm

Great start to a trip! Sounds like there was plenty of action and you got some great shots. Thanks so much for taking the time to share it.

I am hoping that next week (if the weather isn't too bad) my sis and I can sneak a few days in the park. We had the chance to get a quick trip into Grant Teton last weekend, and would love to get into Yellowstone. So I'm even more interested than usual for your reports!

Thanks again for taking the time to report and post your wonderful photos. I'm anxiously awaiting the next report!



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Max
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Re: Winter 2020 Trip Report, Days 2-3 (Jan 13-14)

Post by Max » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:15 pm

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January 13, 2020
I tried to get out the door a little earlier Monday morning, in the off chance the wolves had returned or were lingering near the kill site.

I didn’t make good time though, as I kept stopping for random things. Actually, most of the stops were bison-related, wider photos of the winter landscape.

The east end of the Lamar Valley was gray and blustery. At one point it was a virtual whiteout on the road due to the snow blowing off the nearby plains. That quickly cleared, and by the time I reached the west end of the valley the sun was about to unleash its blazing light through the clouds.

I stopped again in Little America for another bisonscape. All told, it took me two hours to reach the site of Sunday’s wolf action. Not surprisingly, there was nothing going on. I had already passed wolf watchers scoping far to the north, and later spotted tracks where the pack had passed eastward during the night...

Continue reading in the latest trip report.

Max



Dorothy
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Re: Winter 2020 Trip Report, Days 0-3 (Jan 11-14)

Post by Dorothy » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:29 pm

Wow -- otters, wolves, foxes -- and ravens! -- that's quite a couple of days.

Thanks for your wonderful reports and photos. It's almost (but not quite!:) ) as good as being there. Do appreciate it! The photos are great (I am inspired to try to take raven shots!) and the report just awesom.



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Max
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Winter 2020 Trip Report, Days 4-5 (Jan 15-16)

Post by Max » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:29 pm

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January 15, 2020
It was a struggle getting out of bed on Wednesday. I still hadn’t made up for the too-early wakeup time the previous morning, and it seems like I’m fighting off a cold each morning on this trip. But I forced myself into action. Slow action, but still…

This was the first time I didn’t have any fresh snow on the car in the morning… maybe because it was by far the coldest morning too. Single digits when I drove in, and by the time I was cruising the eastern Lamar, it dropped to -8(F). These frigid mornings can be quite beautiful, with pinks and blues dancing behind the frosted mountain peaks, the tops of which ignite in a white flame as the sun starts to hit them.

Since I was a bit late getting in, I missed out on the parking spots at Soda Butte (wolves had been peeking over the hill), so I cruised for a bit. Aside from the wolves and more coyotes, Tuesday’s bull moose were off in the distant trees, sparring. A bit far and never quite in the open enough to land any photos. The local herd of bison cows and calves decided to parade down the road for a bit as well...

Continue reading and see more photos in the trip report.

Max



RikWriter
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Re: Winter 2020 Trip Report, Days 0-5 (Jan 11-16)

Post by RikWriter » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:38 pm

Wow, I've never seen winter pics of a badger before! That's incredible!



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