May 17th

The fastest way to find wildlife in Yellowstone is to first locate the gaggle of humans. This rare specie will more than likely have a camera way too powerful for their own good, a giant RV, and potentially be wearing Hello Kitty (which I didn’t realize they made in adult sizes.)

When approaching such animals, I highly recommend toning down the cynicism and instead asking such brilliant questions as, “So, what are you guys looking at?” and “What’s up?”

LOTS of Wild Animals

In this case, they were staring at a buffalo that had been recently taken down by a pack of wolves. Other animals were circling, waiting to feed. Also, a bald eagle was in a tree.

Dead buffalo

That teeny tiny brown dot in the river is the poor buffalo.

Black Bear

That teeny tiny black dot in the tree is a bear. Thankfully, another gaggle of tourists helped us with this sighting. I have no idea why the bear was in the tree, but he sat there for quite a while, occasionally moving his head. I later saw what I think was a grizzly, but it very well could have been a quick buffalo at a distance.


These antelope were everywhere. We managed to see some big horn sheep today too. Even though I like to come across as someone who could handle any sort of outdoorsy adventure thrown my way, I was a little worried this Yellowstone trip wasn’t going to be my thing. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

If Bullwinkle were a girl

Down to a Bullwinkle, we saw just about everything.

Pretty much the prettiest place I've ever been

We even managed to get in a good hike and at 7,000+ feet, my little heart was racing. We’ve thoroughly conquered this park and seen just about as much of it as I imagine humanly possible in such a short period. I can’t wait to return.

Next time, I’ll learn to fly fish. I’ll bring a tripod. I’ll spend lots of time staring and the stars and certainly spend more time on my feet and outside of a car. I’ll spend gobs of time in the Lamar Valley, one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever been.

Montana: A+.


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19 Responses

  1. My sister lived in Anchorage for a while and would regularly see Moose in her backyard. IN. HER. BACK. YARD. Can you even believe it? I’m kind of a city girl so that just blows me away. That you are seeing buffalo and bears and elk, it just crazy! Thanks so much for sharing. I actually said out loud to my husband tonight, I think I want to go to Yellowstone. Thanks!

  2. I am already talking to friends and Bub about a trip to Montana! Looks fabulous. What an experience! (And, gorgeous countryside too!)

  3. Oh Kelli. What a dream! Just beautiful–I’m sooo glad you got to go (and soooo glad you shared those great pics!). Clean air, mountains, rivers, wildlife…I just love it (and MISS IT here in the concrete jungle of SoCal). Thanks for the smiles and the nightcap–these pics are sure to bring good dreams…hope you have a great night and safe trip home, AmazinGirl!

  4. Nothing compare to wildlife to refresh your spirit…….

  5. Beautiful pictures Kelli! Sounds like you’re having a wonderful vaycay.

  6. Tina in Duluth May 18, 2009

    That is one place I’ve always wanted to go, although I’m a little afraid of grizzly bears. Thanks for the pictures!

  7. Kelli,

    We’ve been to Yellowstone twice, once when I was 13. My youngest brother was 5 at the time, and we had to pull over so he could pee…he got out of the car and walked into the woods just a bit, and of course 10 cars pulled in behind us so they could see what wildlife we had spotted. They were quite disappointed to see a little boy walk out of the bushes!

    Your trip brings back great memories of that trip and the more recent one, where we had Grand Gold Margeritas sitting on the deck of the FDR lodge watching a sunset. Also the Arrapahoe Lodge for breakfast is quite amazing.

    We plan on going back too, it is an experience to savor over and over.

  8. knitingrunner May 18, 2009

    We live in Maine, one of our friends says she likes to pull over, get out of the car with a camera and watch the tourists stop to see the wildlife (usually moose). It’s really fun to do right after the watch for moose signs. I ran (really ran) into a young moose one day, it was a strange experience, I think we were both scared of each other!
    I took my kids to Yellowstone for the first time a couple of years ago, they loved seeing the bison and elk.

  9. Your mini-vacation was so grand. I would love to visit yellowstone someday! I hope you return refreshed : )

  10. Thanks so much for the gorgeous pictures !
    I can’t get enough of these amazing landscapes, these beautiful creatures (not talking about the human ones here :))
    Your last post already had me gasp in amazement, and today’s was just as brilliant.
    I would like to go there someday. That’s the thought that hasn’t left my mind since.

  11. wow, so many great pictures! 🙂

  12. My favorite Elk story (everyone who lives in the west has one, they typically involve cars though) is snowboarding at Jackson Hole with a Ukranian diplomat. I was/am not very, how shall I put this, skilled on a snowboard. I was coming down a small hill and heard yelling from the ski lift above me. I fell down and sat there trying to figure out if they were laughing at me or something else. A HUGE elk came running about 50 feet in front of me straight down the slope and on into the parking lot at the bottom. It was amazing and terrifying at the same time. They’re so big and quick.

  13. I love Yellowstone. I’ve only been there in the summer so I’ve never seen as much wildlife as you are seeing in the spring! Wow!

  14. Wow it’s so pretty there! Guess putting your food up in a tree wouldn’t work with a bear that can climb that high! I thought they weren’t supposed to be able to climb trees like that??

  15. Yellowstone is amazing isn’t it? That’s how we spotted most of the wildlife too – just look for the pulled over cars & the tourists!

    Except for the bison that was running next to me at night down the road…and that angry Elk we ran into on a trail. Eeek! Oh and the big horn sheep at 8,000 feet! A whole lotta ’em!!

    Glad you’re having an awesome time!

  16. I’m so tickled to read about your exploits. What wonderful adventures you’re having. We’re thinking about Yellowstone as part of our big family trip next year. My husband told me about the fly fishing there. I’m definitely going to take my gear and do that if we go.

  17. Well, Phoenix now is about a C, okay C-.

    I’ve never been to Yellowstone either and it’s been on my list for a long time. God’s Country. It looks spectacular and very spirit-healing.

  18. Absolutely beautiful; every piece of it. Nature and a peaceful spirit; they go hand and hand. Thank you for taking me along with you. I thoroughly have enjoyed these posts of Yellowstone.

  19. You guys definitely lucked out – you don’t usually hear of someone seeing at least one of all the species you mentioned! You’re absolutely right about the “strategy” for finding them. I went on a wildlife photography trip with a published photographer, and I was more than a little disappointed when I realized they don’t really hike around to get their pictures. They get to know their competitors’ cars and stop when they see their brethren getting a good shot. Glad you had fun – you should definitely come back soon!