Today we are driving to West Yellowstone so we pile our half-packed belongings into the jeep, getting a later start. We arrive at Dorothy's about 30 minutes too late to see the Druids chase an elk into the river and swim after it. Disappointment is always a part of any trip. If only we could always be at the right place at the right time! Bummed, we drive back and forth between the Lamar Valley, Tower and Hellroaring, looking for wolves and bears. We watch the Oxbow puppies wobble over logs and follow their mothers and babysitters around for a while. The count is now eleven puppies and it's believed there are two litters born at different times.
    We have had day after day of clear, sunny, warm weather. We take advantage of this quiet morning by hiking up the slopes of Lamar Canyon where the fox lives to look at wildflowers. There are so many kinds and I have no idea what they are. Some flowers are so tiny I barely noticed them. There are daisy-like flowers and orchid-like flowers, shades of purple, pink and yellow. It's nice to just stop and take in the view of Little America and Specimen Ridge from here.
    The Tower Road is open to Dunraven now so we drive up to see Rosie and barely see her ambling up the slope and over the hill to the meadow we hiked on Monday. The Park is quiet on this warm day and most wildlife is bedded down in the trees finding relief from the sun. We reach Hayden Valley just as the Hayden alpha male jumps off a carcass near the creek, his legs dark and muddy. He disappears into the grass near Mary Mountain Trail and heads up the hill.
    We walk along the winding Madison River, home to geese, otters, ducks and swans. Bison and elk graze along the shoreline. Osprey dive for fish and coyotes hunt ground squirrels in the meadows. A pair of geese escort their fuzzy, yellow goslings along the north shore of the river. It's a little Yellowstone by itself.

Author - Christine Baleshta
Photography - Tim Springer

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Yellowstone Experiences 2007