http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: Our Backyard

Friday, October 25, 2013

Our Backyard

Yellowstone National Park—yep, to us it’s our backyard, a mere 113 miles from our door to the north entrance of one of the most spectacular, spirit restoring places you will ever visit.  And on this fine, Indian summer day in late October, the park wasn’t full of those “other” folks who come to visit our backyard in summer—a very good day for a drive.  Our usual route is in through the north entrance and out to the Lamar Valley.  The sun was so bright my photos suffered as a result—but when we arrived home, there were some surprises when I began working with all the photos in Picasa.


Our first animal sighting was a chipmunk moving way too fast to pose for a photo.  The next group we saw were enjoying a late morning breakfast:



IMG_9083-001See anything in this photo??  I didn’t when snapping it—guess I should have been paying more attention to the scenery instead of composing photos!!!

IMG_9083IMG_9083-002Cropped even more—that’s looks surprisingly like a bear to me!!

We ate our lunch looking out over the Lamar Valley and talking about how lucky we were to have “this” in our backyard.  Michael and I both avoid YNP in the summer but this is twice now that we’ve visited the park in late October, early November—spectacular!!!  The park probably received the same snowstorms we did but as on our place, most of the snow has melted. 

On to the buffalo—many, many buffalo.  This guy was taking a bath—a dirt bath.  It’s a short video.

On the way back out of the park we ran into the usual and customary YNP traffic jam--IMG_9116and around the corner we ran into these guys—get outta my way!!


But the most exciting sighting (since I didn’t see the first bear today) was a grizzly—yep, my second one to ever see and Michael’s probably fifth.  We came upon a bunch of cars parked on the side of the road, in the middle of the road—more cars than we had seen all day—most be something cool—yep, it was.  The grizzly was along the edge of a river in the mud and never raised his head, he must have been eating something good getting ready to hibernate.  He was also some distance from us—so the photo isn’t the best.


And last but not least were the Mammoth Hot Springs elk:


IMG_9132“And if you don’t stop that little black thing from growling at me, I am going to come over there and give her what for!”

When I married Michael we used to go to YNP every year for my early September birthday.  My family loved to come to Montana for my birthday, go to YNP and hear the elk bugle.  There would be HUGE bull elk all over Mammoth, bugling, chasing the girls and each other.  Rangers would be everywhere keeping the people away from the elk.  In the last few years it doesn’t seem as if we are seeing as many elk in the fall. 


IMG_9135Goodbye YNP, see you next year.IMG_9136Only in Gardiner, MT, two elk visiting the USPS!

I convinced Michael we needed to end our spectacular day with dinner at the Rib and Chop House.  My spirit is revived, I’ve had my YNP fix for the year, life is very good!


  1. YNP is our son & daughter-in-law's favorite place on earth. He would LIVE in the Lamar Valley if they would let him! I wonder when their twins will get their first trip there? I see the pictures of the elk and think elk steak, elk jerky, canned elk. LOL I've been canning deer today that had been put in the freezer last fall. Making room for more, hopefully.

  2. What a GREAT thing to be able to do on a day trip!!!! Lucky you!!!

  3. Your backyard is truly spectacular. What a great trip you had.

  4. My husband fly fishes in Yellowstone every fall. We like to go in September to avoid the crowds. Love to stay at Mammoth campground. An elk herd visits every morning and evening and last month even stayed in the campground for the day. I envy your backyard.

  5. What a treasure you have in your back yard. I'm glad you got your annual fix!!! The photos are stunning. I enjoyed seeing the park through your eyes!! Thanks for sharing. Knee is improving more and more every day. Doing some painful rehab though. Stretch those tendons and muscles. (There are some that I know haven't been used for many years, due to me favoring my right leg. Pressing on!!)

  6. Only been to Yellowstone once back in 93. Just loved the place & I think I recognized that stone archway gate because we slept in the back of my pick-up truck near there somewhere. Liked that big mineral crustacean waterfall in Mammoth. Also remember all the charred trees from a big fire years ago. And all those bubbling pot mineral springs. Would like to return there one day again.........

  7. I would love to see Yellowstone in the winter. Of course, we hit it in the summer months and the experience was not very peaceful. So glad you posted the great pictures.

  8. Touring Yellowstone, at this time of the year, would suit us too. The last time we were there was during the busy tourist season was a test of patience to tour around. It is a great place to visit....and it's in our sights in the future.

  9. Great tour and spectacular photos, Janna. Seeing a Grizzly is really something but being far away from one is even better.

  10. You've renewed our spirit also. Maybe next year...

  11. My favorite park!! I will never get enough of this wonderful place. Our last visit we got stuck behind a herd of 150 buffalo moving 12 miles through a canyon. Nowhere for them to go except down the middle of the road. Only took three hours!! We have been very lucky with our bear sightings, even grizzles. Thanks for the memories:)

  12. I love the western attitude that 113 miles is in your backyard. :-) You sure did have a great animal sighting day. Your pictures are terrific!

  13. Wow- you are right in the middle of my favorite place to vacation- lucky YOU!!

  14. It is always great to see the big bears. In my old life I was fortunate enough to work in a part of the country that had a pretty high population so although they weren't an everyday occurrence I did get to see them with great frequency. Usually not many folks around either but I once did get stuck in a bear jam in Waterton park with a grizzly meandering down the side of the road and me sitting in an MGB with the top down. Kinda felt like a Danish Open Face sandwich, needless to say I squeezed out of that traffic jam and beat it.


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