Where the Buffalo Roam

Saturday, September 13, 2008 Road Junkies 0 Comments


Day 8:  Lake Yellowstone, MT, to Idaho Falls, ID.  Even though we have learned that these animals are not buffalo at all but American bison, the writer of "Home on the Range" surely had Yellowstone National Park in mind when he wrote this song. Again today we saw a large herd of bison--around 300-- grazing on either side of the Yellowstone River in Hayden Valley (within the park).
Bison herd in Hayden Valley

Though we observed this group from a distance, we also had numerous close encounters with bison today. While driving on Corkscrew Bridge toward the eastern entrance to the park, we saw two bison who were walking along the bridge. This bridge hangs off the side of a mountain and at the point where we saw the bison, there was a fairly steep cliff to one side of the bridge and a sheer drop on the other side.
How did this guy end up here?

After we reached the eastern entrance, we backtracked into the park, and one of the bison actually was in the lane we were traveling in and walking straight toward our van. We weren't sure what he had in mind, but fortunately at the last moment, he veered off and walked past us.
Don't play chicken with a bison bull!

Later we had the same experience with another bull bison in Hayden Valley.
Bison's going to win the standoff every time.

We went searching for a letterbox again today and had better luck. This letterbox was hidden near a campground between Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. (It's actually discouraged to hide letterboxes in national parks.)

Something under these rocks

Our plan was to stay in Jackson, Wyoming tonight...the famous Jackson Hole that we had heard so much about. What a disappointment! The town reminded us of Gatlinburg on steroids. Tourists were crowding the streets and the myriad of gift and souvenir shops. After we had unresolvable problems with the hotel we had booked, we decided to "cut bait" and move on.

The closest decent hotel was two hours away in Idaho Falls, ID, so that's where we're laying our heads tonight. Tomorrow we'll mosey down to Salt Lake City and spend the night in Evanston, WY, just over the border. Then we'll be back on schedule in Loveland, CO, on Monday.