My plan was to go up to the Beartooth first thing this morning but when I got back from Cody yesterday afternoon I thought that it might also be good to do an evening/sunset trip. Some clouds gave some sunset promise but it never panned out and the flowers are behind this year so I decided not to return for a couple of weeks.
Still, it was great to drive that winding road up to the top of the mountain. Wildflowers were glorious down lower, around the aspen level, and there is still a lot of water and greenery up higher. Large patches of snow and some of the tiny streams were still running. And, no construction starting at Little Bear Lake because the bridge is completed. It was nice not to have to wait in line to go through and so the trip takes about an hour less time.
Up higher some of the low wildflowers were blooming but I would not say that they are anywhere near spectacular at this point but if they get going soon they will be nice. Mosquitos were not much fun so take repellent – guess I just happened to hit one of those rare evenings when there was not any wind to deep the pesky insects at bay.
The pika activity was much slower than in the past, with a few brief sightings followed by long periods of nothingness, until the marmot came out. The marmot was funny because he would hide between rocks, pretending he was one, whenever a car would come by and then run out to something – probably food that someone dumped out. When heading down the hill I found a marmot that had just been hit and its mate running out to check on it – I just hate that! But, then I hit a baby chipmunk today and hated that too. Some times it can not be helped.
The scenery was breathtaking but with not chances of a nice sunset I decided to take a snapshot for the memory and forego the late drive back to camp.
As far as today went…Out early but it was quite dead. Looked for the Lamars and nothing. Looked for the Wolf Watchers and nothing. The bison have all returned to Lamar Valley and so they promise to be creating quite a mess over the next few weeks – traffic jams and people happily blocking traffic to film their antics. I love the bison but they are fun to watch from a pullout where you can relax and enjoy them.
Drove all of the way to Canyon and nothing. Nothing except some bulls moving down the road. Just felt like one of those days – though I did hear that the bison rut in Hayden, around Trout Creek was quite nice.
And, also that pups, a yearling and an adult were seen on the Blacktail. Apparently the wolf plane went out and they saw 821 take down a moose calf. That made me sad but of course they have to eat. I kind of feel like with so many small groups of wolves, the babies were hit harder this year because it is difficult for them to take down a full-sized animal. Also heard that the JB’s were way up high and the Canyons were out to the east, where no one could see them. The plane did not see the Lamars. Jeremy and I hiked out and looked and looked for the LC’s tonight but no luck – we did hear, though that they were at home.
And, so between nothing this morning and returning to the trailer for a very long nap this afternoon, the only photos I took were self-portraits of myself and my big lens in the wildflowers.
Sitting out in front of the Chamber in Cooke City right now – it is raining lightly but we are supposed to get more tomorrow. Might take tomorrow off but don’t really want to spend my birthday alone inside of my trailer. Who knows – I would be alone anyway, wherever I went and it is just another day.
So, back to camp!