We spent the day driving, first through the state of Wyoming. Wyoming was full of vast open space with nothing between the spread towns. We stopped at the information center at Jackson Hole at around 2.30pm in the afternoon to double check on directions. We were expecting an hours drive to West Yellowstone - but we were very disappointed to discover that at least a three hour drive was still ahead.
So we continued to drive out of Wyoming and into Idaho. We thought that Wyoming was barren, but the big potato state was almost a blanket of white.
|The Grand Tetons in the distance, driving in Wyoming|
|Arriving in the outskirts of West Yellowstone on dusk|
We continued to drive into the state of Montana, arriving at the town of West Yellowstone at dark. We checked into our accommodation at the Kelly Inn and organised dinner and went to sleep in preparation for our big day touring Yellowstone Park the following day.
We woke early, and prepared to be collected at 8.00am, by our snow-cat. Along with four other couples and our tour guide Wayne we started our adventure, hoping for sightings of wildlife on a cold, snowy, minus ten degrees morning.
We drove for only a few minutes when we spotted the first Bison of the day, down by the river. It was truly a beautiful sight - the enormous animal in such an amazing setting. What a great start to our day!
This solo Bison was the fist of possibly one hundred or more we saw throughout the day. At times as I was leaning out the window of the snow cat photographing these amazing animals we were so close I could have actually touched them. They were strangely calm, often wandering along the groomed trails in small herds. It sounds silly, but we felt sorry for them being out in the cold and the snow, their eyes looked sad.
A really amazing moment was when we had stopped to photograph a waterfall on the side of the road and we were a distance from the safety of our vehicle, when a herd came racing down the trail. We were within two meters from the Bison and Yas and Max were a little further up the trail. I was worried about Yas and Max's safety but they were just standing watching these animals in awe - particularly when two large males stopped and butted each other. Even though these are wild animals and can be very dangerous it was a strangely calm and beautiful moment, listening to their hooves in the snow.
We stopped for lunch in our snow cat in a very cold and remote part of the park. As you can see from the images almost a pure blanket of white. It was bitterly cold, but Yas was still happy to have a quick run around outside wearing next to nothing.
We arrived back at our hotel at close to six pm. We had an amazing day and saw Bison, Antelope, Eagles, Coyotes, Ducks and Swans. Yas and Max were fantastic, considering this was the third day straight in a vehicle. We traveled forty miles in and then back out of the park and were overwhelmed with the beauty and diversity. This surely is going to be a highlight of our trip,