Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Roadtrip to Yellowstone - Part 2....

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,


  1. Hello Stranger!!

    Love the blog!! Must skype again soon. Lots of news on our end. I start a new job next term - AP at Mount St Thomas PS (yes, the school in my street). No more driving to work, at all!!
    Message me a good time to Skype for Sat or Sun. Hope you are all well!! Love to all. Karen

    1. Hello Stranger right back at you! Can't wait to here all of your news - the new job ...... CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!! Wow - you can walk to school! Would love to Skype - how about Sunday your time 8.00am which is 9.00pm our Saturday night - I hope. I think that with daylight savings you are 11 hours ahead? Let me know if this works for you guys, Jo xx

    2. Wow Karen, thats fantastic! Congratulations xxx:)

  2. Hi Jo, Garry and kids. Looks like you are having a great time, enjoying the snow and magic of winter in north America while we are sweating it out in the sweltering 21 degrees of an aussie summer. great photos jo. here all is as usual. get up go to work, come home, cook, work, sleep, go to work. occasionally get pissed on the weekend...... life at warilla hs is good, but i do miss not teaching. i have no timetabled classes. i still do the stuff in dip.ed. at uni to keep some contact with teaching. principal's work is management, not a lot of fun. not sure yet whether i'll actually apply for the job - don't think it is my turn yet (if you know what i mean). anyway, iot has taken an old digital immigrant like me this long to work out how to get onto your blog and set up my own account. hopefully i'l be more regular in speaking with you. take care all. love always, jeff carmen and girls.

    1. Hi, great to hear from you! Have been thinking of you and hoping all is well! I hope it is your turn - have things changed????? We are having a great time as you can see, but teaching 35 4 and 5 year olds art once without a suport teacher makes it for an interesting time - even for an oldie! I hope the girls are all well. Keep in touch, love Jo and family. xxxxx

  3. Hi guys,
    Loving the blog, and absolutely loving the camera work Jo. What an adventure for you guys!

  4. Great to hear from you, hope you are all well. Glad you are enjoying the photos - you couldn't really go wrong in Yellowstone. I though of you guys whenever we saw an eagle. xx

  5. And it's a beautiful shot of it in the trees looking for its next feed! Wonderful!
    Everyone is well here. Ollie broke his left collarbone just over a week ago now and is recovering well. He'll be back to normal in a couple of weeks hopefully :)
    Take care!