Where Are All My Little Bear Friends?

Trip Start Mar 01, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Thursday, August 6, 2009

To watch a grown man eagerly seek a bear sighting, turning his head from side to side to scan dense forest bordering both sides of the road, while driving, and reciting “Where are all my little bear friends?”, is pure fun. One of my favorite lines from the entire trip thus far, “Where are all my little bear friends?”, was John’s mantra throughout Yellowstone National Park.

Entering Yellowstone National Park late in the afternoon, we opted to drive through most of it, disembarking to explore only at Norris Geyser Basin and Old Faithful (although, we didn’t wait around for its next eruption).  Grand Tetons National Park, located directly south and contiguous to Yellowstone, provided us with accommodations in their northernmost campground, Flagg Ranch.  From there, we were able to explore the Grand Tetons the following morning, beginning with a wonderful breakfast on the shore of Jackson Lake.  A drive through Grand Tetons, to its southern entrance, at Jackson (Hole), yielded a glimpse of the high-end vacation haven, and further south, along the Centennial Scenic Byway to Bondurant, which meanders alongside the Hoback River.  We came across an idyllic camping spot off of Hwy. 189/191 in Hoback Campground (site #9), but opted to linger just long enough for a picnic lunch before heading back through Jackson, and areas of Grand Tetons and Yellowstone yet unseen. 

Clinging to the western side of Yellowstone on our initial trip through the park, we veered off to the east on our way back through and discovered an equally majestic though completely dissimilar landscape.  In its immensity, Yellowstone reveals landscape diversity that leaves one in awe of the natural world.  The geothermal features and grassy plains with their buffalo, deer and elk, which we encountered on the first day in the park, fascinated, but I was more than completely contented in the vastness of Yellowstone Lake, the asparagus colored forests that overlooked its shores and the mysterious, mountainess climbs of the park’s eastern realm.  Exiting through the Shoshone National Forest at dusk, with a brooding sky hovering, we progressed on to Cody, Wyoming (home of the Rodeo), where our hopes for a night’s lodging were dashed by the substantial influx of bikers in town on their way to or from the annual biker fest in Sturgess, South Dakota.  Instead, we stopped in Powell (a small town about 30 miles northeast of Cody) for the night.

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