29.04.2012 - 29.04.2012
We started the day by visiting the Grizzly & Discovery Center just outside the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park. And just as the name reveals there were grizzly bears and wolfs there but also black bears. They had a large exercise yard for the bears where they let them out two and two in different turns according to a schedule. In between, the handlers walked in the exercise yard and hid food for the bears to find and look for. Further away they had two different yards for the wolves. River Valley Wolfs in one yard and High Country Wolfs in the other. In between the two yards they had built a warm cabin where we visitors could go inside to warm up and yet see both of the yards through big glass walls. I managed to get really great photos of both bears and wolves. Then we went to another building and watched the Birds of Prey Program and sat on the first row (to get the best photos taken). Trent, the man who handled the birds, showed two birds; an owl and a falcon. All birds that participate in these shows are so called Rescue Birds and wouldn’t have survived in the nature on their own.
After eating some lunch we finally drove into Yellowstone National Park. Some of the first animals we saw after only minutes of driving were bison and mule deer. On our way towards Old Faithful Geyser we experienced amazing surroundings with distanced mountains with snow-covered peaks, hot springs and geysers. Totally amazing. Even though the smell from these hot springs and geysers aren’t so nice (smells sulfur) it was beautiful to see all the different shades of color and phenomenon that were there.
At the Old Faithful Geyser we went inside the Visitor Center, where they had the gift shop and a schedule when to predict the next outburst from the geyser. They predict an outburst every 90 minutes +/- 10 minutes. When the outburst was near, people started to gather around the geyser just to watch the 2 minute-lasting water cascade. And it was kind of special to watch actually.
Then we headed north towards Norris and Canyon Village with its amazing nature and big waterfalls. On our way to the north entrance of the park we saw more bison and deer and also lonely coyote hunting in the sunset. We spend the night in Gardiner, just outside of the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The hotels inside the park are closed during winter season and don’t open until May 1st. And since it wasn’t high season there was no problem to find a staying for the night. But as I wrote before, during high season you must book your staying in advance.