“Again? You’re going there again?”, a friend questioned. “Don’t you want to see something new and different?” And therein lies the secret. As travel author, Michael Palin said: “The trouble with traveling back later on is that you can never repeat the same experience.” True, but not a bit troublesome for us! And so, here we are again in West Yellowstone, Montana exploring Yellowstone National Park. For a fleeting moment, I wrestled with the notion that another 5 -1/2 month stint from mid-April through September might be less thrilling, most sequels are. Greg answered with a vow to “do things differently”.
Any concerns of tedious repeat performances dissipated the moment we arrived. It felt like a nostalgic homecoming of sorts, welcomingly familiar yet strikingly different. Bright blue skies and oat-colored meadows replaced last year’s muddy clouds and mountainous snow piles. Morning frost glistened on grassy meadows. An unusually mild winter surrendered early leaving spring to control the season.
This unpredictable, boiling, roiling, volcanic wilderness lured us back to our favorite sites to show off new looks and fresh insights. Coupled with our promise to explore differently this sequel may outperform the original score! Journey with us on our first month’s photo safari and rediscover Yellowstone.
Bison appeared more robust. Apparently, they dined well during wintertime!
Bears woke early from snowy slumber.
The Beryl Spring Mama Grizzly and her three cubs eluded us last year despite hours of scouting for them. It is rumored that two cubs were swept away during a river crossing last spring. We encountered her and the surviving cub on our first visit this year and hung out with them frequently over the following two weeks! Enjoy the short video of wild grizzlies foraging for food.
Rivers tumbled healthily down canyons. Hiking trails not typically accessible in early spring ushered in trekkers.
A bull moose greeted us on our third day in the park. Much better than last year’s 3-month search and sighting outside of the park!
An owlet peered out of its nest as if to say our decision to travel back was wise indeed.
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