May 19, 2013 - Yellowstone, snow and BEARS!
Heavy rain and 43F when we got on the road. We were really glad to have put the TC back on the truck the evening before. As we started off, the temperature dropped to 34F and it started snowing once we got to 7250 feet. It was a little weird to see snow sticking to the trees and backs of bison in lateish May.
We stopped at Madison Junction and walked some of the trail loops and then stopped at Norris and walked about two miles. The trails here are boardwalks as you are going over bubbling mud and through steam vents. It's actually quite exciting as long as you don't think about the volcanic caldera you are striding through.
We met three women from Virginia who were intrigued by our camper. We gave them a tour, all the cards like Truck Camper Magazine etc. so they could start to do their research. It's always fun to meet people who are interested and who asked good questions about use and suitability for how they want to camp.
Then the fun part of the day. After we left Norris we spotted people standing in the road ahead near a swamp. We thought moose but they were not looking at the water but up a hill. As most of them had parked in the center of a tiny two lane road we were dead stopped. Joe was driving so out I popped with camera in hand to go see what was up. Mom black bear with three cubs about 100 yards up the hill !!!! The cubs did everything little animals do - wrestled, jumped, ran and ignored mom. One started down the hill and she must have made a particular sound as the cub scampered right back up. Finally she wandered off and the traffic log jam broke up.
I have to hand it to the US Park Service and the care in building and maintaining the road systems within the parks. Most are rut and pothole free and some of the bridges quite beautiful. With the harsh weather conditions, several of the circular roads within Yellowstone were still closed.
We left the park with regret knowing how much more there was to see. Even on our second visit, we've barely scratched the surface. There are great advantages of being there out of high tourist season mostly fewer people and easier to travel roads. We do however miss the warmth and the flowers that must bloom a bit later. We will be back.