It was only 6:45am — already we’d been greeted by a moose along the river and a grizzly with her two cubs in the brush. Not much later, we stopped to view a herd of bison on our right and spotted a grizzly bear nursing her cubs on a distant ridge. The morning did not disappoint.
The call of nature caused us to pause for a pit stop, which yielded the sound of coyotes yipping in the distance near Soda Butte. Then, we hiked up a mountainside with Ranger Michael in search of pika. We made observations and collected data for a citizen science project called Pikas in Peril.
We drove to Mammoth Hot Springs. Melissa led us on a two-mile hike up a scenic and steep trail that we had all to ourselves. At the top of the trail, overlooking Park Headquarters and the travertine terraces, we had storytime in the blustery wind with Greg. Ask us about thistle, please, and we’ll tell you more! Then, we joined the throngs of visitors for the more typical experience of the Mammoth Terraces from the boardwalk.
Our next stop —a highlight for many — was a Great Horned Owl nest for owlet viewing. The day was full of amazement and wonder and worth the wait. These words by John Muir sum up our experience:
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”
Submitted with gratitude, today’s bloggers, Andrew, Rachel & Talicia