Wednesday, July 29, 2009

July Backpacking Top 10



10. Carrie crossed into Yellowstone the way that 99.999% of people do not.
We entered through via the Thorofare trail to the south boundary trail by foot. (Vs. by car on the highway)

9. A Pine Martin came 10-15 feet away from Carrie and Mike and continued to pay them no attention as it walked along some fallen logs.

8. Ben saw the same moose twice munching aquatic vegetation (Narrow leaved bur reed) as it was using it ears to deter irritating bugs near its face. He continued to watch for about 40 minutes.

7. We were only rained on once or twice the entire trip!
As compared the month of July where both Ben and Carrie realized they needed new rain jackets, were hailed on, and woke up most mornings to wet soggy ground. Trail conditions were infinitely better.

6. Ben was packed-in to the Fox Park Cabin - Ben's horse loved to tailgate both other horses and humans as they made their way on the 18 mile ride. Elk steaks and potatoes cooked over a wood fire were provided by the Wyoming game and fish biologist otherwise known as Steve who packed them in.

5. Carrie heared a pack of wolves howling in the evening.
Carrie heard the eerie satisfying sound of ~6-7 wolves including pups as the sun makes its way below the horizon. Compete with Bald eagles and Pelicans fishing along the Yellowstone River.

4. Carrie ate dinner shared by an outfitter - An outfitter, his children and 2 clients of his asked if they could share our campsite and were gracious to share their stories and food around the campfire. Yellowstone cut-throat trout, chicken, cornbread, salad, lemon yellow cake complete with frosting (the most sweet tasting desert in the middle of nowhere)

3. Ben saw grizzly mother and her two cubs walking across a meadow ~150 meters away.

2. Ben had a Black Bear close encounter!
He was hiking through a meadow and came upon a little patch of forest and happened to look up and saw a medium sized bear ~30 feet away. The bear was running his direction until it instantly turned around and headed the opposite direction. 10 seconds later they saw two bears, one twice the size of the first, (most likely mom and cub) both running across the path making stress induced huffing noises.

1. Ben came across what at first seemed to be a deranged Elk.
The large bull elk was walking towards Ben and his partner as it licked its lips and they thought it was either going to charge or that it seemed a little off and disarranged... It showed no fear as it walked closer and closer making its way as close as 40 feet. Suddenly without reason, it took off in a trot and only moments later Ben saw a black wolf(!) glance their direction and take off after the elk. (Biologists DREEEAM of seeing things like this)


More Pictures to come....

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mighty Fine July

The O' Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack has a song that Mike and Carrie sing quite a bit while hiking around.  W thought you might enjoy hearing it - it is fitting for our setting. Click here to hear the song :)



View of the Yellowstone River and Bridger Lake in the Thorofare of the Teton Wilderness.



Close up view of picture above. Notice the burnt trees in front from the 1988 fires. Moose need cover to hide in once the temperature rises above 75 degrees. A lot of habitat and shade was lost in the fires of not only 1988 but also 2003 and 2005. (Most likely a major part of the huge 60% decline in moose population over the last 15 years.)



Collecting some Bog Birch. We collect ~30 plants four different times while out on trips to send in for diet analysis. See what kind of goodies the moose are getting in their diets.



View of the Yellowstone River from a bridge with metal support beams that was flown in before the area was designated Teton Wilderness Area in 1964. (Human activities in wilderness areas are restricted to scientific study and non-mechanized recreation; horses are permitted but motorized 
vehicles and equipment are not.)



View from where we ate a few meals.



Beautiful shot of one of the Peaks from Colter Bay in Teton National Park.


video

A spin around video in southeast Yellowstone Park. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Videos x 2

video video


1 - Stormy Sunset
2 - Bison ~300 meters from our camper

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