Last week Howard had to go to Red Lodge to do the inspection Thurs. on the Red Lodge Racecamp surface ski lift at Beartooth Pass, so we decided to make the loop from there and stay in Gardiner for a couple of days.
The road up to the pass was open on the MT side, but we had to wait while the plows cleared off the WY section so we could head for Cooke City and lunch at Beds 'n' Buns. After lunch we took a slow drive through the Lamar and on to Gardiner. Other than the buffalo and their little ones, we didn't see too much wildlife.
Friday however, was a very busy wildlife day, with a grizzly boar in Lamar, sandhill cranes, antelope and a large herd of buffalo crossing Soda Butte creek. When one fording area got too crowded, some moved downstream to a higher bank, and even the calves were brave enough to make the leap.
Instead of going back to Gardiner the usual way, we decided to go over Dunraven Pass and on to Canyon and then back to Mammoth. Beyond Tower Falls and on the Mt. Washburn foothills we got a distant view of the Mollies wolf pack and a grizzly sparring over a bison kill. The bear would prevail for a while, and then it was the wolves turn. It was a distant spot, too far away for pictures.
In the area of Bunsen Peak we saw a traffic jam, and found a place to stop to see what was on view, which turned out to be a sow grizzly with her two cubs. Like the boar in the Lamar, mom was traveling very purposefully, but the kids were all play, with boxing and wrestling bouts only interrupted when they saw that the sow had gotten too far away.
As usual, always something to see in Yellowstone.