The drive to Yellowstone is always made better by a stop at The Crossings in Wisdom in the Big Hole valley of Montana. This route doesn't cut out all of the interstate travel, but it's always beautiful.
We stopped at The Crossings for a mid-day snack:
Like the Bitterroots, there was very little snow in Yellowstone; so surprising for this time of year and especially at 7,000 to 8,000 feet. Wolf Project research teams were working, and the Junction Butte pair drew the short straw since that pack has no collared wolves in it. Their one collared wolf was shot outside the Park during the hunt, along with six other collared wolves. We hope they get their buffer zone reinstated.
The Park was quiet Wednesday and Thursday, but as we've seen before, people and families were out on Friday.
Looking at optics -
After Hannah Hinchman's workshop in July I'd been thinking about her Pentax Papilio binoculars, that can close focus up to 1.5 ft., and I decided I'd make them my Christmas present. I've done one up close sketch from Mr. Elk's bones with them - amazing the detail you can observe.