Finishing up, April 22, 2021
On we go … with some obscure tips —
The Park has one-holer restrooms … and Purell dispensers. Bob’s wisdom from decades of field work is, if you see a restroom use it. You don’t know where the next one might be or how long you might be in an observation area looking or filming.
Lotsa bison on the way out. It is odd how quickly having these huge animals around you and visible becomes “normal.” We follow the parade of twenty or more across a bridge! If a NPS vehicle is leading the way through the bison, which we are fortunate enough to have, follow the lead vehicle or the one in front of you closely. By creating a “bumper-to-bumper” herd of cars, everyone gets through. Otherwise, the bison fill in between the cars and/or stop. Our short caravan has gaps, as the car in front of us has clearly not received this tip and has left a too large gap between itself and the NPS vehicle. One bison strikes out with its hind leg at the vehicle ahead of us. It is a half-hearted aim (phew!), but a hearty kick. It sure feels like the car ahead would have rocked if the kick had landed.
Further down the road at Blacktail Pond one bison is furiously swimming, trying to get out of the pond. It’s so spongy, Bob notes, they may not be able to get up on the shore because the “shore” is such a murky spongy boundary … and this is how they get stuck or exhausted and drown. But some, even an extraordinary calf, do manage to get out.
Heading out as twilight is leaving us for nighttime. Poor Bob … kept him up past his usual 8:30 bedtime! When we arrive at Casa de Bob, I get a chance to meet Scott, another researcher.
So … 4-ish hours in Yellowstone National Park proper and coming up on 7 in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Pretty cool. It is hard to scale this place … you enter this realm of Wonder, and it all becomes so ordinary, but it really is extraordinary. A really great Earth Day. Thank you, God, for your Creation.