DAY ONE - Wednesday, November 16

SHOULDER SEASON

I leave Bozeman just after 1PM. Its 34 degrees, mostly cloudy with patches of clear sky.

The Bridgers look great as I head up the Pass. Roads are dry and good despite all the snow weve had so far this winter.

I see a few elk and mule deer in Paradise Valley, and a large elk herd in its regular fall spot near the airport.

On the first hairpin turn of the new road a big truck with a long trailer has gone off the road into the ditch. The cab is empty and I hope the driver was not injured. I feel bad for him and whomever has to come to get it out.

I stop at the new high pullout and have my visit with Allison. I enjoy seeing many bighorn sheep over on McMinn bench.

Not much happening in Mammoth as I drive through. Everything is closed. I find a bunch of bison stopped on the far side of the high bridge. I inch forward past some perplexed newbies and help get the bison moving so we can all keep driving. For once, people are grateful rather than put out.

The sun comes out as I reach S curves making everything so pretty. So far, the Park feels quite empty which is typical of November.

At the perch I see the Junction crew (Dylan and Taylor) coming down the hill with Jeff. I wait for them to say hi and get an update. Junctions are further west and not in view, while Rescue Creek wolves are only visible if you climb North Butte.

Im glad to see the three of them, anyway.

I continue east and see a bull elk crossing the road just beyond Hellroaring.

All the trees through the Blacktail are nicely flocked with snow. As I come down towards Tower, another elk crosses from south to north.

I find very few bison in Little America. They all seem to be west of here. The Slough Campground road is now closed to cars and full of snow!

Laurie & Dan catch up to me at Footbridge and I let them go ahead. We get to Silver Gate without incident and unload all our stuff. Jeff joins us for pizza dinner, and we have a nice time.

Today I saw: bison, coyote, elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep and the spirits of Allison, Richard and Jeff


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