DAY ONE - Tuesday, March 16

A WHOLE LOTTA SNOW

I leave Bozeman at noon for a short wolf-watching trip. Itís a mild 30 degrees with partially sunny skies.

Just yesterday a storm dumped 3 inches of fresh snow on top of the two feet that was finally starting to melt! Well, at least it looks nice.

I see mule deer in a field a mile or so past Livingston and notice the fields on the east side pastures are full of cattle. The snow is mostly gone in the flats but there is still plenty on the foothills and peaks.

There is very little traffic, which is just how I like it!

I see more mulies and numerous elk in the fields north of Tom Miner, and I have bighorn near the cattle guard. There are still a lot of bison beyond Yankee Jim, and more elk on both sides of the road.

In Gardiner I stop at the Market to pick up ribs and Iím thru the gate at 2PM.

Lots and lots of bison and elk in view all along the new/old road.

As I reach Mammoth, I see Jeff and Sian at the Overlook, so I stop for hugs and a chat. They have no wolves for me, alas. They are both wolf-less today.

As a consolation, they show me a bull elk carcass on one of the hogbacks of Everts and relate their terrific sighting yesterday of a mountain lion and her kit.

We watch a band of mule deer climb Kite Hill above the road and Sian finds a bald eagle.

Around 3PM I bid them adieu and head east again.

I pass small herds of bison walking the road through the Blacktail, always in the iciest spots!

Floating Island Lake is so full of snow you cannot tell itís a lake at all. No border, no depression, just a pure snow field.

As I pass Hellroaring, snow begins to fall. Little America looks great, with many vistas of pure snow. I notice that some pullouts are still not plowed since yesterdayís snow.

Somewhere in Lamar Valley the snow stops and I have an easy and beautiful drive the rest of the way.

I haul in my stuff and have a nice evening with Laurie & Dan.

Today I saw: bison, mule deer, a bald eagle, elk, bighorn sheep and the spirits of Allison, Richard and Jeff.


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