DAY ONE - Sunday, October 10


I set off for Yellowstone under mostly sunny skies and 57 degrees.

Bozeman has had cool, rainy weather over the last few days, which has left a bit of snow on the Gallatin and Spanish Peaks. I am leaving two days earlier than planned in, order to avoid the snow that is coming tomorrow.

Pretty fall color lingers in Bozeman and on the pass. The willows along Bear Creek Canyon are especially lovely.

Just past the tunnel of golden cottonwoods outside Livingston I see mule deer in a field.

In Gardiner I notice “Vacancy” signs at three hotels. Well, there’s a welcome change!

I have my visit with Allison. Afterwards I see an email from Chloe & Becky. They know about the coming storm and left today trying to beat it. I’m sorry to miss them!

Most of the fall color has faded through the Blacktail area; many trees are bare. At the big ski lot I join a crowd watching a black bear with 2 cubs of the year. Sweet.

Little America looks empty, which is just how I like it. All the pretty orange leaves on the trees at Aspen pullout are faded or gone.

When I get into Lamar I am pleased to see still-green grass. Looks like the Park has had some welcome late rain. But it makes me a little sad to see how much the color has faded.

There are lots of bison in Round Prairie and more at Warm Creek I see a pair of mule deer does, each with a fawn.

I get to Laurie’s at 5PM, unload and settle in. Dan makes a nice fire and we have a pleasant evening. I hit the hay pretty early.

Today I saw: 3 black bears (including 2 cubs), bison, elk, mule deer, pronghorn, and the spirits of Allison and Richard.

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