DAY ONE - Tuesday, June 23


A few work crisis cause a delay for me today but at 3:15 PM I am finally heading out. It’s very warm – 86 in Bozeman. The temp cools a bit as I head upriver but not enough!

There is still a smattering of snow up high, though and far more clouds in the sky throughout Paradise Valley than in Bozeman.

I reach the Park about 5:00 and have my visit with Alison. There are many elk in Mammoth (as per usual) and yellow-headed blackbirds at Black Tail Pons. I stop at S curves to scope a bit. Nothing here. At Lower Hellroaring I stop to watch a single black bear – perhaps one of the bears I saw earlier in June with my family.

Then just east of Elk Creek I stop to watch a black bear sow with one, coming up the hill, trying to cross the road. The crowd is well behaved until the bear gets to the road. So I leave before it gets any crazier.

It’s cooled to about 75 degrees now – at 6:08PM.

Just past Yellowstone picnic I reach a massive jam for a black bear with two cinnamon cubs – they hard to see at the moment, up a tree, a big Douglas fir on the north side of the road. The sow rests near a big boulder at the bottom of the tree. John Kerr is here and we chat a bit.

I check the radio but not much is going on so I decide to head to Laurie’s for an early evening. But I do stop at Footbridge to see a sow grizzly with two on the first finger of Norris. That’s a lot of bears!

I get to Laurie’s a little after 7:00 and have a great evening catching up with her.

TODAY I SAW: 6 black bears (including 3 cubs), 3 grizzly bears (including 2 cubs), bison, elk, pronghorn and the spirit of Allison.

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