Yellowstone, September 14, 2012

After a night of very poor sleep, having spent it in the car where it was parked at White Dome Geyser, even though my tent was pitched at Norris Campground, because I was too tired to drive back to camp, I got in motion again before sunrise.

I figured, since I was in the neighborhood, and since I haven’t taken any photos there in ages, I’d hit Firehole Falls…

…then the cascades on the Firehole River near the end of Firehole Lake Drive.

This lovely cascade is upriver of Firehole Falls, near where Firehole Lake Drive means the main Great Loop - Yellowstone National Park

I made a brief stop at Norris Campground to re-register for a couple more nights, then headed over to Canyon.  I turned on to the road to Artist Point, as I had several times before, to see if that herd I had seen from the Wapiti Lake Trail Head might be around.  They weren’t.  But, once again, I figured that as long as I was in the neighborhood, at it was getting to be that time, I might as well park and see how the morning rainbow in the spray of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone displayed on this day.  Not the best rainbow there, not by a long shot…

I turned north after the visit to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, driving slowly over Dunraven and stopping for several minutes at each pullout, searching for bears in the white pines.  Nothin’.

I turned east for a trip to the Lamar Valley.  Near the bridge over the Yellowstone River I saw 3 mule deer bedded down on the other side of the ravine. This doe didn’t seem impressed or amused when I said “My, what big ears you have!”

Showing off those large mule deer ears!

After an uneventful tour of the Northern Range, I again drove the old stagecoach gravel road from Mammoth Hot Springs to Gardiner.
I came upon a few cow elk, one of which seemed to be calling “Romeo, Romeo, where art thou, Romeo,” but Romeo was nowhere to be found.

cow elk calling

For my last stop of the day, I visited a large herd of elk near Canyon Junction, about 800 yards from the road, at the timber line.  I walked out about 600 yards.  The harem bull was very wary of me and it was clear that 200 yards was as close as I was going to get and the light was fading anyway, and I was whipped after the previous night’s lack of sleep, so I headed to camp to cook a real meal and hit the sack early.

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