Saturday, June 20, 2009

Trip Report, 19 June 2009

I got started at 5:30 this morning, but as soon as I went outside, I did not expect the wildlife viewing to be that good this morning. The skies cleared last night and thus we had a heavy fog in valley and really couldn’t see anything.

I decided to try to get some images for black and white today, and the Hayden Bison herd was conveniently located at Grizzly overlook. The most exciting thing I saw this morning was a pair of the Canyon pack attacking an elk. Unfortunately, they had already started when I pulled up and they chased her back into the fog on the west side of the river. This occurred directly across from Mary Mountain Trail Head.

I headed on toward the east entrance, because I was leaving for the Battle of the Little Bighorn Monument. About a mile past Lake Butte there was a smaller grizzly lying on the slope opposite of the road.

The most exciting thing though was finding a bachelor herd of bighorn sheep. Two of them climbed a small rock outcrop just east of Sylvan Pass below the Corkscrew Bridge turnout. I parked below them and came back. There were 7 males of varying age, but two had very nice curls.

I then stopped to try and see the fox pups, which are still there. I could only devote a half hour and was skunked again. Maybe Sunday night when I return.

I headed toward Lovell, WY to go to Bighorn Canyon NRA and specifically the Pryor Mountain Horse Management Area. My plan was to check it out quickly and then come back on Sunday afternoon. Just inside the management area there was a group of horses with a foal. Awesome.

I then continued east on US Highway 14A. This is quite the beautiful drive and it tops out at 9400ft.

Not a bad day after all.

I hope to see you under the Western Skies.

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