20. Wyoming / Montana -West Yellowstone

Montana state facts
Nickname: Treasure State, Big Sky Country
Sale Tax: No state sales tax!
Birth Place of: Gary Cooper and legendary motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel
Famous for: big sky, fly-fishing, cowboys and grissly bears

We spent an amazing and eventful couple of days in West Yellowstone where we came across with the sweetest cafe owners, a Hungarian urban-documentary photographer Zoltán Balogh -trying his spanking new Sony Alpha in the snowy un-urban national park, spent a pleasant evening with a very nice couple from Seattle, we saw even more volcanic geysers, bubbles and steam eruptions and had a good fortune to talk to a grizzly bear attack survivor, who told us his extraordinary story.

On our arrival, which was at around 10am, we decided to have breakfast at a local little cafe (Runnin Bear) Adorable little place that radiates its owners love and care. Besides the delicious full Americana breakfast, they gave us great tips for a day trip with Burt around the area.

After our long-stretched breakfast we popped in to the visitor centre where we booked our snowmobile trip for the the next day then decided to visit the bear/wolf closure before we head off for a little afternoon trip.

Grey Wolf  Bear and wolf closure West Yellowstone, MT January 2013
Grey Wolf
Bear and wolf closure
West Yellowstone, MT
January 2013

The clouser was very quiet. There was a guy with number of cameras, endless lenses, being busy taking photographs. We ended up chatting then invited him for our day trip. He was a multi award winning urban photographer from Hungary. (see his blog at the Link menu) He was here on a 10 days wildlife photo expedition that he won on a photo festival as first prize. He decided to stay behind from the others who, as in the past 8 days, went in to the park for the day to photograph bisons and stuff. He was very happy to take our offer and we spent a great afternoon together before we said our goodbyes.

Zoltan taking photo. North of West Yellowstone, MT January 2013
Zoltan’s taking photo.
North of West Yellowstone, MT
January 2013
Bighorn Sheep North of West Yellowstone, MT January 2013
Bighorn Sheep
North of West Yellowstone, MT
January 2013
North of West Yellowstone, MT January 2013
North of West Yellowstone, MT
January 2013

The next day John and I, another couple and our guide were gathering at the snowmobile rental for the kickoff of our day trip to the Park. It was a small group and it was perfect! As we crossed the Park entrance we were, again in Wyoming (who can keep track of this?) Stopping every now and then at interesting points or when spotted an animal.

A lone male bison crossing our path. Yellowstone Nat. Park Wyoming January 2013
A lone male bison crossing our path.
Yellowstone Nat. Park
Wyoming
January 2013
Steaming  Yellowstone Nat. Park Wyoming January 2013
Steaming
Yellowstone Nat. Park
Wyoming
January 2013

Our guide was thoroughly knowledgeable about the Park’s history just as much as he was passionate about its wildlife. We really enjoyed his talks and, as we found out he was a grizzly bear attack survivor. He eventually gave in John’s arm-twisting and told us his fascinating story. The day trip and the Park with its offerings was stunning. The weather turned beautiful and though still quite chilly (especially on the snowmobile) it was crystal clear and sunny.

our little group Yellowstone Nat. Park Wyoming January 2013
our little group
Yellowstone Nat. Park
Wyoming
January 2013
Yellowstone Nat. Park Wyoming January 2013
Yellowstone Nat. Park
Wyoming
January 2013

We drove to Old Faithful where we had lunch and saw the big geyser eruption which happens every 91 minutes.

Old Faithful Yellowstone Nat. Park Wyoming January 2013
Old Faithful
Yellowstone Nat. Park
Wyoming
January 2013

On our return we invited Annette and Rob (the other couple on our trip) for a drink as we had too much to talk about after a day like this! It was a wonderful day followed by a very pleasant evening with this sweet couple.

They predicted a big snowstorm as we were leaving, and they were right. It started with pretty heavy snowfall but we were leaving anyway and within 30 minutes the icy wind became very strong, and thick fog and slippery road surface made our trip less ordinary. We decided to press on and make as much mileage south as possible mainly because of the weather and because we were beginning to have problems starting Burt in big minuses.

Leaving West Yellowstone. January 2013
Leaving West Yellowstone.
January 2013

 

Usual job. Leaving West Yellowstone. January 2013
Usual job.
Leaving West Yellowstone.
January 2013

After a tense whole day drive we made 250 miles from West Yellowstone to the Bear Lake at the Idaho-Utah border. We were tired and hungry by the time we found our spot and and we were ready to bed. Despite the storm we had a peaceful night. Tomorrow Utah!

Camp by Bear Lake, ID January 2013
Camp by Bear Lake, ID
January 2013

Early breakfast then set off. By 8.30 we were on the much clearer road with blue sky and sunshine above us. We headed to Salt Lake City, the first city since Halifax.

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