June 17, 2010
We were up at 5 am. Even though it seems hard, it is not hard to get up when you are excited to go out and experience the wonders and adventures each day can hold here. We were treated to a fresh dusting of snow and a Red Fox in the driveway of Stillwater Lodge, where we were staying. Words cannot describe the events that transpired and the feelings we experienced from the moment we left the lodge. After yesterday’s hard rain, wildlife was abundant throughout the park. Today we saw seven Moose, six Black Bears, three Grizzlies, ten Mountain Goats, two wolves, two Coyotes, and a Bighorn Sheep ram. We also saw two baby Pronghorns, which is somewhat rare because the mothers keep them hidden to protect them from predators. And that is just to name a few of the incredible wildlife species we saw.
The theme that seemed to weave its way through our day was the power of water. From the rains of Lamar Valley, to the blinding snows of Beartooth Pass, we were reminded of our relationship with water. The kid in all of us came out when we spotted the perfect sledding hill and set off on an impromptu slide on the seat of our pants. On our descent from the “top of the world” (10,947 feet), we encountered two waterfalls. The power and beauty of the water was a humbling experience.
An incredible experience that brought together the two parts of our day, wildlife and water, happened in Lamar Valley, the Serengeti of North America. We were privileged to watch a Bison herd cross the raging Lamar River. It was amazing to watch the herd work together to get each member across the river, from the strongest bull to the youngest calf. It was a roller coaster of emotions from worry, to elation, and wonder, as the 60 Bison made their way. The whole scene, from the snowcapped mountains, blue skies in the east, a storm approaching from the west, and the real life struggles depicted before us, left us forever changed. The day’s events could be capped with a quote from the naturalist John Muir, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”