Yellowstone has long been one of my favorite destinations; I first enjoyed trips there with my sister and parents, then later after marriage with Christine. Christine and I have been to Yellowstone a handful of times but this trip afforded us a first ever while at the park. With many photos, videos, and stories from the two days this blog is devoted to one specific moment. Another blog will contain other stories from Yellowstone, To get an idea of that moment and potential first for Christine and I here are the girls journals from yesterday.
After a late night unsuccessfully scanning Hayden Valley for Wolves we returned to Norris campground around 9:30. We backed into the #4 site of A Loop and both girls piled out of the van to hop in the tent. As soon as the doors opened we heard someone yelling, "There is a Bison in the campground get back in your vehicle." Somehow both girls were outside with closed doors as we heard this, they of course struggled to run around to the other side to get back in. As soon as they were back in the car we lowered a window to see the Bison 10 yards from our tent and 15 yards from the Van. If I had only pulled into the parking spot directly rather than backing in we would have seen it.
A park volunteer soon asked us to move to the opposite side of the loop as, "A Ranger is going to fire a gun and we don't know which way the Bison will go." We obliged the request and shot the video below after parking. Three park rangers and a volunteer went campsite to campsite asking everyone to move to a hard sided vehicle. In a constant rain some poor campers (many with kids) lumbered back to their cars. We've never seen rangers walk tent to tent asking people to return to their vehicles.......a first for us! The videos below are better viewed in HD, but I'm not sure if you can make out anything other than our conversation in the first.
Shortly after 10 it was so dark the only way the Bison could be seen was with spotlights. Luckily the animal chose to walk toward the valley with the gentle nudging of a ranger's truck (no gun needed) and we were able to return to the tent by 10:30.
This morning Michaela informed us "There is a Bison in camp!" when she woke up. It is hard to know if it was the same animal as before but it was nearly in the same location as the night before. Luckily everyone, including the Bison, were unharmed in these encounters. It was awesome being able to observe sites 4 and 5 of Norris campground special visitor.