2012 Western Road Trip: Evening Wildlife Watching

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Our first full day in Yellowstone with packed with sights to see and a lot of driving getting to them. We were happy to arrive back to the Mammoth Hot Springs area for some down time before dinner.

Since we had time, we worked in my very favorite travel activity – Shopping! (Oh, who am I kidding. Shopping is my favorite activity anytime.) As we were walking back to our cabin after browsing around one of the souvenir shops, we realized that something was going on right in front of the hotel…

Bison at Mammoth Hotel

A bison was just chilling on the front lawn of the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel.

Bison at Mammoth Hotel 2

At first, we were surprised that people were actually keeping away from the bison. Then we saw the park employee, decked out in his bright orange safety vest, keeping an eye on the situation from a distance. It didn’t take long for him to be forced into action as two – TWO – complete idiots decided it would be smart to walk right up to the animal. In the end, everything was fine, and we were just excited to see something so cool!

I realize that I haven’t talked about our meals in the park. Overall, we enjoyed the dining in Yellowstone. We ate breakfasts and dinners in the Mammoth Hotel Dining Room. We tried their breakfast buffet, but it wasn’t as good as the breakfast buffet at Yosemite’s Curry Village Pavilion. The second two mornings I went with the bagel and smoked trout – Now THAT was some good food! I need more smoked trout in my life.

Dinners for me included a lot of wild game. I enjoyed wild game meatballs, which were incredible, and had bison sliders two of the nights. So good! I wish more places around home offered wild game options.

And it wouldn’t be a trip without a drink or two 🙂  While waiting to be seated for dinner this first full day, I tried the Mammoth Lemonade: 44° North Huckleberry vodka, lemonade, and cranberry juice. Very tasty!

Mammoth Lemonade

We finished dinner and it was still early. What to do? We decided to try our luck again in Gardners Hole. We invested in a tripod for the trip, and it seemed like a good time to set it up.

While we didn’t see any wildlife (except for a couple of lone elk), it was one of my favorite times during the trip. I think Jason would agree. We just sat and took in the scenery. It was so quiet and relaxing. Honestly, we could have spent a whole trip doing just this.

Jason Wildlife Watching

It did start getting a little chilly, and my new Yellowstone fleece wasn’t enough. Luckily, my husband is 6’5″ and doesn’t get cold.

Laura Wildlife Watching

It’s safe to say we both were enjoying our first Yellowstone visit…

Yellowstone Sunset

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