Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Well we have our green on. Hard to believe from this picture, but it was snowing like crazy just a few minutes before we took the picture.

Before we are off on one last otter search we have to get Janet a YNP car sticker. While shopping we found this Nativity set. A must have for any mountain home. Bonus points if you can find Joseph.

Off to find the otter. Hey look a coyote. In all we saw three on them while otter hunting.

I think I am offended.  This buffalo is mocking my southern heritage with a piece of straw hanging out of his mouth,  Maybe I spoke too soon and he is a southern transplant like me? He didn’t say one way or the other.

Found the perfect otter spot……but alas no otter.

On the ride back we saw a moose much closer than last time. I think I scared Janet a little. She was driving and when I saw the mouse I just shouted MOOSE!

Well no otter. We also didn’t find a leprechaun, a rainbow or a pot of gold, but I had already found my treasure … Janet.

We went to dinner at the Rusty Rail and gorged ourselves on fried foods. It was a good day and a nice end to Janet’s trip. She will  me missed by every fiber of me.

Walk like a penguin

Now that the great thaw has started more dangers are out. Everything that melts during the day freezes again overnight. This creates a lot of ice to walk on. Received this at work on the best way to walk on ice. Appears that penguins have this down pat.

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Was notified today that the National Park Service had some Grizzly Bear sightings. Had to have a conversation with Janet today that I never thought I would have with her. How to react to seeing a bear and how to use bear spray.

Date: March 13, 2018
Contact: Morgan Warthin, (307) 344-2015

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY – The first grizzly bear sightings of 2018 occurred in Yellowstone National Park last week. On Tuesday, March 6, staff observed an 11-year-old male grizzly bear wearing a radio collar in the west-central part of the park. On Wednesday, March 7, employees reported seeing a grizzly bear in the east-central part of the park.

Male grizzlies come out of hibernation in mid-to-late March. Females with cubs emerge later, in April to early May. When bears emerge from hibernation, they look for food and often feed on elk and bison that died over the winter. Sometimes, bears will react aggressively while feeding on carcasses.

All of Yellowstone National Park is bear country: from the deepest backcountry to the boardwalks around Old Faithful. Your safety cannot be guaranteed, but you can play an active role in protecting yourself and the bears people come here to enjoy by following these guidelines:

  • Prepare for a bear encounter. 
  • Carry bear spray, know how to use it, and make sure it’s accessible.
  • Stay alert.
  • Hike or ski in groups of three or more, stay on maintained trails, and make noise. Avoid hiking at dusk, dawn, or at night.
  • Do not run if you encounter a bear.
  • Stay 100 yards away from black and grizzly bears. Use binoculars, a telescope, or telephoto lens to get a closer look.
  • Store food, garbage, barbecue grills, and other attractants in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes.
  • Report bear sightings and encounters to a park ranger immediately.
  • Learn more about bear safety.

“Many Yellowstone visitors are deeply passionate about the conservation of park bears,” says Kerry Gunther, the park’s bear management specialist. “Reducing human-bear conflicts by preventing bears from obtaining food and garbage, hiking in groups of three or more people, carrying bear spray, and making noise in blind spots on the trail are the best way for visitors to protect bears while recreating in the park.”

While firearms are allowed in the park, the discharge of a firearm by visitors is a violation of park regulations. Bear spray has proven effective in deterring bears defending cubs and food sources. It can also reduce the number of bears killed by people in self-defense.

 

 

Heading out for a snow hike at Tower.

All up hill for a while.

Couple of scenic selfies.

I know they look photo shopped, but they aren’t.  Really nice to be able to share this with Janet.

Amazing view.

I made a snowman for Janet.

Can you find the Keebler elves winter home in this shot?

This is a close up of their winter home.

Not sure if this was a rescue or avalanche dog, but he was ready to help either way.

Some reference shots to give you an idea of the snow. Note the phone in the first and my leg up to my knee in snow for the second.

I am used to the higher altitude now, but Janet is still in better shape than me. All that free food in the employee cafeteria is making me fat.

I love this picture. Seeing Janet smile warms my heart. I also love the way the snow looks on the rocks. Looks like icing dolloped on top of the rocks.

A little snow art as we get ready to head back.

Wait for it…..buffalo jam on the way home.

This group had some big boys.

Out on another otter hunt

Beginning to think we will find Bigfoot or a Yeti before we find an otter.

The movement of the ducks in the water get our hopes up, but alas no otter.

Big horn sheep scoping things out.

What the sheep saw.

My failed attempt at an artist shot.

And you guessed it, no otter but we found a buffalo jam.

Off to Denver for a week.

Had a week in Denver meeting the corporate team. Off to a great start with a two hour delay before getting on the plan and then another hour delay before lift off.

Checked into the hotel. It had theme floors. I was on the game floor. Elevator lobby on my floor was decorated like PacMan. Room had some odd things, but was good.

Had a dinner get together the first night.

Been a while since I had a tie on.

All day meetings and dinner socials on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday in the corporate office meeting with people all day.

These were used as access to the build courtyard. Both sides were still outside.

Morning meetings on Friday and then flying back out.

Janet and I had a BIG night out in Bozeman at the all you can eat soup and salad bar. Tried to get my hair cut, but was either told no or it would be a 2+ hour wait. Will have to try again later.

Great being back with Janet and headed back to Gardiner. Being in the big city made me miss being in a big IT shop. Ready to get back to the other pluses of the job like the great beauty of Yellowstone.

On the hunt for the elusive otter

Sad to say we didn’t find the otters.

Janet found an opening that most likely went to the center of the earth. Really crazy to think that molten lava is just two miles under your feet.

Note the no indecent exposure rule. Bet this was party land central in the 60’s and 70’s.

The water flowing into the river was HOT. I jerked my hand back from touching it. Where the hot mixed with the cold people were getting into the water.

The steam was freezing and making some cool looking ice sculptures.

Hard to see in the picture but this opening had a little whirlpool in it. We watched stuff disappear into it. This view also helps with how dangerous things can be. What looks like normal ground could be frozen water with a snow covering. Falling into thinning ice kills more bison than anything else in the park.