No morning walk today – another camp breakfast before setting out for a tour of the falls and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
We start up one path only to encounter a cinnamon black bear just a few yards away. Aware that we are far closer than we should be to a bear, we stay quiet and move slowly. Others are not so respectful of the bear’s space and move closer for a better snapshot. Parents let their young children rush forward, but I hold my own son’s hand and keep him by my side. If the bear feels intimidated, I do not want my son too close. The crowd finally disperses when a Ranger arrives and tells everyone to head back
down the trail.
We set out on Uncle Tom’s Trail, a steep, winding path which culminates into 385 stairs to the base of the Upper Falls. I stop about halfway an
d bid the rest of my clan adieu. While I have hiked the entire way down before, my fear of heights makes the steep stairs a mis
erable experience. The youngest gets tuckered on the hike back up, but we take our time and make it back in one piece. No sense in hurrying so fast that we miss the beautiful scenery we came to see!
Before supper, we drive up north for a couple of hours to see if we can sight a bear. We pass Mount Washburn and set up our camp chairs alongside the road in a pull-out overlooking the long, hilly Antelope Valley along the Dunraven Pass where we’ve seen bear before. After scanning the hills for a few minutes, I see something move but then lose it. My husband discove
rs that it is a moose resting in a small grassy area. We attract a crowd which eventually boxes us in.
We spend another sunset in Hayden Valley and are not disappointed. A silver-backed grizzly meanders along the hillside across the river – too far away to be photographed but close enough for an hour of wildlife watching. We stop several times on our way back to the cabin to avoid bison walking in the road. The great lumbering beasts truly have the right-of-way wherever they go.