Waiting for hiking season to get here, waiting for the employee recreation program to start up again (not til mid-May when the hotel reopens), and mostly waiting for a cold to leave my body breathing freely again. I took a short walk Saturday morning which I had hoped would be longer.
I wanted to take some photos of a long view snowy landscape I'd seen on an earlier camera-free stroll. But as I crested a rise for the downward slope to where I wanted to be, a bison came into view on the trail ahead. They have a way of materializing unexpectedly.
So I headed back to see if the stairways on the terraces were snow free so I could take some photos of spots I hadn't seen in a few months, but found I was too congested to tackle the clear stairs I found. So, just another shot from the Palette Spring area at the bottom.
My head is feeling clearer than it has since I arrived so I should be in better shape for hiking by next weekend. I'm anxious to see what's changed on the terraces and to enjoy again the wide open view from atop the hill behind the dorm. I'll have plenty of free days to visit the local spots before the opportunities to get farther afield occur.
One of the very cool things of being on this side of the dorm is that I can now hear the Great Horned Owls across the street, both this morning and right now. I hope I'll still hear the Coyotes I heard from the other side last year.
Saturday afternoon I was sitting at the computer after giving up on my walk when I noticed the wind had suddenly picked up. Shortly after was when I noticed that the room's sliding window wasn't actually held in place at the top and the wind was blowing the window into the room--I think I have that back on track now. Following the wind came a blizzard of snow which lasted about five minutes, ended, and repeated for another five minutes an hour later.
I had a chance to speak with a Ranger this week and ask the questions left over from last year--the trailside burrows I wondered about are from Badgers (haven't seen them yet), and I got a rough idea of where the nearby Wolf den from a couple years ago was located. I'll be trying to find remnants of that as the year advances, but knowing where it was certainly explains all the bones I found in that direction last year.
Tonight I saw my year's first group of Mammoth Elk. I'll probably see them at least a hundred more times before I leave in October.
When I got here last year, I thought I probably couldn't climb Bunsen Peak because the trailhead is located five miles down the road and I didn't want to walk the road, climb, and walk back--too much time dodging traffic on a narrow road. Over the course of last season, I learned how to get there by the backdoor trail, so once the snow is gone and I've gotten my bear spray I'll be up top.
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