Looking for Wolves, Bears and Other Critters
The Hayden and Lamar Valleys are known for wolves, bears and Bison and Elk. I’d had enough of the bison for one day. The Lesser Falls is really right at the junction of the 2 huge valleys. Hayden Valley is to the south. I would be driving right through it to return to Jackson.
I stopped at several lookouts. The gentle rolling hills spread out below me but I didn’t see anything. Maybe it was too early in the afternoon or maybe the animals were back in the trees. Whatever was going on I was just there at the wrong time.
Entering Grand Teton National Park
The rest of the drive out of Yellowstone was uneventful. I didn’t take the time for any more stops. There’s always tomorrow. As I approached the entrance to Grand teton National Park I saw cars overflowing the parking area. There were crowds of people lining the road and 2 rangers. My first thought was an accident but as I drove past it became clear something was in the woods. My curiosity got the better if me and I turned around. Wonder of wonders I found a a place to park in the lot! Camera in hand I headed for the crowd.
When I joined the fringe of the crowd I quickly learned there was a grizzly bear in the woods. The rangers were trying to keep the crowd a safe distance from the bear. At first I couldn’t see what everyone was looking at but finally the bear moved into sight. At first he paid no attention to all the gawkers. He just scratched around in the leaf litter. Then he seemed to notice the crowd. The rangers were pushing frantically to get the crowd back while the bear headed right toward us. That was my cue to head for the car. After my bison experience I wasn’t going to press my luck.
Overheard in the Crowd
One onlooker near me observed that he was going to stick it out when the bear started toward us. He said he didn’t have to be able to run fast. Just faster than the slowest person there. Well, I figured I was the slowest in that crowd so retreat was the best option for me.