We’ve been in Bozeman for about a week and have been taking it easy. We had a couple reasons for that:

  1. We tend to do a lot in the first few days and kind of overdo it.
  2. I caught a cold! It sucks…but I was congested, picked up a cough, and was running a fever.

We planned on heading into Yellowstone on the Sunday, one week after we arrived in the area. The North Entrance to Yellowstone is just South of Gardiner, MT. That entrance is about 90 minutes from Bozeman via Livingstone through Paradise Valley. It is a nice drive with wide, smooth roads and amazing views.

What’s that? (on the Interstate)

A minute after we merged onto Interstate 90 East, we saw something on the road moving, like a bag blowing or random debris. We couldn’t make it out exactly since it was about a mile away and closing in at 75 mph. It was moving across with some purpose. I was slowing moving over to avoid hitting whatever it was…which we still couldn’t quite tell.

It was a duck with its four or five duckings in tow. They made it across before the few other cars behind me passed them.

The Itinerary

The plan was to head into the park and head over to Lamar Valley as quickly as possible to see wildlife in the morning. It takes about 90 minutes to get to the north entrance of the park from where we are in Bozeman…

We bought a picnic lunch to have somewhere along the way, and dogs are allowed in picnic areas. So, we’d have a good chance to walk Brodie around.

We would check out Mammoth Hot Springs on the way out.



Here is Elizabeth looking for bears at a pullout on the northside of the park.


We saw a black bear and its cub within about 15 minutes of entering the park! The cub was in the tree to the left… When we left the park about 3-4 hours later there were still cars pulled off trying to see the bear (it had left already) and there was a ranger there telling people to not block the roadway.


Lamar Valley


Here is Lamar Valley.



Bison with a calf. There were a lot of babies out there.


Many of the bison were right along the side of the road or they were crossing. Brodie actually growled at them when we passed some that were really close to the car.


A dozen or so decided to cross the road and then the river.


They were pretty slow about it but I guess you need to be careful when you cross the road and river.


Check this out in the timelapse video – It’s really cool!


There is a Magpie photo bombing here.

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Brodie doesn’t know quite what to think. He has been reading the recent stories about people being gored by the bison in the park so he knows NOT to pose with them for pictures.


Wild flowers are everywhere!


We found a nice picnic area at Pebble Creek, just a little past Soda Butte.


A couple other people stopped while we were eating but otherwise it was pretty quiet & secluded.





The traffic stopped but we didn’t see any bison or pronghorn or anything. Next thing we know there are three coyotes playing and running around like crazy.

They are FAST. They bolted across the street and disappeared.

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Mammoth Hot Springs

We were starting to lose steam by the time we got to Mammoth. It was hot in the direct sun and there is NO shade around the boardwalks in the Mammoth area.


The orange really stands out!


Don’t do this. The kid may look like he’s having fun, but he’s not! He hates hot springs now.


I forgot my hat and it was so bright and sunny…so I wore Elizabeth’s rain coat. Look just under the cloud in the center and you can see Brodie and me waiting for Elizabeth at the edge of the parking lot…

We also couldn’t bring Brodie to the boardwalks so we took turns walking around. It was amazingly bright – both the sun and the ultra white hot spring features.
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By the time we walked around, we were both feeling sick…I was coughing a LOT and Elizabeth had a fever setting in. We were ready to get back to Bozeman to rest.

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