It was May 2007, and the end of a long day in Yellowstone National Park. Dan and I were driving down the east side of the upper loop and making our way around Mount Washburn, when we noticed a traffic jam ahead. Too impatient for delays, I said out loud, “This had better be a bear.”
Yellowstone, known for its abundant wildlife, is the cause of many such jams. Tourists enjoy either stopping in the middle of the road or pulling off to the side if they even think they see something of interest. With plenty of bison, moose, coyotes, foxes, wolves, bears and other animals roaming the park, there is plenty of reason to stop. Once that first person stops, the rest follow, until cars are backed up for miles. Then everyone piles out of their vehicle for their one great photo opportunity.
In the three years (five years prior to this time) that I lived there, I had seen plenty of wildlife, but not once did I ever see a grizzly. If this was indeed a grizzly, it would be well worth the annoyance of a traffic jam.
Turns out, that is what it was!
This beautiful momma bear was in plain view, searching for grubs on the side of Mount Washburn. She gracefully ignored the throng of gathering people and the noisy click of cameras. Her two little ones skipped playfully behind her.
I would not want to meet up with these animals in the wild, so seeing them so clearly by the side of the road was well worth the delay in travel. In fact, what an amazing inconvenience it was!
(My apologies for the blurriness of some of the pictures.)
“For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work; I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.” Psalm 92:4-5