I paid for a trip down to Norris this week. I may be able to get there again and elsewhere for free before the season’s over, but I wanted to make sure I got out into the park this winter. As we pulled over for our first stop, I spotted a small dark rodent running in the snow. I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo, so I settled for a more cooperative mountain.
This bison, almost as immovable as the mountain, wasn’t going anywhere either.
Next stop, Roaring Mountain.
At North Twin Lake, we spotted four trumpeter swans.
And waiting for us in the parking lot–
It was great to get out of Mammoth and beyond the road closed signs, but I didn’t get as much time for hiking and photographing as I would have liked. I was able to break away from the mostly sedentary tourists to do a solo hike for most of my time there, but had to rush to get back at the required time and didn’t get to see everything.
It was amazing to me that although the snow on the paths closest to the parking lot were packed down, most of the ones I traveled showed evidence of only a few walkers and I had to put some effort into passing through the two feet of snow. Why go to all the trouble and expense of getting into the park in the winter and not take advantage of seeing all you possibly could?
I did spend some of my solitary time wondering how it would go if I ran into one of the bison which enjoy hanging around the warm thermal areas in the winter.
And much too soon, I had to leave for the return trip. On the way, we stopped to watch a distant coyote hunting for that rodent.
A few hours made me fall in love with the place all over again. If living conditions were better, I’d never leave.