Letters to Duke #6 entry 2

Hello again,

Today is Mumma’s birthday! We kicked it off with another of Uncle J’s deliciola, Mexican breakfasts.

G1 and G3 slept in, G1 not having slept well at all, due to bear terror and overheating.

Sadly G2 woke with a bad altitude headache, due to not enough water and being near 8000ft above sea level. More water for everyone from here on out. And I mean more. Mum is forcing down their necks.

Sadly it’s a rainy old day, but we soldiered onto Mammoth Springs, stopping for quick side trips to waterfalls and Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon. Stunning!

Mammoth Springs is amazing! Crazy, prehistoric beautiful! Surrounded by bulk Elk!

There are boardwalks everywhere and the family have become stair masters, a la donkey on Shrek.

Leaving Mammoth, we head for Lamar Valley, wolf capital of Yellowstone.

There are Bison, Mule dear, and pronghorn antelope on the way and we are rewarded for all the great things we’ve done in life by spotting a Black Bear!

Can you believe it!!! I had to stay in the car as it was pretty dangerous, but the family all got out and looked close! Lucky buggers.

We got a hot tip from a ranger on two carcasses not far from us that wolves and bear had been feeding on, so off we went deeper into Lamar.

Now I know I use the terms “tons” and “squillions” rather loosely, but there were literally THOUSANDS of Bison roaming the plains. Thousands. It was stunningly beautiful.

Sadly the particular carcass we were watching, was another bison. A Bison that had been brought down the night before. AWESOME! But also sad. As the rest of his/her herd were trying to rouse it.

Anyway, we sat/stood for a few hours waiting to catch a glimpse of wolves/bears/coyotes.

The view was amazing. And after sundown, the light went crazy and cast a fantastic golden glow over the valley. A birthday glow.

Aunty R loves fall!

No wolves/bears/coyotes. The sun dropped as did the temperature and we headed back to camp.

Spotted elk and a coyote right up close on our way back to camp and managed to catch tea at the same lodge as the night before, purely by the skin of our teeth.

Aunty R surprised Mum with a beautiful birthday cake in the closing lobby. She was very happy.

Headed back to camp to find there had been a major deluge, and hail storm in our absence. That’s how big the park is. There was chaos in one part, while it was sunny and warm in another. It really is massive.

Mum, Dad, and Aunty R woke in the night to the Elk Bugling and were rewarded to a very eerie chorus of wolf howls. Magic! Lucky I was locked in the car.

A magic birthday for Mumma!
Love you.
Stan xxxx

P.S Please check my Facebook page for pics, remoteness is affecting my uploading of pics!!!

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