Saturday, September 22, 2007

Yellowstone, again.

I spent last week in Yellowstone Park and the surrounding area, hiking and car camping. I'm having trouble writing about it because I didn't have any interesting encounters with animals and mainly stayed on trails I've been on before. I greatly enjoyed myself and had good weather but I'm not inspired with topics for blogging. I usually go to YNP both in early June and during September. Both times have advantages and potential disadvantages, I suppose discussing them is a good topic.

The main advantage of June is the relative ease of seeing interesting animals. While some may be more apparent in September, I nearly always see more in June. I also see young animals, I've been lucky enough to watch young deer, elk, and pronghorn nurse and cavort. I've heard wolves at the dens and seen coyote pups and young bear cubs of both species (from a distance). I've watched pronghorns chase both coyotes and wolves away from young. I also like the green.

The main advantages of September are generally better, at least drier, weather and the absence of mosquitoes. In June, if the weather is nice, there are mosquitoes as well as ticks. Also, more trails are open since in June some management areas are off limits to hiking and also may be blocked by snow or creeks or rivers too deep to cross. I also enjoy hearing elk bugling and fighting and seeing the aspen turn color. A downside may be fires and smoke.

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