Back at Madison for the evening. What a difference in the weather! My car thermometer reported 60 degrees at the campsite. It was nice not bundling up so much this time.
After making camp, I’ll go park at a turnout somewhere along Madison River to eat my sandwich. There was an unidentified K-9 wandering through and bison/elk in the area. Some red dogs starting to show up in this area as well.
The weather has been so nice this late in the season, I decided to camp the last weekend the south roads were open. I wanted to hike around Lamar Valley on Saturday, so I stayed at Mammoth instead of Lewis Lake, which was also open. Last time I stayed up here was in February. I made it to a site at around 8:30.
I arrived at Bridge Bay around 9pm Friday. It was already dark from cloud cover, so I went to the ranger presentation instead of heading out for a sunset shoot. Most campsites will have them nightly, and it’s usually an interpretive ranger talking about wolves, bison, park history, etc. Tonight it’s wolves and their history in the park – informative. I also got his opinion on some recent Jackson news I found interesting (and controversial).
My coworker scored a permit through the self-guided tour lottery system. We have had route sketches on the marker board in the office for several weeks hashing out possible routes and plans.
This group is pretty diverse and had different objectives on the trip. A few us are big into backcountry skiing, while others are biologists into animal tracking, photographers, etc. I think we did a pretty good job at planning activities around all our wants for the trip.
I should note that even in late May, having adequate snow tires was helpful. On the way up, I was caught in a thundersnow storm where several inches of frozen precip piled up on the road quite quickly.
I was super excited for this trip, first one with my 7D II and Tamron 150-600 :D. Since only commercial tours are allowed in the winter, I figured I’d go all out and do a photo workshop with an area photographer. It really was a great time going in with other people learning and enjoying photography.
On Feb 18, Yellowstone announced that they are going to start plowing between West Yellowstone and Old Faithful due to poor snow conditions. This changed our plans slightly, and actually for the better.