After two nice hours of late afternoon sunlight for my first visit to the Mammoth Hot Spring with my cameras, I made my way up the winding muddy road in search of a good spot to park and sleep for the night. Free camping is what I love most!
I had been sleeping out on the mountain opposite of the Hot Springs and National Park entrance and about three miles above Gardiner, Montana which sets in the middle of the two mountains for the past four days when this night I actually got a little wildlife action. As I turned a sharp corner in the pitch black night, I spotted a very large Bison just to the left of my car. This guy spotted me coming by and I swear I could tell that somehow I had pissed him off for surprising him and he gave a kick chase of my Ford Ranger. I dusted him off behind with mud gravel and a laugh, but that look on his face was almost comical if it wasn't so scary... seeing as now I knew who would be my neighbor throughout the long cold night on the lonely hill.
I even woke up once when something with a large hump walked by my truck window and I could have swore it was a grizzly bear. I am ready for the bears, as I have latched shut my camper window/door with a very sturdy bungee cord and locked it from the inside, plus,I have my long painter's pole right next to me and my plan is to smash any bears that try to breach my abode right square on the nose with that long metal pole end. Then it will either run away in pain or eat me, but at least I can go down with a fight.
The weather here is fresh with sun, wind and rain and the people seem very nice and talk about their flower beds, fishing, and why that bison would be so angry. Seems that the government folks that monitor them off and on the national park, have been giving these guys shot to check for dieases and so they are rather touchy when you get close to them, especially suddenly at night when most other humans have left the hillside to cozier places to sleep.
My posts will include photos early this weekend if the internet provider shows up tomorrow as planned at my apartment in Livingston and then I can lay around watching the world cup football action and think about that face on the angry buffalo from the safety of my bedroom.