Thursday, June 10, 2010

One Pissed off Buffalo: I could tell by the look on his face!

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.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Livingston, Montana and Mammoth Hot Springs Yellowstone National Park

Hey All,

After two days of driving, two crappy beds in hotels and plenty of rain, I am in Livingston Montana.
This is 52 miles from where I will be working but there is nothing in the way of shelter near the park as I am not set up with the NPS just yet and do not have access to the free dorms and breakfast lunch and dinners at Mammoth Hot Springs. I rented a second floor apartment across from the down library and have hard wood floors (squeeky) and access to a movie house, numerous bars and city life. My plan is to work and stay as much as possible in Mammoth sliding into the long weekends for my photography and hiking biking the park. I drove through the park and saw in just one location about 40 baby bison kicking and hopping around in the wet spots. People are very nice and simple here and if the job works out I can see me liking these two states; Wyoming where the park is and Montana where we will live.
I hope you all keep up with my blog as I plan on keeping that up with my latest photography and articles of my time here in the vast wilderness dealing with bears, bison and other such animals like bikers without helmets here in Montana.

Richard P. Belcher Jr