I don’t know if there’s any way to predict where the buffalo might be roaming in Yellowstone, but this seems as good a place as any. North of LeHardy Rapids, the road climbs in elevation, and before you know it…
… there’s a wide valley below the road on the right side. Crowds of cars had pulled off, and tourists were looking and pointing. I knew something was out there.
Down below, a herd of bison was crossing a creek, one at a time, paying no mind to the crowd they were drawing on the hillside above.
Also going about his business: a coyote looking for lunch. He found it. I watched as he pounced on a bird, then carried it off.
Just when I thought the buffalo show was over, I started driving again. Before I had driven a quarter mile…
… another line of buffalo was crossing the road…
… and grazing on a small hill, right next to the road.
I took these pictures from the car window.
Finally the bison-induced traffic snarl eased up, and I thought that was the end of the buffalo show. Nope.
Another crowd of park visitors had gathered at a picnic area along the banks of the Yellowstone River. All their attention was focused on this guy, who was enjoying a swim.
Clearly, he was bored with the scene.
“Hey, I can’t exactly use a Kleenex!”
Eventually he emerged from the water, and the crowd wisely backed off, giving him some space.
Alas, the age old question, “Why did the bison get out of the river and cross the road?” was left unanswered. But, I think I did answer another question: the southeast side of the park, south of the canyon, is a pretty good place to spot some buffalo.
Note: This trip was first published in 2007.