Monday, October 17, 2005

Continue to put the rap down, put the mack down... and if you bitches talk shit, I'll have to put the smack down.

Just a couple quick hits before I run:

My Bozeman bud, Nessie, let me know that it was yet another day of hard crime on the mean streets of Bozeman.

Here is some more gangsta activity from today’s police reports:

A man called dispatch and told operators that if deputies wanted him, they could come and get him. The man later admitted that he only wanted a ride home. Operators advised him that they were not a taxi service.

NYC, you think you're hard?

South Central?

You better step up, because we keep it real here in B-town.


I got an email from Asthon, who commented on my photographic skillz by asking if I was sure that I didn't see a prairie dog instead of a mountain lion. Very funny, Ashton. When you come here, I'm gonna have the cops bring you home. (Actually it was pretty funny.) My camera only has 3x zoom, and I was close enough, thank you.


The hit counter on the bottom provides information on the search engine keywords people use to find this place. From today's log:

-Voices inside my head.

-Really stinky feet.


Nice. Just the kind of readers I am looking for. Stick around, we'll get along just fine.

Peace out.

Come correct, and check yo ass, before a B-town OG is gonna have to wreck yo ass.

I'll see you again when the stars fall from the sky and the moon has turned red over one tree hill
We'll run like a river, like a river to the sea.

(Warning, there are a ton of pictures in this post. If you don't like that, go somewhere else... or get broadband.)

Yesterday, we went through the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park. Surprisingly, this was the first time we had gone to the park together. (I visited the park in July, when my dad was here.) There are so many places to explore around here...

The north entrance to Yellowstone is about a 90 minute drive from our house. The bulk of that time is spent driving South through the Yellowstone River valley, also known as Paradise Valley. It is a wide, U-shaped valley, framed by gorgeous mountains.

We entered the park at Gardiner, and drove south to Mammoth Hot Springs, which is one of the famous geothermal spots in the park. Mammoth Hot Springs has a little Park Service "town." There were about 60 elk in town. It is mating season, you see, and we were treated to a lot of "action." No, not that kind of action, you pervy bastards. The cows were bugling like crazy, which is an eerie high-pitched wail. This bugling gave rise to some typically male displays by the bulls.

Here is a bull and his little harem.

Nice rack...

These two guys started going at it, locking horns and pushing each other around. The noise was tremendous. The horns were clacking, and they were huffing and bugling, all whilst the cows were egging them on.

Then the chicks would distract them with a round of bugling...

Then they would go back at it...

This is the Yellowstone River...

We cruised east, through the famed Lamar Valley. The Lamar Valley, in the Northeast section of the park, is known as the "Serengeti of North America," because of the variety of wildlife there. Grizzlies, black bear, coyote, wolves, elk, bison, antelope, and deer all roam this valley.

The Lamar Valley:

The Lamar Valley is also the site of the famous wolf reintroduction project; in 1995, they released Canadian wolves in the Lamar Valley. Wolves had been extinct in the lower 48. The project was a huge success, as the wolves were fruitful and multiplied. There are now wolves in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Minnesota, the upper peninsula of Michigan and Northern Wisconsin. (There was another re-release in Minnesota...)

There are three packs that still roam the Lamar Valley, in the vicinity of Druid Peak. In fact, one of the packs is known as "The Druid Peak Pack," a name that my friend T-Rex and I thought was pretty damn cool.

India and I had hoped to see some wolves yesterday, but the elusive animals were elsewhere. I feel lucky to have seen one already, in the Gallatin River Valley about two months ago. We resolved to come back in a while, but much earlier in the morning. Dawn is a prime wolf-spotting time in the Lamar.

We did see some bison, up close and personal...

This Bad Boy was freaking huge:

Seriously, he was easily 2000 pounds. I bet the wolves do not F with him.

We continued out of the Northeast entrance to the park and headed to our destination, the scenic Beartooth Highway. We were going to hike the headwaters of the Clark Fork of the Yellowstone River.

The Beartooth Highway is gorgeous, and reminds me of Glacier National Park.

The hike was beautiful. We could see Granite Peak, the highest point in Montana. It is in the background of these two photos:

The hike:

The headwaters:

Wayne Cambpell, of Wayne's World, would describe it thusly: "Such a pretty pain cave. A pretty, pretty pain cave."

When we were done, we drove back through the Lamar, back through Mammoth (where the elk were still at it), and exited the park at Gardiner. We were discussing the fact that we had not seen a wolf, and that India has yet to see a grizzly; we plotted our return.

We saw a couple bighorn sheep on the way out of the park, but I did not take pictures.

We were chatting away, and India said, "Hmmm. I should be looking for mountain lions." Mountain lions are very stealthy and are rarely seen. They shun human contact, and they know you are coming loooong before you get there. I know people who have spent years roaming the wilderness and have not seen one.

Well, wouldn't you know it, five minutes after India made that statement, she said, "Stop. Turn around. I think I just saw a mountain lion."

We were in Paradise Valley, which is populated. I thought it was unlikely.
"No shit?"

"No shit."

Nonetheless, I turned the car around. And wouldn't you know it? There on the hillside, between two houses, was a mountain lion. He saw us, and started slinking along the hillside, hiding behind bushes. He (or she) was full grown, probably 90 pounds, with a long, five foot tail. Amazing. I got out of the car, but didn't want to get too close. Even I have limits.

She is in the middle left of this photo:

Middle of this photo, hiding behind a bush:

Staring right at me in the middle of this photo:

Can't see her? Here is a blow up:

Sorry there aren't better pictures, but I really want to keep my intestines inside my body. It was pretty awesome.

Here is a much better photo of a moutain lion, taken by professional photographer, Branson Reynolds:

That mountain lion is lucky she didn't have to tangle with this dude:

Lucky, I tell you. Trouble with a capital "T."

What a great day. Almost as good as sitting on the couch, watching football.