Buffalo Bear Jam

September 17th, 2010

At one point during our Yellowstone vacation, we were driving to see the mud volcano, because the CD insisted that we must see the mud volcano even though the rest of us were tired and hungry and had long since arrived at the conclusion that one steaming hole in the earth looks pretty much like every other steaming hole in the earth.  So we are driving along the Eastern side of Yellowstone and suddenly we see this guy out on a point of land overlooking a river valley.  He is waving his arms around and pacing around and we are all like… what is it?  What is he looking at?

Then we saw the cars.

And the bison and the rangers and we somehow sensed that this particular car jam was special.  Yes, the bison are certainly interesting, but there are plenty of them in Yellowstone.  There must be something else happening here…

Do you see it?

Can you see what we were looking at?

Believe it or not, there is a grizzly bear mama with three cubs in this photo.

A ranger quickly set up a scope and my boys lined up behind a bunch of French kids to look through it.

Drew got a good look at her. He said that she looked really scraggly and matted. Not at all the perfectly combed critter he had imagined in his head.

By the time Ethan got to the scope, the bear had ducked behind a rise in the land, and he didn’t get to see her.

We waited for quite a while hoping she would reappear.

She eventually came back out.

She rollicked in the grass with her cubs.

You could see her in the far, far, far, far, FAR distance… a small black speck moving on the grass… with three other even smaller black specs tagging along behind her.

This is the spec magnified in one of my photos.

I know…

It could be a rock.

It could be a buffalo.

Heck!  It could be a buffalo turd at this distance!

But it was a grizzly bear.

You’re just going to have to trust me on this one.

At least the bison were close enough to clearly identify.

They even did a few tricks for us.

The mud volcano however, was just another steaming, smelly hole in the earth.
Once you’ve seen one of them… you’ve kind of seen them all.


  • Patricia:

    These pictures are great – I really enjoy looking at them…..thanks for sharing, and give us some more !!

  • LucyJoy:

    Love the pictures & the narration that goes with them. You’re a hoot! Did you see any wolves? I’d love to see a wolf in the wild.

    I agree, the bubbling, gurgling mud holes started to look the same and STINK! You forgot to mention that it smells like a cesspool! Blech! The only ones I found interesting were the ones that we’re colorful, but even they became boring after awhile.

    Yeah, lots of buffalo….Can you imagine the pioneers burning buffalo patties? Imagine that stench!

  • susan:

    Oy vey…..more French people. You are so funny Rechelle. That bison was blissful scratching his back.