Parade Rest Guest Ranch…

Every year the workampers at Yellowstone Holiday Resort are invited to Parade Rest Guest Ranch for the experience of a real Montana dude ranch!  Parade Rest is rich in history and a beautifully maintained ranch situated by the Grayling Creek.  It was part of the 200 mile long Bannock Indian Trail used by the Bannock Indians to go from Idaho to the abundant buffalo hunting grounds beyond Yellowstone Park.  For more information click Parade Rest Ranch.

The evening included a horse back or wagon trail ride led by experienced wranglers through the pines to a pavilion with a beautiful view of Hebgen Lake.  A delicious cowboy cookout was prepared for us with all the trimmings, corn on the cob, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, watermelon, salad, carrot cake and the best steak in town!  Live Country Music was provided throughout the evening, nothing better than the outdoors, friends, good food and John Denvers Country Roads!

Big Sky…

Our closest Walmart and Costco are two hours away in Bozeman, MT.  We try to plan on doing our big shopping in this cute town about every three to four weeks.  About half way on our trip to Bozeman is a lovely town called Big Sky.  This weekend we decided to do some exploring in this beautiful area.  First stop was Ousel Falls Trail.  It was an easy hike on a well maintained trail to an absolutely gorgeous waterfall called Ousel Falls.  At one point, as we got closer to the falls there was a bend in the trail where you could feel the mist, smell the scent of pine and hear the roar of the water but the falls was not visible.  It was exhilarating to your senses! Here is a picture of this beautiful area which was followed by lunch at a great little cafe “Hungry Moose Market & Deli”.

Western Wooded P

 

Our second stop was The Soldiers Chapel.  The interdenominational chapel was built by Nelson Story III and his wife Velma in 1955.  It was built to commemorate his son who was killed in action in the South Pacific in 1944.  His son was a member of Montana’s 163rd Infantry.  The chapel serves as a memorial to his son and the 81 soldiers of the Montana Regiment who died in World War II as well the soldiers of the 163rd Infantry.

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Upon entering, you are in awe of the view of the picture window with the cross.  The Lone Mountain at 11,000 feet and the beautiful big sky!

The stain glass window at the back of the church depicts a wounded soldier, in a lush tropical setting, reaching upward to the hand of God.

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A beautiful chapel to preserve the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

 

Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center

The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center is located in West Yellowstone, MT.  The Center has many interactive exhibits which are great for both adults and children.  It has over 25 taxidermy mounts.  Lots of information on both grizzly and black bear habitat, bear protection, folklore and much more.

The Naturalist Cabin is located between the two wolf packs.  Floor to ceiling windows allow you to get up close and personal with the wolves and it’s great for picture taking!  They also have a raptor exhibit and it looked like they might be expanding by adding some new exhibits like the otters!

Earthquake Lake…

Yellowstone Holiday Resort is located along Highway 287 which is known as the Earthquake Lake Geologic Area.  Approximately 17 miles from YHR is the Earthquake Lake Visitors Center.  An informative movie in the Visitor Center explains the night of August 17, 1959, when a severe earthquake that measured 7.5 on the Richter scale  with the epicenter in the middle of Hebgen Lake.  It triggered a massive landslide sending 80 million tons of rock crashing into the canyon blocking the Madison River which formed Quake Lake.   Hebgen Lake is known as “The Lake that Tilted.”  The north side of the lake dropped 19’ submerging cabins along the shoreline.  Three sections of Highway 287 fell into the lake.  As a result 28 lives were lost.

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Massive Land Slide
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Madison River
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Massive Land Slide
Quake Lake Spillway (4)
Landslide blocked the Madison River to create Quake Lake
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Quake Lake

All along Highway 287 are various stopping points of information regarding that frightful night.  Refuge Point was a high area which was a haven for many survivors that night and the set up for first aid and helicopter evacuation.  The Ghost Village has the remains of many cabins that floated when the lake tilted that night.

We recommend a visit to this area of history.  Additional information at Earthquake Lake Visitor Center

Babies, Birds and Blooms…

May has been a wonderful month in Yellowstone National Park and surrounding areas.  The earth is bursting with wonderful colors in birds, blooms and so much more! Spring ushers in the warmer weather giving us glimpses of babies and their mamas basking in the sun.  Enjoy these amazing colors and sweet caresses between babies and their mamas in this beautiful creation.

We have had the pleasure of viewing for hours many mamas and their babies.  It was the first time for us to see a badger in the wild.  Interesting facts about badgers:

  1. Notoriously fierce
  2. Live underground in a den also known as a set or sett
  3. Claws as strong as steel, able to move lots of dirt in a short time and can dig backwards with fangs forward when pursued by predator
  4. Have a third eyelid to protect from flying soil
  5. Badger babies are cubs

Another first were pictures of a female wolf belonging to the Junction Butte Pack nursing her pups over the den.  We saw four pups (little black splotches)  but were told two females had combined their den and were nursing a total of eight pups.  The female was light gray and the one male (not in pic) was dark gray.  The pictures were not the greatest quality as they were more than 800 yards away.

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As always bear cubs and mamas always put on a delightful show!  The cubs are so full of energy and mischief!  Black bear and cub!

Grizzly bear and cubs!

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Our final first for the weekend was spotting a pair of Golden Eagles.  Mama was sitting on the nest with no babies in sight as of yet, stay tuned!

And of course ending with the most babies of all baby bison “Red Dogs”!

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We added several birds to our life list, but two of the prettiest were the Yellow Warbler and Lazuli Bunting.

The meadows and woods are just beautiful in the spring filled with wildflowers.  Many of these colorful flowers are important food in the spring for grizzly bears, mule deer, antelope and elk.

The lush green and clear blue sky of Lamar Valley is spectacular in the spring.  The tiny brown specks all over the second picture are bison!

The many colors of our world!

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Yellowstone National Park

A few of our favorites from our first day in Yellowstone!

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”…Henry David Thoreau

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King of the Road
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Coyote’s next meal?
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Gibbons Falls
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Elk
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Trumpeter Swans
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Lamar Valley
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Pronghorn

 

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Red Dog
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Mammoth Hot Springs
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What happens when you get to close to the thermals!
Yellowstone Falls
Artist Point