I've never been there before, and today is just going to be a drive day for the most part and I'm completely okay with that since I should be resting my feet anyway. It's about an hour in a half from Bozeman to Mammoth Hot Springs where we started off our day.
It wasn't too bad in the park as far as people go since it's the 3rd and we are going through the Lamar Valley which isn't as well traveled as other parts of the park. We stopped at Mammoth Hot Springs and had a look around. Just watching how close the people got to the elk that were grazing in the area was good enough entertainment for me... As if these animals are strictly for our picture-taking-pleasure.
We left the busy springs behind and made our way into the Lamar Valley, with beautiful creeks and pink and yellow wildflowers dotting the meadows. Right-off-the-bat we saw some antelope grazing pretty close to the road and soon after that, my first ever buffalo! and then another, and another and another. At one point we stopped at a pull off to see what everyone was standing around looking at, and sleeping under some trees a few 100 yards away was a black bear. Monica and I watched as some lower level of intelligence, variety of human begin climbed down the hill and towards the animal so he could get a better shot, not evening flinching when the bear popped his head to see what the crazy human was doing coming so close. That's when we decided it would probably be a good time to leave.
We got back in the car and tried to get out of the mass of vehicles that had surrounded us. One car ahead of us was a vehicle half way off the road, just enough so that no cars bigger than my Hyundai Accent could pass and the van in front of us didn't even make an attempt to move over what-so-ever. After about 10 mins of waiting, and realizing how many cars were backing up behind, and in front of us, I got out of the car and went up to the van and asked them to pull over or just go, to which the driver replied she wasn't moving anywhere until the car in front of her moved first. Soooooooo I walked up to the car holding all of us up.... and guess what I found?!?!? Two kids making-out!!!! Yeah, making-out... I knocked on the car door twice and nearly scared them half-to-death, and processed to tell them them are holding up the entire east bound side of the road, and they need to move, NOW. They made a couple of "uh huh" noises and quickly drove off.
I went back to the Jeep and told Monica what I found and what I did and she laughed for a good long while, I told her that anyone who knows me well enough, what not be the least bit surprised by my actions. :)
Off we were again, and we drove for a good long while, enjoying the scenery. We got stopped again, this time by a buffalo that was taking a very leisurely walk down the middle of the road. Sometimes it would move to the right and let west bound traffic flow, and sometimes it would move to the left and let east bound traffic flow. Got a good picture and a good laugh at that one. We stopped first at Tower Lodge and ate our lunch and bought vanilla ice cream bars, and our second stop was in Cook City where we got a beer and relaxed for a while and had a little walk around the town before heading back the way we came.
On the way back we got stopped again by some buffalo, but this time they had some super adorable babies with them! That traffic jam took a while to get through, but was completely worth it because the babies were so close to the road, and just too cute. We got home around 6 that night, so it was quite a long day. We watched a little TV and had leftovers for dinner, and went to bed.