Yellowstone: Blacktail Plateau Drive

Welcome to Disneyland people! This site was another first for me and I certainly hope it’s not my last. Honestly, as soon as we parked our car and started hiking, we had elk bounding across our path and birds were perched on our shoulders singing Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah. I felt like I was in a cartoon. We followed a great horned owl flying from tree to tree along with its tubby two fledglings. This blew me away because I’ve never encountered anRead more

Yellowstone: Blacktail Plateau

Week two consisted of surveying Blacktail Plateau, Fern Cascade and Gull Point. There were spotted frogs, chorus frogs and lots of salamanders seen and enjoyed. Severe storms just missed us on several occasions until our luck ran out yesterday when we had to postpone our surveys due to rain. I think that worked out for the best though because the place we were headed has at least ten grizzlies hanging around and the rangers were concerned. This coming week we’llRead more

Yellowstone: Nez Perce off the Mary Mountain Trail

If you don’t remember the disaster that is Nez Perce, just note that it was by far the worst site of last year that nearly crippled both Andrew and I. It’s a 7.5 mile hike each way on flat terrain (a few miles are sandy so imagine hiking in sand all geared up) and two to three miles between the wetlands. So in total it’s about 18 miles. Not to shabby. Plus, there’s usually unpredictable weather, stream crossings and wild predatorsRead more

Yellowstone: July 19th, 2013

Today I bid my beloved Yellowstone adieu and drive 7.5 hours (it’s actually 10 for me since I drive slower than molasses in January) to see my friend in Fort Collins, Colorado for a few days. After that, we drive back east together. Leaving here makes me feel ill. I don’t want to go. I’m so thankful I have something exciting to do after this or else I would sulk all the way back to New York. Yesterday I madeRead more

Yellowstone: July 18th, 2013

Deb, Andrew and I got an early start since we had no idea what this catchment had in store for us. All we knew of Gibbon Meadows is that Andy and his crew had to stop surveying when they hit a large, confusing wet meadow filled with beaver dams. Needless to say, we were concerned–me especially since I despise wet meadows with the fiercest of all hatreds. Not to mention that there was an entire page of handwritten directions onRead more

Yellowstone: July 15th, 2013

The hike into the Grebe Lake took one blazing hot hour. My stomach was already killing me from last nights pizza, not to mention the lack of sleep so I wasn’t as enthusiastic as I should have been. Don’t worry, I gave myself hell for my bad attitude the entire walk in. I haven’t forgotten how extremely lucky I am to be here, not for a second, and a bad day working in Yellowstone is equal to a good dayRead more

Yellowstone: July 1st, 2013

Today we tackled the Rock Point catchment. We assumed it would be a piece of cake since most of the wetlands were just off the side of the road and didn’t seem to take previous crews a long time to survey. Some said it was a half day of work, some said it was a short full day. So we figured it would take us–the dream team– a half day, easily. However, the only snag would be three naughty littleRead more

Yellowstone: June 25th, 2013

  The second day of the Tanager Lake catchment was not quite from hell but it sure wasn’t a good time either. It was filled with several nightmare worthy wet meadows, which are my absolute least favorite wetland to survey. I have perfected a technique to deal with wet meadows as swiftly as possible so you can get out of there fast and forget you ever had to contend with one. I like to call it the rowing method orRead more

Yellowstone: June 24th, 2013

  Thankfully, it was an easy hike in to Tanger Lake. It’s just outside of the south entrance to the Park and the trail begins just behind a horse corral at the South Entrance Park Ranger Station.  There’s no way we would have found the trail had I not remembered surveying this site in 2006–it’s way too random of a location for a trail head. First thing, Andrew and I tackled surveying Tanager Lake which was a complete nightmare. ItRead more

Yellowstone: June 19th, 2013

Welcome to my 16-hour day from both heaven and hell: Nez Perce starting from the west side of the Mary Mountain trail. Andrew and I woke up at 5 am to meet the GRYN crew at the trail head by 7 am. The dorm is almost in the center of Yellowstone, between Fishing Bridge and Lake, and it takes about 1.5 hours to drive to many of our field sites. It’s also about 2 hours from the nearest exit outRead more