Wildlife in Yellowstone

We went back to Yellowstone and went to a little habitat where they keep bears and wolves in captivity, and do fun captivity-things like put a slab of meat in ice and watch the bears wrestle over it for hours until they break through. That is good times for everyone.

The wolves were actually pretty cool to watch because they all started howling at the same time on one side of the wolf pen. Over on the other side, about 100 feet away, a lone wolf started howling also. I think they were doing their best to simulate calling one another in the wild, but it was weird since they were only 100 feet away.

Wrestling Grizzlies

Oh, and here is a bear skeleton. I thin it looks very strange, and it reminds me of the posture of some of my old friends from the fraternity.

Bad Snowmobile Video

Okay this is one of those sporting videos that is ONLY interesting to the people that were immediately involved… I don’t even know why I am posting it – perhaps because I am just really into Google Video and how easy uploading and blogging your own videos can be.

There is something nice about the video, however, that shows more what snowmobiling is like than the my earlier blog entry.

Museum of the Rockies

Montana happens to be one of the world’s hotspots for dinosaur digs. Here in Bozeman is the Museum of the Rockies, where the famous paleontologist Jack Horner serves as curator. The museum has some very nice and unique dinosaur stuff that I had never seen or heard of before.

Museum of the Rockies

Below is an actual T-rex skeleton that was partially uncovered then transported here to the museum.

TRex Skeleton

I remember when I was young – dinosaurs were so simple. There were only like five kinds of dinosaurs TOTAL. There was the T-Rex, the Brontosaurus, the Triceratops, the Stegosaurus, and the Pteridactal. Now when I watch any kind of dinosaur show or look at a dinosaur book, my mind has to say, okay well I guess that one is kinda like a Brontosaurus, even though it has a new name with 87 syllables.

Take for example this Torosaurus below. It’s a lot like the Triceratops, but different because some crazy scientist wanted to confuse people in their 30’s that think there are only five kinds of dinosaurs.


Airport Run

I left early in the morning from Big Sky to go drop off the guys and pick up the family. It wasn’t exactly that clean, and it actually required about four trips to the airport, but on one of those trips, we ran into Gustaf eating three pounds of airport steak before boarding a flight to Korea. Here we are hanging out with Ethan, who is somewhat afraid of Gustaf’s mane.

Ethan and Gustaf
Airport Lunch

Brokeback Montana

We knew this would eventuate, but we just were not sure of the exact circumstances.

Will’s snowmobile “broke down” on “accident”, as you can see in the picture below where he got three passerby mechanics to take a look at his engine. Oh, too bad, it is broken, I guess Will has to ride brokeback with Gustaf on his snowmobile, over bumpy bumpy roads and oh so cold.

Broken Bike
Brokeback Snowmobiling

Snow Head

I think this happened during a “mild” snowmobile crash.

Stuck Snowmobile

Here is a shot of my snowmobile. It is actually fairly sophisticated with a hand warmer on each handle and a thumb warmer for the throttle. The heater got SO hot that I had to turn it off.

The Snowmobile

Stuck Deep

So I decided to take a bad idea and make it worse. I followed Gustaf into a forested area, but I did not have the same kind of snowmobile he did. I had a *bit* of trouble turning around and I got my snowmobile stuck deep DEEP in a drift. The snowmobile was stuck almost completely vertical and kind of listing to the side.

Will turned around and saw I was in a pickle so he jumped off his snowmobile and came over to help. He had to walk through waist-deep snow just to get close. After getting close to me, he fell backward and took a few minutes to wrestle himself out.

Stuck Snowmobile

Will and I went through a ton of ideas to get it out. The BEST idea we came up with was to take off my scarf and tie it to Will’s snowmobile, so you can judge the relative quality of the other 9 ideas.

We revved it hard, and that sweet move succeeded in the snowmobile sinking another foot into the snow, melting the snow all around the treads, then immediately re-freezing the melted snow into hard compacted ice, permanently encasing the snowmobile like a trapped Superman villian.

Then we figured the only way to get it out was to dig it out. This event took one hour of exhausting work. We had no shovel, just four hands. About 45 minutes into it, we saw vultures circling (seriously). Here is a shot of Will under my snowmobile digging hard.

Stuck Snowmobile

After that, with a shove and a gentle rev, we got it out. Here is a picture of Will standing INSIDE the whole we dug, and then a happy shot of me, glad we did not have to call a chopper.

Stuck Snowmobile
Stuck Snowmobile

Yellowstone Scenery

Here are a few nice pictures I snapped throughout the day snowmobiling in Yellowstone. Isn’t that first one a quaint little house with a water wheel? It’s worth a zoom.

Water Wheel
Scenery Yellowstone

We did not see much wildlife because our loud motors scared them away, but here is an elk head which we can only assume is connected to an elk body.


Yellowstone Snowmobile Adventure

We set off from Montana early this morning for a day of snowmobiling in Yellowstone. Yellowstone is only about an hour from Big Sky here, so it was a short little drive, filled with the usual discussions of parallel universes and space travel (not kidding… that is all this group talks about when we get together). The whole experience was totally awesome and, for some reason, it way more fun than my last time on a snowmobile about five years ago.

The four of us arrived at Yellowstone adventures and grabbed some snowmobiles and checked out the route. We planned on going about 40 miles into Idaho deep into Yellowstone. I had been to Yellowstone once before in the summer, but this was my first experience in the winter, so I was excited to see it.

We planned on visiting a little house for lunch that is owned by two older ladies that supposedly prepared a nice lunch. Their house was only accessible by snowmobile, so we thought that would be a nice stopping point half way through the trip. Little did we know the obstacles in the way… I will make other blog posts later about the various elements of the trip… it would be too long to cram it into one… speaking of that, I have Gustaf and Will in a Brokeback Montana picture coming up.

Before Snowmobiling

The Route

Here are pictures of the three of us in action. Gustaf has on the red helmet (that’s just one reason we call him Red Helmet), I am in the black helmet (no one ever calls me that), and then in the silver Evil-Kineval-Jumping-Ceasars-Fountains helmet is Will.

Gustaf in Action
Trey in Yellowstone
BJ Snowmobile

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