Day 5: Woke up to a couple of inches of snow. Tried to drive to the Canyon area, but halfway there, got stuck in a huge traffic jam; walked a half-mile to find a truck and trailer jack-knifed across the road (their pride was the only thing hurt).
No hope of getting through for hours, so we drove back to Lamar Valley, where we encountered a bear jam of people stopping to watch a two-year old grizzly napping on a tree.
Then stuck in a bison jam, one of many. They do exactly as they please, when they please. It’s fun to hear them trotting alongside the truck, kind of like being in a Western movie.
Day 6: Cold and icy, so we stayed close to home and drove just inside the park for a nearby hike on the Lava Creek Trail (open territory, no bears). Antelope jam on the way home. Rutting season is in full swing, and they were oblivious to us as they leapt and chased each other in a field about 25 feet away. Nearby, a bull elk tried to close down the road leaving the park, claiming the territory as his own.
Day 7: Moved to West Yellowstone for several more days of exploration. Got trapped in a huge traffic jam; this was the same road we were stuck on trying to drive to Canyon a couple of days previous. This time, no possibility of turning around because we were towing the trailer.
Turned out to be a grizzly jam, created by an enormous grizzly just off the side of the road. It was the exact spot where we had stopped two days prior to walk around a little hot pool area. Which is exactly why you’re warned to always carry bear spray.
Day 8: Freezing cold, sleeting, raining, crazy winds. We went out anyway to explore the iconic Old Faithful Area and the Fountain Paint Pots along the way. No jams of any kind; the weather was too awful for much of anything or anyone to be out. Lots of geyser activity, and Old Faithful still doing its thing, every 90 minutes, after all these years. Old Faithful was kind of a snore (being predictable and on time is overrated) but witnessing the explosions of other geysers along the 4 miles of boardwalks was exciting.
Day 9: Woke up to find out that our government shut down the park. Time to move on.