• PARTNER: PROTECT YOUR WATERS
  • Go To: THE FLIES OF YELLOWSTONE
  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FISHING WEATHER
  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FLY FISHING MAPS
  • Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Sunday, February 09, 2014

    Annual Visitation

    GOOD TO HAVE FRIENDS
    Observing The Other Half
    a day full of compromises
    HEADED INTO THE FIREHOLE RIVER CANYON
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    .. Yellowstone National Park is a fantastic place to visit. It's even more spectacular in winter. The sad thing is that the National Park Service limits visitation to the rich people of the world. It's not a place for leisurely enjoyment. It's a place for scripted tours in crowded vehicles. Or in groups of snowmobiles - pausing periodically to remove their helmets for a brief speech at a glorious location, (decided upon by the guide and the time available.)
    .. Each tour costs $100.00 or more each day, (seven or so hours, plus park admission fees,) for each person in the family. Imagine the costs for a family of four from Cedar Rapid Iowa that would like to see Old Faithful, the falls at Canyon, and Mammoth Hot Springs = each one is a separate tour - plus transportation, lodging and food!

    PERFECT TEMPERATURE
    .. There is a stench of "Scalp Collecting" among many of the entitled visitors. There is recitations of the various other parks visited. Retelling of how many in the last week. How many in the next week. Strokes and folks - so be it.
    .. The guides collect scalps too: "We saw a bobcat," "We saw 15 elk," "We saw some otters," "Giant erupted," etc. In this instance the seeing is the success. What would they do if they had to watch? Observe?
    .. The tours can be a wonderful first experience for those who need an introduction to the park. It's not for in-depth enjoyment. It's not for contemplating the scenery or surroundings. It's not for waiting for the sun or animals to properly position themselves for photography or optimal viewing. It's certainly not for following your own interests or wanderlust.
    .. We'd love to visit frequently in the winter. But at a hundred dollars per day, on a tour, it's just not feasible - or sensible - or a very attractive proposition. We are lucky enough to have some friends who guide the "swells" that  come to sample Yellowstone. On occasion they let us tag along. When we can; we do.
    TOOK A COUPLE OF FISH HERE LAST YEAR
    .. We like it when the temperatures become the topic of all-day conversations among the shivering visitors.
    .. We take a few snapshots, look at places too far to visit on the "tour," and wonder at the policies of the NPS.
    .. They seem to be held captive by the concessionaires making the $$$$ showing the elite a quick glimpse the park.
    .. By the way, there are fish rising on the Gibbon River, Madison River, and the Firehole River. There are places where spawning activity is still happening and visible. The snow pack is not far below normal and the continued mild winter has the critters looking fit and healthy - unless they are being eaten by other critters.
    .. We enjoy any opportunity to visit in the winter. We try hard not to be morose about the wasted opportunities to pause and reflect upon the place. We do our best to understand the compromises necessary to make money and not dally among the "lesser" wonders. We watch the rich folks at their "leisure" and listen to the various canned spiels delivered, with NPS tutelage,  by the guides leading their flocks through the approved attraction list.
    .. We do heartily recommend that any first time winter visitor take a tour: if they can afford it. Otherwise there are other destinations in the winter where your time is your own and your experience is not sacrificed to that scripted by commercial interests.
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    HEADED TO THE BARN - THE END OF A FRENETIC DAY