Friday, May 31, 2013


Been thinking a lot in my Bible studies of late about the Scriptures that indicate that God has hardened someone's heart. My question has always been – why and how does God harden someone's heart – or – does He really do that? Could it possibly be that God does not actually harden someone's heart but rather that we, through our own actions, allow our hearts to become  hardened. 

We have set back on our hands and allowed God to be banished from our schools. There was a time, not so long ago, when sporting events at schools started with a prayer – not so anymore. 

We have allowed  the Ten Commandments to be removed from public view in most all places.

We have become accepting of movies and TV shows that portray sex, drugs and violence as the normal everyday way of living. We have come to accept - and listen to - language that your grandmother would have washed your mouth out with lye soap if you had dared to use it in front of her.

We have allowed these things to harden our hearts. God has not hardened our hearts rather we have, by our acceptance of these things, hardened our own hearts.

Perhaps it is time we allowed God not only back in our schools, but back in our way of thinking, our way of talking and our way of acting.

Maybe grandma needs to get the lye soap out and start washing out mouths!!!!!


Yancy's Pleasant Valley Hotel

Been doing some research on Yellowstone National Park and have come across some interesting information about the lodging facilities in the park and how they came to be.

According to Wikipedia, one of the first lodging facilities in the Park was built by a gentleman named John Yancey. According to the information I have found, in 1882 the Park Superintendent, Patrick Conger, gave Mr. Yancey verbal permission to build a cabin in Pleasant Valley and to provide accommodations for travelers in the park. This location was chosen because of the stage route from Mammoth Hot Springs to Cook City. There were well-established mining camps in Cook City and the route through Pleasant Valley was the only way in and out of Cook City in the winter.

In April 1884 the Department of the Interior gave Yancy a lease on 10 acres in Pleasant Valley to build his hotel.  He constructed a five room hotel which he named Yancy's Pleasant Valley Hotel. Rooms were $2 a day or $10 a week with meals.

According to a report from a 1901 guest at the hotel, and I am paraphrasing the report, "the cracks in the walls were pasted up with strips of newspaper. The beds showed that they were changed at least twice, once in the spring and once in the fall of the year. The bedrooms were large enough for a single bedstead and a box on which there was a wash bowl, a pitcher and part of a crash towel."

It might have been primitive, but I'll bet you it was better than sleeping on the ground!


Trail riding in Yellowstone National Park

While you are vacationing in Yellowstone you might consider taking a horseback ride in the park. There are stables in Yellowstone at Mammoth Hot Springs, as well as Roosevelt Lodge and Canyon. You would book these trail rides through Xanterra Parks and Recreation.

There are also independent outfitters in the areas around the park. It all depends on which entrance of the park you are at. I know that there are several outfitters in the Gardiner area as well as West Yellowstone and Jackson.

Generally speaking, you can book a one hour or a two-hour trail ride if all you want to do is take a short ride into the park. Please, do not overestimate your own abilities. If you are not accustomed to riding you may find that an hour on horseback is more than adequate for you.

Many of the outfitters also offer backcountry adventures in the park and these can last for as long as a week. It all depends on what you want, how comfortable you are being on horseback, and how much you enjoy the camping out experience.

Most of the independent outfitters will have their own website and I would highly recommend that you check them out on the Internet and then give them a call and see if what they are offering suits what you want.


Mother moose and her twins – Island Park, Idaho

I have to give a big "thank you" to my friends Ed and Vicki for allowing me to share this photo with you. They were near Island Park, Idaho last weekend somewhere on a fairly deserted road, when they were fortunate enough to spy this mother moose with not one  - but two calves.

Seeing moose in our area and in Yellowstone National Park has become quite a rare event. There has been some speculation by the experts that the fires of 1988 in the National Park destroyed the majority of the moose habitat which caused the moose to migrate out of the park in search of food.  However, as the park has continued to recover from those fires some of the moose habitat has returned. There is also speculation that this means we will be seeing more and more moose in and around Yellowstone National Park.

The best places to look for moose in Yellowstone would be in the marshy areas as well as the willows of Willow Park or near the Madison and Firehole Rivers. On occasion and they have also been spotted in the Fishing Bridge/Yellowstone Lake area as well as in the Lamar and Hayden Valleys and along the East Entrance Road.

Thanks again to Ed and Vicky for allowing me to share this remarkable photo with my readers. Happy Moose Hunting.

Thursday, May 30, 2013



So, you think you would like to be a smokejumper. It appears to be glamorous and exciting. In order to help you make your choice I offer from the West Yellowstone Outdoor Education Center's website the following information regarding the requirements for making it as a smokejumper.

1. You must be at least 18 years old.

2. You must not be more than 77 inches tall or less than 60 inches tall without shoes.

3. You must weigh at least 120 pounds but no more than 200 pounds without clothes.

4. You must not have acute or chronic disease of the external, middle, or inner ear. Using an audiometer for measurement, there should be no loss of 25 or more decibels in each year at the speech frequency range. A hearing aid is not permitted.

5. You must be free from acute or chronic eye disease. Corrected distant vision must test at least 20/20 (Snellen) in one eye and at least 20/30 (Snellen) in the other. Individuals must be able to read printed material the size of standard typewritten characters. Glasses or contacts used for correction are permitted

During your training. You will be taught aircraft exiting procedures, fire on the plateau parachute maneuvering and emergency procedures, parachute landing rolls, timber letdown procedures, parachute and cargo retrieval and tree climbing.

15 training jumps are conducted during the training period, beginning with jumps into the simplest terrain and progressing into more difficult terrain. Performance is continually evaluated during the training and those persons unable to perform up to the standard of proficiency required will be terminated from the program and placed in another job, if available.

So, does smoke jumping still appeal to you. If it does perhaps the fact that in order to be hired usually October through December all applicants must have specialized work experience including at least three continuous months of wildland fire suppression experience as a member of an organized fire suppression crew or comparable unit, in forest and range fire suppression work under mountainous terrain and fuel conditions such as those found in the Western United States.

If that's not enough to whet your appetite, according to the information that I got from the website rookies are hired at the GS – 5 level with a wage of about $12 an hour.

To say the very least, it takes a great deal of dedication desire and perseverance to even be accepted as a smoke jumper. Not quite as glamorous as it sounds is it.


Roosevelt Lodge in Yellowstone National Park was completed in September 1920. The original building included a dining room, a lobby and registration area and a long wide porch which even to this day holds Old Hickory rocking chairs for the enjoyment of the guests. It is a great place to reminisce about your day's adventures in Yellowstone.

Even though the Lodge is named for him, Theodore Roosevelt never actually visited the Lodge which was built in 17 years after his visit.

The Lodge now includes a corral where they keep the horses for the trail rides that go into the park. It is also the staging area for the old West cookout.  You can book your horseback rides and secure your spot for the Old West Cookout during your stay at the lodge.  Be sure to check early as spots fill quickly during the season.

Roosevelt Lodge has the shortest season of any of the parks nine lodges. There are 14 Frontier Cabins and 66 Roughrider Cabins. The Frontier Cabins have two double beds, bathroom and shower, toilet and sink. The Roughrider Cabins are more simply furnished and have a bed and a wood burning stove for heat with shared public bathrooms within an easy walk from these cabins.

There are no televisions, telephones, radios, Internet hookups or cell phone coverage at the Lodge.

The Lodge is located near the site of what was Yancey's Pleasant Valley Ranch which was constructed in 1882. After I do some more research I will give you more information on Yancey's Pleasant Valley Ranch.

Friday, May 24, 2013


Encampment at Smoking Waters

If you have ever wondered what the people who settled this country had to endure, if you want a firsthand look at what it might have been like back then, then include in your trip to our area a visit to the Smoking Waters Mountain Man Rendezvous.

This event takes place this year from August 2 through August 11. The location for the encampment is the Old Airport on the west end of the town of West Yellowstone.

Here you will find entertainment, demonstrations and seminars of many of the skills that our ancestors had to have in order to settle this country.

This encampment also includes Trader's Row with all of the vendors dressed in period costumes and demonstrating their individual crafts. Of course, they have items for sale from jewelry to hand made leather clothing and many other items.

There will be tomahawk and knife demonstrations, storytelling by mountain men, and musicians performing. On Saturday, August 10 there will be a Black Powder Shoot. Admission to the Rendezvous is free, however, if you wish to register and participate in the Black Powder Shoot there is a $10 shooter's fee. Registration for the Shoot is at 8 AM on Saturday and the Shoot begins at 9 AM.

 A trip to the Mountain Man Rendezvous would make a wonderful addition to your summer vacation. It is something you will not find everywhere you go.


Follow This Sign To the Fire Center

Located 2 miles north of West Yellowstone, Montana, 90 miles south of Bozeman, Montana, and 100 miles northeast of Idaho Falls, Idaho is where you will find the Aerial Fire Center.

This base was established in 1951 and at that time was located at the old airport at the edge of the town of West Yellowstone. It was moved to its new location in 1965. It is adjacent to the West Yellowstone Airport.

As with many things in this area, they operate on a seasonal basis. During the summer 21 smoke jumpers, pilots for the jump plane and retardant tanker, an office manager as well as a tanker base manager call this location "home". 

 These people are attached to the Gallatin National Forest and their primary response area is that of the Gallatin, Shoshone,  Beaverhead/Deer Lodge,  Targhee, Bridger/Teton and  Custer National Forests along with Yellowstone and Teton National  Parks.

 Even though the areas mentioned above are their primary areas of responsibility in the event of wildfire they can be dispatched anywhere in the country.



The town of West Yellowstone, Montana, does have an airport. However, you need to be aware that this airport operates on a seasonal basis being open only from June through September. Even with this restriction, commercial service is available into West Yellowstone's airport.

The airport sits at an elevation of 6649 feet and encompasses 735 acres. You might be surprised to learn that the runways at this tiny airport can, and have, accommodated Air Force One.

Why are these runways of a size that can accommodate Air Force One? The answer to that would be that the large tankers and slurry planes that are used to fight forest fires used this airport as their base.

This airport is currently being served, on a seasonal basis only, by SkyWest Airlines. SkyWest operates the Delta connection. They operate twin turboprop aircraft and fly nonstop to and from the Delta hub located at the Salt Lake City airport.

Should you decide to fly into West Yellowstone, please be sure that do you do not confuse the West Yellowstone airport with the Yellowstone Regional Airport which is located in Cody, Wyoming. The airport at West Yellowstone is less than 5 miles from the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park – the Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody, Wyoming is 53 miles from the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

Be sure that your travel agent books you and the correct airport.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


 The National Park Service does operate some campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park. Some of these campgrounds are on a first-come, first-served basis. Those campgrounds are located at Mammoth, Norris, Indian Creek, Lewis Lake, Pebble Creek, Slough Creek, and Tower Fall. 
The National Park Service does advise that during the peak season from late June to the middle of August these campgrounds may fill early in the day so it is advisable for you to arrive early, obtain a site, and then go do your touring in the park.

 There are some sites where you are able to reserve your place. These are located at Canyon, Bridge Bay, Madison, Grant Village, and the Fishing Bridge RV Park. 

You must, however, contact Xanterra Parks and Resorts to make your reservations at these campgrounds. There are full hookups available at the Fishing Bridge RV Park. However, the Fishing Bridge RV sites are restricted to hard-sided camping units only. There are no tents or tent trailers allowed. Also at Fishing Bridge RV Park there are no picnic tables or fire grates.

There are no overflow camping areas available within Yellowstone and overnight vehicle parking is not allowed in pullouts, parking areas, picnic grounds, or any place other than a designated campground.

You may check in at any time but your site may not be available before 11 AM. The registration desk at Xanterra's campgrounds are open from 7 AM to 10 PM during the peak summer season and from 8 AM to 9 PM during the early and late seasons. The checkout time is 11 AM.

From July 1 through Labor Day camping is limited to 14 days. That time limit is 30 days for the rest of the year. However, there is no limit at Fishing Bridge.

If you hold a Senior or Access pass you will receive approximately a 50% discount on camping fees except at Fishing Bridge, where no discounts apply. 

If you're going to make reservations then you will need to know the width and length of your tent or RV.  For those sites that are not reservable, you will want to know the total length of your rig in order to figure out which campground will best acommodate you. 


Bridge Bay Marina - Yellowstone
Yes, boating is allowed in Yellowstone National Park – and yes, you can bring your own boat. However, there are rules and regulations that must be adhered to.

You must inspect your boat. The transporting of water, fish, and any other aquatic plants and animals into waters in the park is illegal.

Once again I'm going to be quoting directly from the National Park Service official newspaper for Yellowstone National Park regarding boating in Yellowstone.

"Boating is allowed on most of Yellowstone Lake and on Lewis Lake. Only non-motorized boating is allowed on most other lakes. One river is open to non-motorized boating, the Lewis River between Lewis and Shoshone lakes. Permits are required for all boats and float tubes. Permits for motorized boats may be purchased at the south entrance. Permits for non-motorized boats and float tubes may be purchased at the Mammoth Backcountry office, West and Northeast entrances, and West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center. Voters must have a Coast Guard approved wearable floatation device for each person."


Fly Fishing

Today I picked up a copy of the National Park Service newspaper for  Yellowstone thinking I might possibly find some good information in it I could share with you.

I did find some information regarding fishing in Yellowstone and I'm going to quote that directly from the paper.

"The general fishing season opens May 25. Seasons at Yellowstone Lake and other areas open June 15. Fishing permits are required in Yellowstone, state-issued fishing  permits are not valid within the park. Anglers 16 years or older need a permit to fish in the park. Younger children can fish for free under certain conditions.

Anglers are responsible for knowing how to tell the difference between species. Native fish must be released unharmed back into the water immediately. These include Arctic Grayling, cutthroat trout, mountain whitefish.

Special tackle restrictions are also in effect for park waters: 

Hooks must be barbless
Tackle must be non-toxic. Leaded split-shot sinkers, soft lead weighted ribbon, and other toxic tackle are not allowed. 
Organic bait is not allowed.

Permits are available as locations open. Inquire at ranger stations, visitor centers, or general stores, and at selected locations outside the park.

Regulations are posted at visit/fishing.htm"

Wednesday, May 22, 2013



Pictured above is what I think is one of the better maps of Yellowstone National Park. You will notice from this map that the roads inside the park are in somewhat of a figure 8 shape.

I like this map because it gives you the distances from point to point inside the park. Please do not deceive yourself when you are trying to figure out how long it will take you to see Yellowstone. Bear in mind that the speed limit inside the park is 45 mph unless posted otherwise.

What you also need to take into consideration is the fact that there is a possibility you might get caught up in a buffalo jam, an elk jam, a bear jam or even a frog jam.

You also need to bear in mind when it comes to these animal jams that they are the residents of this park and we are the visitors.

This map also shows the location of things like the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the different geyser basins, mud volcano, as well as listing the locations of the visitor centers.

My suggestion always is when people asked me how long will take them to see the park, you need one day to do the upper loop, one day to do the lower loop, one day to go back in and see what you missed the other two days – and then you need at least one day to rest up.

My best advice is to allow yourself plenty of time, sit back, relax and enjoy the park.


Mammoth Hot Springs - Yellowstone
The travertine terraces of Yellowstone National Park, commonly known as Mammoth Hot Springs, are located at the northern end of the park.

This is the site where Fort Yellowstone was built in 1891. These terraces are formed by hot water from the Norris Geyser basin. This water travels underground by a fault line that runs through limestone. The shallow circulation along this waterway allows the superhot water from Norris to cool to about 170°F before surfacing at Mammoth Hot Springs. The beautiful colors in these pools come from algae that live in the water and they tint the limestone in shades ranging from brown to green to orange to red. 

The largest known carbonate depositing spring in the world is Terrace Mountain at Mammoth Hot Springs. A series of travertine terraces known as Minerva Terrace is the most famous feature off Mammoth Hot Springs.

Mammoth Hot Springs is located on what is referred to as the "upper loop" off the roads in the park.

It is at Mammoth Hot Springs that you will see the buildings that were constructed to house the soldiers who were stationed at Fort Yellowstone and the majority of these buildings are in use today.

The area at Mammoth Springs is also a favorite hangout for the elk. In addition to being able to view the wildlife there, you will discover that a great deal of the history of Yellowstone National Park can be found at Mammoth Hot Springs. 


  Firehole Swimming Area in Yellowstone

 Yes, you can go swimming in Yellowstone National Park. You cannot, however, swim, bathe, or soak your feet in any of the thermal features.

There is one place in the National Park where you are permitted to swim and that is in the Firehole River at the designated swimming area.

There is a small beach located here and the rapids are generally calm in this area. This is actually a calm section of the river located between two rapids.

You need to be aware that you will be swimming at your own risk. There are no lifeguards at the swimming area. Please be aware of the rules and regulations governing the swimming hole. Enjoy your swim but please use common sense and please follow the rules.


Pictured above is the opening ceremony for the Wild West Yellowstone Rodeo. This rodeo is a family run operation. This family believes in paying tribute to this wonderful country that we live in and all the benefits and privileges we enjoy as citizens of this country. Therefore, they begin each rodeo with the playing of our National Anthem while the flag is carried around the arena via horseback as you see in the photo above.

This rodeo is an event that is not to be missed while you are in this area. There are the usual rodeo events such as, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronco riding, team roping events, individual roping events, bull riding and barrel racing (my personal favorite).

They also hold an event at each rodeo called a "calf scramble." They invite youngsters from the audience to come down into the arena. They take a young calf and tie a ribbon to his tail and turn him loose in the arena with the kids. The object is for the children to chase the calf around the arena until someone is able to grab the ribbon off of the tail off the calf. It is difficult to say who enjoys this event the most – the children or the spectators.

You will find the rodeo grounds located approximately 6 1/2 miles down Highway 20 to the west of the town of West Yellowstone. Click on the link above and it will take you to the website for the rodeo where you can get all of your information regarding tickets, dates and performance times.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013



This grizzly bear that someone has painstakingly carved out of what must have been an extremely large piece of lumber, stands guard at the Grizzly And Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone.

We have several statues in our town, most of them are bronze. I will be sharing photos of those with you in later posts and telling you where in town you can find them.

However, I thought the big fella pictured above was quite unusual. I don't think you will very often find a wooden carved statue of this size.

I do not know how many years he has stood his post, but he obviously has weathered the elements very well.

When you visit the Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, take time to have your photo taken with this gentleman.



I had intended to spend yesterday afternoon  adding some post to this blog. However, I spent the majority of the afternoon and evening pacing the floor and wondering about the safety of my baby sister and her family who live in Moore, Oklahoma.

The devastation is almost unbelievable. I did find out late yesterday evening that they were safe and unharmed. Their home also escaped with no damage.  I feel like we are among the more fortunate families in the wake of this tragedy.

A couple of days before, the tornadoes that hit Shawnee, Oklahoma were only 30 miles from my daughter's house. Everyone in that part of the family is also safe and unharmed.

One of my favorite gospel songs is called "Till The Storm Passes By". Part of this song says "hold me fast, let me stand, in the hollow of Thy hand". I truly believe  that is where my family was, safe in the hollow of His hand

To the police department, the fire department, the first responders and all others who are working so hard to rescue any and all survivors, my hat is off to you.

To those who unfortunately have lost loved ones, I know it isn't much comfort to you right now, but it is my wish and my prayer that God will send you comfort and that you will feel His presence in a very real way.

Friday, May 17, 2013


 About 50 miles from West Yellowstone you will find Mesa Falls Recreation Area. This makes for a very nice day trip when you are in our area. Why not get a picnic lunch and make the drive out to see the spectacular falls.

The fees for the area are vehicles $5.00 a day. Motorcycles, bicycles, horses and hikers are $1 a day. The Lodge at Mesa Falls is scheduled to open by May 18. The closest town to Mesa Falls is Ashton, Idaho. This recreation area is operated by the Forest Service.

Pictured above is the small rainbow that is created when sunlight passes through the mist from the falls. The rainbow is normally present from 9 AM to 1 PM during the day. Of course, I cannot guarantee you that you will see this rainbow but your chances are exceptionally good at this location.

You can have a relaxing day at Mesa Falls simply enjoying the falls or watching the Osprey and Eagles that are frequently in the area or just strolling along the walkways and drinking in the scenery.

Take a day out from touring the National Park and make the drive to Mesa Falls, you will not be sorry.


The town of West Yellowstone is getting all wrapped up for the summer season thanks to assistance from the Community Assessment Action Team, the Earth Day Committee and the West Yellowstone Foundation.

The Town Council has approved this program and the Marketing and Promotions Fund has issued a grant to help pay for the new wraps.

Some of our local kids and the West Yellowstone school students submitted their artwork in a contest that was held last month to select the designs for these wraps.

Clean Slate Group in Bozeman Montana made the vinyl wraps and have said they will take care of any damages that happen to the wraps within the first five years of their installation.

More than 25 community members and business professionals looked at the artwork that had been submitted by the children and made their selections.

When you come to West Yellowstone you will notice that the trash cans and recycling bins throughout town have had these new decorative wraps applied.

Makes a very nice addition to our city.


43rd Annual Rod Run in West Yellowstone

 If you are a classic car enthusiast, you will want to make sure that you are in West Yellowstone  August 1, 2, 3 and 4th of 2013. That is the date for the 43rd Annual West Yellowstone Rod Run.

Last year close to 400 classic cars and hot rods were in town for the annual run. It is a busy weekend for the classic car enthusiasts complete with cruisin', paradin', show and shine and trophies.

Normally, one day is taken with all of the cars making the trip from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful.

On Saturday there will be a parade down Yellowstone Avenue and Canyon Street. This gives our locals and our visitors an opportunity to see each and every car. The owners of these classics take great pride in their vehicles and in showing them off.

After the parade, the cars will gather at Pioneer Park for the annual "Show and Shine". This event is open to the public and is free. The "Show and Shine" at the park gives everyone an opportunity to get a close-up look at the vehicles.

Whether you are classic car enthusiast or not, this is an event you will not want to miss if you are in West Yellowstone on those dates.


Snow-covered mountain in Yellowstone May 15, 2013

 It may be mid-May, but as you can see from this photo that I took on May 15, 2013, there are still some mountains in Yellowstone National Park that have ample snow. 

I have not been in the park since it opened for the summer season but I have spoken to people that have been and I can assure you that Lake Yellowstone is still frozen over. 

Amazingly enough, there are still many places in our area that have sizable patches of snow remaining.

I expect that at least by mid-June, all the snow will have disappeared.

Just thought you might like to see that yes it is mid-May and yes we do still have snow on the mountain tops.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


If we will just admit it, we are all looking for "something". Most of us have absolutely no idea what that "something" is. We have tried to find it by acquiring "things". We have tried to find it in personal relationships. We just keep searching but that empty feeling inside just will not go away.

I am by no means a "religious freak". For me, my faith is a very private and personal thing. I discovered years ago that not only do I not have ALL the answers. In fact, the older I get the more I find the fewer answers I actually have.

I only know that from my personal point of view there are answers to be found. I find my answers in a relationship with the Lord.

Regular Bible study is amazing when it comes to finding the answers and getting the opinion of your peers. There are many many people in this world who know a lot more about what the Bible contains than I will ever know. That, however, does not deter me from searching.

If you are searching for  that "something" to fill the empty spot inside you, why not give Bible study a try? You have absolutely nothing to lose and you have an eternity to gain. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


During your time in West Yellowstone you will no doubt be looking for a place to have a great breakfast. Most of the restaurants in town are located in the uptown area along Canyon Street.

Ask one of the "locals" to direct you to Running Bear Pancake House. It is short few blocks away from the center of town on Madison Avenue.

Everyone knows that when you're running a business the most important thing is location, location, location. The Running Bear is not on the main drag. In fact, it is a few blocks off of the main drag. There are no other restaurants or business establishments in its immediate vicinity. The Running Bear has been in the same location for over 20 years and has been run by the same family all those years. Their continued success just proves what good food, good service and word-of-mouth advertising will do for a business.

Ask almost any of the locals  and they can direct you to the Running Bear. If you are looking for a place for breakfast where this particular "local" eats and can highly recommend, find the Running Bear.

For breakfast or lunch you will not be disappointed.



The residents in the Horse Butte area near the town of West Yellowstone in Montana are, at this time of year especially, quite accustomed to the site you see in the picture above.

The Horse Butte area has for years and years been the traditional birthing ground for the Yellowstone bison. Not being able to read signs or to comprehend what is said to them, they are not aware that their traditional ground has been invaded by humans. Consequently, they return here in each spring to give birth to their babies.

The residents of Horse Butte welcome the bison and they understand when they make the decision to live on Horse Butte that the bison will be returning in the spring.These same residents also  accept the fact that these bison are probably going to eat their flowers and nibble on their trees and poop in their yards.

I believe they feel that the reward they gain in being able to watch the bison, to enjoy the new babies each spring more than compensates for any inconvenience the bison may cause.

I also think these residents understand that they are the intruders and not the bison.



At this time of the year if you are traveling on Highway 191 near West Yellowstone, Montana and you see a yellow sign indicating that there are "BISON ON ROAD  – 55 MPH", be  sure you pay attention to that sign.

You may or may not see a lone bison or possibly even a bison herd with babies grazing along this major highway. Bison, as you know, cannot read road signs nor do they realize the danger that automobiles and trucks place them in. All they know is that this is their traditional migration route and they are sticking to it.

It is not up to the bison to avoid the vehicle traffic on this or any other road. It is however, the responsibility of the humans behind the wheel to watch out for the bison.

Remember, they are the residents – you are the visitor.



Pictured above is one of our amazing sunsets. I do not know why the sunsets are so beautiful both here in the town of West Yellowstone and in Yellowstone National Park, but they are.

There is a place here in town where you can capture some amazing photographs of some beautiful sunsets. It is located on Iris Street, which is the last street in town if you are headed west. This was the location of the original West Yellowstone airport. Consequently, your view of the mountains and the sunsets are not interrupted by trees.

Another wonderful place to capture not only sunsets but also sunrises, is at Lake Yellowstone in the National Park.

No matter where you are in the West Yellowstone or Yellowstone National Park area, be sure you have plenty on charge in your camera batteries. You will not want to miss these photos.



When you are the one and only chiropractor in the town of West Yellowstone, Montana, you are apt to find yourself working on some very different patients. Dr. Kyle Goltz, our local chiropractor, does work on humans but he has also worked on the rear leg of a dog, the middle back of a cat and assisted another chiropractor working on a horse's neck.

He probably would tell you that the most unusual patient he has ever encountered was Fred, the grizzly bear, who was residing at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. Fred was born in the Alaskan wilderness in December 1990. He became known as a nuisance bear in Denali National Park. By the age of three, he had become way too accustomed to human garbage for food. Authorities had attempted several times to relocate him but he kept returning to the same community. It was at that point the decision was made to relocate him.

In 1993 Fred came to live at the Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. Early one Spring the keepers at the Center discovered that Fred was showing some stiffness in his neck and his head was tilted to one side. They tried antibiotics but that didn't work so the decision was made to x-ray Fred. First he was sedated and, as unlikely as it seems, he was moved to the local medical clinic for his x-rays. It was there that Dr. Goltz discovered that his fourth cervical vertebrae was out of alignment.

Dr. Goltz says that a bear's anatomy, including their spine, is very close to that of a human. After his x-ray, Fred was taken back to the Grizzly Discovery Center where he was injected with muscle relaxers and then Dr. Goltz went to work.

Long story short, Dr. Goltz did his work and in a very short time, Fred showed improvement to the point where he was able to play and rough house with the other bears.

In 2002 Fred was moved to the Buffalo Zoo. As Fred got older he experienced some neurological changes that ended up causing  paralysis in his back legs. On a Friday morning in April of 2010 the decision was made to put him out of his misery so Fred was euthanized in 2010.