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Yellowstone National Park – Lamar Valley

The fourth of April was a crazy and important day for us. We started our day in Jackson, Wyoming. Our next adventure was to be Yellowstone National Park, so we drove towards the West Entrance, thus crossing a tiny part of the State of Idaho, and finally arriving in Montana. Saying that we’ve been in three States in one day seems a little presumptuous, and we could hardly say that we’ve “seen” Idaho (we only spent 3 or 4 hours there), but there it is : we’ve finally been in all the Western States of the USA!
That being said, we still didn’t see any bears (except a black bear and its two cubs on Vancouver Island in October, but that did not really count because we were in a salmon hatchery)! So frustrated by this fact, we went to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. Currently inhabited by 8 grizzlies and 6 wolfs (taken in because they had come too close to cities or had attacked humans), the center protects these animals and educates the visitors. It’s a fun and safe way to see them up close (even if it is comparable to a zoo), and Grizzlies don’t seem that scary behind fences. We’re still worried (terrified would be more accurate for Liza!) at the idea of seeing one on a hike in the wild, though.
Our next stop was to be the North Entrance of Yellowstone : the world-known “Lamar Valley”, were wildlife is supposed to be incredibly diverse (Bison, Pronghorn, Coyotes, Wolfs, Grizzlies…). Maybe we had become very spoiled and picky because we had already seen so much, or maybe we didn’t come at the right time, but we were not that impressed by the wildlife there. Ok, we did see a wolf,  but it was so far away that it could also have been a coyote… Alex saw a grizzly bear, but again, it looked more like a little black dot than a bear. We did see four coyotes running and playing at a reasonable distance, and the landscapes there are absolutely stunning. But the weather turned against us, again (damn you, Spring, give us some sunshine!), and on our second day there, we were welcomed by rain, rain, and a forecast of rain. The rest of the Park being closed at this time of the year (all the geysers and stuff), we decided to go away.

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