It’s a spectator sport in Yellowstone…wildlife spotting. It’s like winning the jackpot in Las Vegas when you actually get to see the big ones.
Some people set up and wait hours in lawn chairs for an appearance. Others are willing to stand out in the rain in complete gear and huge cameras with their own rain suits covering the glass.
We were lucky, observant, and always searching. We didn’t stand in the rain, or set up our chairs. Fred’s an awesome driver…and doesn’t mind pulling over, turning around, or even dropping me off and later retrieving me if there is nowhere safe to pull over. We take the roads least traveled, and stop often.
We are very respectful of the animals, and super aware of our safety.
The Van sits up high, and I often shoot out the window, using the half rolled up window to brace my camera. Or I can stand on the door step to get some extra height.
Sometimes we have solitude, sometimes there is madness. Even with these chaotic traffic jams that do sometimes occur, all in all, it’s an awesome sport, and everyone wins sometimes.
Finding spots along the coast to spend the night has been a bit of a challenge. Since we never really know where we are going to be, it’s hard to make reservations in advance for a campground. Especially the state parks are usually full at this time of the year. There’s not much forest land along the coast either for U.S. Forest Service campgrounds, (which we prefer) or dispersed camping on National Forest land. Weekends in particular are impossible since that’s when most of the public goes camping!
Having our bed in the back of our van makes it possible for us to take cover and sleep in some interesting places.
We generally tend to avoid rest areas, since they tend to be extremely noisy being near highways and full of big trucks keeping their refrigerator units going all night long. But it just so happens that somewhere above Arcata, and below Cresent City, there is a very beautiful, very quiet, very clean Rest Area. And as long as you don’t stay longer than ten hours at a time, it is perfectly legal to sleep there. We very rarely EVER sleep more than ten hours!!
Leaving early in the morning, we were rewarded with this peaceful sight of relaxing Roosevelt elk.
And this big fellow, watching over the ladies while munching his morning chow.
Roosevelt elk (according to wikipedia) are the largest of the four subspecies of elk found in North America. Such a beautiful sight they are.
They don’t seem to have a problem finding a place to bed down. They are protected here from being hunted, so long as they stay on state property!
Our lack of planning in our travels leads to much spontaneity and many delights such as this. Sleeping in a Rest Area makes it all worth while when we get to wake up and greet the day this way!
We really enjoyed Cresent City, spending time along the beach and pier watching the shore birds. There were more Black Oystercatchers nesting, Canada Geese, Cormorants, and of course lots of seagulls.
A bit sad to leave the coast, but inching up and inland to visit our good friend in Redmond, Oregon is the goal. Moving inland will also hopefully make finding camping spots a bit easier.