Patty

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Patty last won the day on July 27 2016

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  1. I'm so glad you started your report. This is really whetting my appetite. Please finish the report by Saturday
  2. Renting a car would probably be the easiest option. You could look at flying open jaw into Bozeman and out of Jackson or vice versa so you don't have to do the 6 hour drive (in clear weather) twice but may incur a drop off fee for returning the rental car at a different airport. It may also be possible to take one snowcoach transfer from Mammoth to Old Faithful, a different snowcoach from Old Faithful to Flagg Ranch and then a shuttle from Flagg Ranch to Jackson.
  3. The advantage of staying in Jackson Hole would be to see Grand Teton and the National Elk Refuge (not necessarily as a base for Yellowstone). I believe the main highway from Jackson to Flagg Ranch is open to vehicles year round. There's some stunning scenery and we had our closest wolf sighting in Grand Teton (one crossed the road right in front of our car just south of Moran Junction) though that was pure luck.
  4. The only road within Yellowstone open to vehicle traffic (either self drive or guided tour) in winter is the road that goes through the northern section of the park from Gardiner to Cooke City. To get to any areas of the park not along this road requires oversnow travel https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/parkroads.htm We booked snowcoach transfers to travel to and from Old Faithful https://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/adventures/winter-adventures/snowcoach-transportation/ A few sightseeing stops were made but it's mainly a form of transportation and took about 4 hours one way from Mammoth including stops. From Old Faithful we hiked some trails on our own though it's also possible to take a guided tour or ski/snowshoe. You can travel by car between the various gateway towns (i.e. Gardiner, West Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, etc) by driving outside of the park https://goo.gl/maps/2JdpHDoCs1k Each gateway town has authorized snowcoach and snowmobile operators https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/snowmobiles-snowcoaches.htm For us it was more practical to base the majority of our time in Gardiner as we wanted to self drive. Gardiner is only 5 miles from Mammoth and we've stayed in 3 different places there (Yellowstone Suites B&B, Super 8 and Riverside Cottages) though none would really qualify as upscale. We went dog sledding with http://www.huskypower.com/ but they don't operate within the park (I'm not aware of any that do or if it's even allowed). My husband and I shared a sled and I opted to drive. It was great fun. I agree with @Swazicar that wolf viewing is very hit or miss and generally from a far distance. On our recent fall trip we missed them entirely as we managed to arrive at 3 different sightings just after they were out of sight.
  5. Our first trip to Yellowstone was actually in winter. We flew in and out of Bozeman, stayed in Gardiner for 4 nights and took a snowcoach from Mammoth to Old Faithful and back where we spent one night at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. We rented a 4WD in Bozeman and drove the one open road between Gardiner and Cooke City. We did some light hiking in snow boots but you can also snowshoe and cross country ski. We've since been back in spring and fall and have enjoyed all 3 seasons. We've never been in summer and wouldn't choose to visit then.
  6. I made a quick stop at the Monterey Bay Aquarium yesterday morning and saw lunge feeding humpbacks from the back deck.
  7. I wondered that too. Apparently desperate ones. In my area coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions are the primary land predators. We think it was probably a great horned owl which are prevalent and don't have much of a sense of smell.
  8. A coyote on our hike at Palo Corona this morning Not too concerned by our presence Remains of a skunk I also saw another bobcat! But I was too slow to get a photo. One of these days I hope to have some discernable proof of its existence
  9. Another one from Moss Landing this morning
  10. It certainly was! Even better than any of the boat trips I've been on. We watched for nearly 6 hours and they were still feeding when we left.
  11. I've posted these photos elsewhere before but one of my favorite days was watching about two dozen humpbacks lunge feeding just offshore of Point Lobos in late August two years ago. What photos fail to capture are the loud whooshing sounds. Joining the whales in their anchovy feeding frenzy were dolphins, sea lions and countless birds.
  12. Here's PG's monarch count from last season http://www.montereyherald.com/article/NF/20170228/NEWS/170229755 While you're here, you can try to catch the gray whale migration too. We typically see our first southbound grays right before Thanksgiving though it's more reliable later in the season http://gowhales.com/sighting.htm I'll be glad to host the GTG at my house!
  13. The KWS Kinna Guesthouse and Kinna Cottages are well located in the park if looking for a lower budget alternative http://www.kws.go.ke/content/meru-national-park I believe @Atravelynn has stayed there. Offbeat was in Bisanadi if I recall correctly.
  14. I've only visited once in 2006 when we saw 5 white rhinos. The grass was very high that December and we stopped for a breakfast picnic.

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