Today was a day to wander around Yellowstone, looking at the sights and looking for animals. We started off the morning at West Thumb where a herd of elk tried to upstage the mud pots and pools - and yes, those first two pictures are in order!
We stopped in at Bay Bridge Marina to get some info from the shuttle boat people and the back country office. Turns out the shuttles to the South Arm or Southeast Arm of Yellowstone Lake will handle up to six people and their kayaks or canoes. Lakefront, backcountry campsites may be available for a spur of the moment trip, and the permit is free unless you decide to reserve in advance. The online reservation process costs $25. A number of the sites on the South Arm are closed for bear management until mid July, so it looks like a late July trip might be optimal.
We spotted our first (of many) bison at Lake Village, and a deer at Fishing Bridge. We also saw our first traffic jam there!
There were more bison posing at the Mud Volcano area, but the highlight of the day was the bear that we spotted as we were coming back from the town of West Yellowstone – the source of cheaper gas and internet access thanks to McDonalds.