Thursday, September 22, 2011

In search of grizzlies

Grizzlies at the Discovery Center

We went to Yellowstone National Park at the wrong time of the year to see grizzlies. The park service tells me they're more easily seen in early spring or late fall when they're at lower elevations.

In all my trips to Yellowstone I've only seen bears twice. The first time was on my first trip back when I was eight years old. I came out of a restroom at Fishing Bridge to see a black bear running by; I immediately went back into the bathroom. The second time was on a trip in the mid 1980s when I had to use binoculars to watch a grizzly running up a distant hill.

But this time I figured out a way to see grizzly bears: Visit the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center at West Yellowstone. The center had six bears and eight wolves in residence the day we were there. The center has a marvelous exhibit on bears which tells everything you wanted to know about bears but were afraid to ask. You can read an article I wrote about the center here.

After touring the center, we headed off to the Yellowstone movie at the IMAX theatre nearby. There were a couple of scenes with a six-story high grizzly growling at you. Now that was frightening! I much preferred the real-life grizzlies which look fat and sassy and live behind high wire fences at the center.

The fine print
The Federal Trade Commission requires that I tell you that our visits to the center and IMAX were complimentary. Even if they hadn't been, I still would have visited them and wrote the same thing. These were two cool experiences.

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