After driving for 30 minutes we came across a lot of parked cars - usually a sign of something interesting so we stopped. We were in a small valley and up in the tree line was a Grizzly Bear - about 60 meters away. He was digging around the trees looking for ants/roots. We stayed there for 30 minutes and took around 170 photo's. Some of the more professional photographers had some serious equipment. If we ever do this again I need to invest in a longer telephoto lense. About 10 minutes up the road we spotted a Coyote. He was trotting alongside the road. He must have been 5 meters from us when he went past. We pulled over, took a few shots and then carried on to Mammoth.
As we arrived in Mammoth we came across an animal jam. Nobody was moving so I jumped out of the RV and went to see what was going on. We'd been driving down from the mountains and on one side of the road, down a sharp incline was a huge black bear. No more than 10 meters away. Fortunately he couldn't get up onto the road so I stayed and got some great shots. However, I had to jump back into the RV after a couple of minutes as the traffic started moving again. We arrived in Mammoth at 11:00 and headed straight for a diner - large cheeseburgers all round!!! I popped into the camping shop for some toilet roll and ended up buying a couple of t-shirts. Abi got chatting to the guy on the checkout and he gave us a tip on the location of a black bear and some cubs. 30 minutes later we realised that quite a few people knew about the bear. Standing on the hard shoulder we were able to watch a lovely black bear and her two cubs playing in the woods. One cub was black and the other was brown. The were climbing trees and walking along fallen trees. They must have been about 120 meters away so the shots aren't great but it was great to be able to watch them play.
We headed back to Mammoth, walked around the 'terraces'. Then we headed back to our camp stopping at Norris Geyers for an hour. When we were 10 minutes from home we spotted another group of parked cars so we stopped to investigate. About 300 meters away on bank was another Grizzly bear and her cub. Abi also spotted what we think was a beaver playing (most likely fishing) in a nearby river. We hung around there for an hour before heading back to camp.
What a great day - a total of 5 bears, 3 cubs, a coyote, a wolf, loads of bison, some deer, mountain goats and we think we saw a moose!!! Do bears s**t in the woods? I don't know but we both feel very lucky to have been able to see so much today. Just for the record we took a total of 863 photo's today. Aren't digital camera's fantastic......Night x