The Red Sleep Drive of the National Bison Range opened May 11th, the Saturday before Mother’s Day. As a rule, we visit the range in May and this year was no exception. After spending approximately an hour at the Ninepipes Museum in Pablo, where we learned about the history of the area, we arrived at the Bison Range in late afternoon.
A stop at the Visitor’s Center to pay the entrance fee and to find out the location of the bear was on the itinerary. A grizzly and two cubs had recently been spotted on nighttime trail cam near a bison carcass. Rangers told us where the to look for the grizzly and a visitor also volunteered that he had spotted a bear in the distance on the Bitterroot Trail. Hopefully we would be so lucky and spot one as well.
After the Visitor’s Center, we left for our traditional picture-taking event at the “antler pile”, but not before pointing out the flyer posted on a window warning of ticks and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. We are no strangers to ticks and we each sprayed repellent on our boots before leaving the front sidewalk of the center.
Now on the road, we drove nice and slow in search of wildlife. The Red Sleep Drive had been watered-down which made our experience driving the road all the more pleasant. The day was hot and extremely dry. Without water on the road, it would have been a mess. Passing vehicles would have literally left us eating their dust!
The bison remained at a distance and I was sorry that the cows with orange calves remained elusive. No bears were spotted, but a good number of elk near Mission Creek were accommodating for our photo session.
Oftentimes we are the last vehicle out of the park. But not that day; as several other nature photographers lingered to capture the animals in the setting sun.
It was a great day and a good way to start our seasonal day trips. For more pictures of wildlife from our visit to the National Bison Range, please visit our facebook album.
Everywhere you look, life is an adventure!