Today was a multi-track day in that we kept moving from ski track to ski track in the Northeast Corner of Yellowstone NP. We began our day as the first hints of light flooded over Lamar Valley near Soda Butte making the snow glow blue under the cloudy, but clear ski. We parked the car and skied the unplowed road as Eric and I had down last year. There were some places were pavement showed, but Adam and I could easily avoid those area by crossing the street. There were so bison grazing a safe distance away as we followed the Lamar River watching the blue snow grow white as the sun rose in the valley (though we never saw the sun actually). We turned back after a mile and headed back to the car. There were more cars on the road now and the snowplows were coming soon too. Besides, we had more places to explore.

We tried to enter the Barronette Trail from the upper entrance but saw no way to cross the river. So we parked at the lower entrance. A trail was cut about 1/4 mile into the river basin, but then it turned left… the trail was supposed to go right. I shrugged and began to cut  trail following the river. It was relatively easy going through mostly flat terrain with some small dips. There were conifers in patches… some thick making visibility a challenge. About a mile in we came across two grazing bison. We were a safe distance to pass, but one male kept looking at us every time we moved. It was making me uneasy. After a few false attempt to continue and getting sketched each time by his stare I listened to my gut and turned around. Adam was relieved. He didn’t like that bison’s glare either. We explored the left side of the river until the trees got to thick. Then we headed back to the car.

From  here we drove to the Banndock TH (Warm Springs Picnic Area). This trail is ungroomed, but track was already well set so the going was easy. The trail led us through conifer forest and meadows. I was a bit nervous due to the moose known to wander the area. We saw none. After two miles the boundary of Yellowstone is Reached and we ended the Absorka Wilderness. The trail led us to Silver Gate, MT in 1 mile (where we saw moose tracks). From here we followed a snowmobile track toward Cooke City. We never made it too the city as I wanted to go back through the moose habitat before dusk. Moose terrify me more than bears.

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