Choosing the Two Top Mountain loop as our destination, we followed the trail into West Yellowstone's winter wonderland.
But our adventurous side got the best of us, and we soon said good-bye to the groomers and headed for the trees...
The ghost trees, that is.
All winter, the wind blows snow into these trees freezing them into what I call
West Yellowstone's own Stonehenge.
After Two Top and its ghost trees, we stop for lunch with views into Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park. Somewhere out there the bison are trying to survive the harsh and unforgiving winter and the grizzlies sleep.
Meanwhile, at one of our favorite pull-outs just before town, a moose drinks from a stream, and I think: this is how it should be. The moose drinks, the bear sleeps, the bison, and all of us, survive. This is, of course, not up to the moose, the bear, or the bison. It is up to us. Only us. I understand- the weight of this responsibility is enormous. But so is the alternative.
Later, the way good experiences often go, we take the long way home. We pass Hegben Lake and the Trumpeter Swans who call it home. The cold is beginning to set in; I can feel its edge creeping through my gloves and under my jacket. As I crank up the hand-warmers on my snowmobile, I'm again awestruck by the animals who call this place home in winter.