Bison mom & baby

Bison mom & baby

A loud thumping on my porch woke me up.  My heart was racing as I crept from my bed to the nearby window.  Slowly I peeked out and discovered a huge buffalo staring right at me.  Only a thin sheet of glass separated us.  She huffed and stamped her hoofs and shook her massive head.  I was terrified and wondered what I should do.  I could see the rest of the small herd slowly munching on the grass in the central courtyard.  My friends and I were staying in a group of individual tiny cabins in a group surrounding a large grassy yard.  The cabins all had twin beds and little bathrooms.  Nothing else.  And no telephone! I was petrified and didn’t know what to do so I slowly closed the curtain and quietly got back in my bed.  I listened to the buffalo huff around for a while and then all was silent.  To my relief she must have wandered off to join the rest of the herd.

My friends and I were staying in the little cabins at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel in Yellowstone National Park.  We had dined in the beautiful dining room.  The chef created a delicious selection of local products, including buffalo sliders.

I chose a mixed greens salad topped with fried goat cheese, followed by an assortment of main dishes to share with my friends, including:  Bison top sirloin roasted with garlic and herb compound butter, buttermilk mashed potatoes; Pistachio Parmesan-crusted trout; Huckleberry Barbecue chicken and Linguine with Smoked Chicken with caramelized onions and fresh mushrooms.  We couldn’t resist the Bison Burger topped with mushrooms, bacon and American bleu cheese.

Of course we couldn’t pass up a selection of desserts.  The Yellowstone Caldera was a warm chocolate-truffle torte with a molten middle.  Nor could we resist the Montana huckleberry cobbler a la mode or the Yellowstone Sundae made with huckleberry ice cream with a mixed berry topping.  Oh my!

My friends were visiting the park in the early spring.  The scenery was incredibly beautiful.  We saw hundreds of buffalo wandering around and many adorable babies following beside their mothers.

The male buffaloes don’t have much to do with the females except when it’s mating season.  They usually wander off by themselves and leave the females to take care of the babies.

It’s tempting to approach the animals near the road but our guide cautioned us not to do get too close.  The animals are wild and dangerous and very protective of their young.

We saw amazing wild life:  a family of grey wolves wandering on a hillside, a black bear having lunch in a grassy meadow, a nest of osprey with hungry babies calling to their mother and hundreds of buffalo.  It was thrilling!

Spring is an ideal time to visit Yellowstone.  Before the hundreds of visitors arrive in the summer.  We were able to enjoy the scenery and wildlife at leisure and there was not much traffic on the roads.

As scary as it was having my midnight buffalo visitor I have to admit that I think it was my most memorable experience of Yellowstone.