When I was coming up to my 12th birthday Mom and Dad brought me to snowmobile in Yellowstone. It was a tremendous adventure. What a treat this year when Mom and Dad brought me and my family to a snow coach tour 30 years later! West Yellowstone was a daunting destination with our weather being what it’s been. We prayed for good weather and we sure got it! Clear roads all the way. Our first stop in West Yellowstone was the Three Bear Lodge. Wonderful food! Mom is a huge buffalo fan so she was horrified that I chose buffalo tips for my meal. My wife chose rainbow troutwhile my son chose a more traditional chicken sandwich. The lobby had what some might call a tourist attraction…I don’t care, it made for a cute picture for Gabby. We went to bed early knowing it would be an early one. Boarding the snow coach was pretty exciting. We had an excellent guide named Doug who is a veteran ranger and snow coach driver…he had so much information and since this was a private tour with only us he was so gracious to stop wherever we could to see things. Early on we saw trumpeter swan who graced the river. I found it amazing how they were almost always in pairs…bonded for life. Next a huge bald eagle nest…Doug said they don’t clean the nest…they just increasingly expand it thus how they end up so big. I’ve heard some aren’t interested in the swans…sorry, I am. Their sheer size is amazing…how can such a large creature be so graceful? There were signs of other creatures not so graceful…what killed this elk I wonder? We were excited to see our first bison. They are comfortable to 20 below zero…wish I had that ability! Even the swans in the river seemed oblivious to the cold. Even without the animals the view is simply to die for. The lighting went from partial cloud cover tot perfectly clear…either way it was awesome. It was strange to experience the cold and yet the water in the river didn’t freeze…plenty of warm water from the geysers keeps the water above freezing. Our guide pointed out this frosted tree standing alone in the sunlight…awesome! The bison were as unperturbed by the cold as the trees. Our first rest stop finally came and still the beauty of the surrounding forest grabbed me. Our snow coach was a modified Suburban…wheels replaced with…well, this: . Thus ends the first part of the Yellowstone series…more to come!