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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Houston Chronicle: Don't Fence Me In

My feature article on the joys of Yellowstone in spring recently appeared in several major US newspaper Travel sections, including the Chicago Tribune and the Houston Chronicle.

Commune with the greatest concentration of free-roaming wildlife in the contiguous U.S.


What if the exotic menagerie of captive creatures at the San Diego Zoo's famous Wild Animal Park were actually wild?

This fantasy struck me recently while stuck in a traffic jam caused by a herd of prehistoric-looking bison. They were moseying across Yellowstone's West Entrance Road with their newborn calves in tow. I was rubbernecking. Early childhood memories of giraffes licking the windshield of our family station wagon at a drive-thru safari flashed into mind.

Here in Wyoming's top-left corner, you can explore the greatest concentration of free-roaming wildlife in the contiguous United States — in your own vehicle, at your own pace (and, sometimes, at theirs). It's no wonder that Yellowstone National Park, home to 61 different mammals and hundreds of bird species, receives around 3 million annual visitors, mostly between Memorial Day and Labor Day. To beat the crowds, there is no better time to visit than May.

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