Though winter is my favorite season, mid-June is one of the finest times of year to be in Yellowstone country. Rivers are flowing high, animals are moving into their summer ranges, and early season wildflowers are about to peak. On tour today we made an especially long stop at a pullout in Hayden Valley, overlooking the Yellowstone River. Large groups of elk were swimming across the flooded river moving southbound. Waterfowl and raptors were flying in every direction we looked. So we just sat and looked at it for a really long time; and by "it", I mean everything. We just soaked in the amazing show that the life of this planet was putting on. Sometimes at this point in the day guests are eager to have lunch or hurry off to Old Faithful. Not today's group. We watched small and large bands of elk appear one after the other and swim to the other side of the swollen Yellowstone. It was like many small trains were all coming down the same track. By June 18th the park is busy, there's no doubt about that, but you can almost always find a good show and some peace of mind right next to the road.