It took a minute to process what was happening.
We had been slowly but steadily making our way through the park, enjoying the occasional bison herd, wondering if the sky was going to remain overcast or clear out, and surprised at just how many tourists were still on vacation this late in the year.
It was getting cold you guys - go home already!
Suddenly vehicle after vehicle hit their brakes, and we did the same, surprised at the unexpected need to stop.
Still far back and with nothing to see, we assumed that there was a bear close by.
And then we saw them...........
They were so far in front of us that at first we thought it was just a handful of bison standing in the middle of the road.
Indeed - that would bring everything to a standstill.
And then we realized that the handful were on the move and coming our way.
And that there were more behind that first handful.................
It took a few seconds to process what was happening and then I raised my camera and starting furiously snapping pictures through the dirty windshield.
The herd was huge.
And on the move.
Migrating from one place to another - where, they themselves knew but we did not.
But as this spectacle continued to unfold in front of us, LC and I (and even our silently staring dog) were mesmerized.
None of us had ever seen such a sight.
And it was extraordinary to see...................
There were 2 that stood out in this herd.
The large one in the picture below who stood head and shoulders and hump above every other bison that passed us.
And one whose picture I did not get - a light brown calf.
A little guy.
Born later in the year than every other young bison in this huge herd, but who somehow managed to keep up and stay with the herd...................
It took 20 minutes for the entire herd to pass us by.
They never hit any vehicles although many of them ventured around, in front of and behind.
They knew where they were going, and as we started to move again LC and I spoke with excitement about what we had just seen.
It was only after we were on the road and moving again that we began to realize that the traffic coming from the opposite direction was backed up for 10 miles.
Guys at the back saw none of it and most likely had NO idea why they had been stopped for so long.