By Mike Moore
- West Yellowstone News
In what has become a bi-annual tradition at the West Yellowstone
School, basketball fans and parents of
players hopped onto snowmobiles last Thursday to make a 100-mile round trip
through Yellowstone's interior to attend the
Wolverine basketball games against Gardiner that evening.
The group was led and organized by Merrick Young, of See
Yellowstone Tours and Three Bear Lodge, who said the trip is a unique
opportunity that can only happen in a town like West
"There isn't anywhere else that I know of other than
that people would ride 50 miles to a basketball game," he said. "Especially the
fact that we're riding through Yellowstone
National Park's beautiful
Not only were they traveling through the park during
winter, they were making the long trip exposed to the elements on snowmobiles.
Departing from the Bear's Den Cinema early that afternoon,
a string of 24 snowmobiles carrying 35 community members entered Yellowstone through the park's West Entrance. The
majority of the group was family members of athletes playing in the games, whom
were excited to ride through the park and show their Wolverine pride. The trip
through Yellowstone is also relatively shorter than driving around the park
through Bozeman and Livingston,
which is 166 miles one way.
"The group was mostly family," Young said. "Most of the
people had a connection with the school or were relatives of the players."
As the group ventured down the groomed trail toward Madison
Junction, a wolf feasting on a carcass and fields of bison were spotted as
water glistened off of the fresh snow.
After a brief break at the Madison Junction, the group
headed north to Norris Geyser Basin and continued on to Mammoth Hot Springs,
where a bus was waiting to pick everyone up and travel the remaining few miles
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