Sunday, September 23, 2018

Yellowstone III

I finally have a connection (see comments on Yellowstone I)

For now these post without narrative. Mostly we spent the day looking at elk and in the Northern part of the park

To Yellowstone (Out of Sequence)

 Tuesday saw us traveling about three hundred miles from Twin Falls to Moran, Wyoming and the Headwaters Lodge at the Flagg Ranch inside Grand Teton National Park which will be our headquarters for nine days of exploration of the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.

We did not do a lot of sightseeing but did stop for a short walk at the Massacre Rocks State Park, along the South Fork of the Snake River.

Yellowstone II

Once more images without captions.

Very quickly we have learned that what we plan and what we do often diverge. There are too many attractive distractions along the way. 

Our first distraction was a small herd of elk. It’s fascinating to see what happens when animals show up, cars stop, traffic jams, word goes out to the National Park Service, and rangers or volunteers soon show up to manage the interface between animals and humans.

From the elk sighting, we went on to LeHardy’s rapids, the Mud Volcano, an other worldly grouping of hot springs, mud, and minerals and microbes that is , in truth, very hard to depict, you have to be there for the heat, the steam, the stanch of sulphur.

From ther we went along to the Brink of the Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River and the South Rim of Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon.

At that point, the plan was to go back to Old Faithful for dinner at the Lodge. We did not have reservations and there was no room at the inn. I had planned for us to have dinner there, come out at twilight and get some dramatic shots of the geyser. Din’t happen. But I did get some twilight shots on the way back to the Headwaters Lodge where we are staying. It was a long, arduous day in which we walked almost seven miles and we collapsed in our room about 9:30, exhausted.

Yellowstone One

Once more, posted without image captions

 Thursday, September 20 took us from Grand Teton north about five miles to the South Gate of Yellowstone. The previous day in Grant Teton had been pleasant, if somewhat frustrating for the smoke from a nearby fire. Nothing prepared us for the grandeur that is Yellowstone. And it is not just mere beauty that captivates the First time visitor but the scale, the diversity of landscape. It seems as if whatever scenic beauty exists in nature exists here.

Our initial goal was to simply familiarize ourselves with the park, but it became impossible to just drive past some sites with the promise to return, we stopped and stopped again until we came to the essential Old Faithful geyser. Our first stop was at the Lewis Falls along the Lewis River which feeds Lewis Lake. Next came the rather spectacular Kepler Cascade, all of which primed us for the thermals and the geysers which came next.  The weather at Old Faithful, rain and sleet mixed with wind made it a challenge, so we did not walk the complete loop, but we got the sense of the place. At some point, we will get back there. 

From there we drove a circuit from Old Faithful east to Canyon Village and back down south through more geysers, stopping to visit with some bison by the side of the road, and back the south gate to our lodgings in Grand Teton.

The Grand Tetons

Jackson Lodge, near us in the Grand Teton NP, has a good connection so I get to post!! It is weird being so disconnected in the USofA. I offer these, for now, without captions.

Since we are staying at the Headwaters Lodge in Grand Teton National Park, it seemed logical to spend out first day there before we journey just a few miles north into Yellowstone, which we will do tomorrow.

So, basically we drove along the John D. Rockefeller Jr Memorial Parkway, Rockefeller and his son Laurance were major patrons of the park in its early development, stopping for brief walks at the Mount Moran Overlook, String Lake, and Jenny Lake before visiting the historic cabins at Menor’s Ferry. And that made for a day along with a number of other shorter stops.

The day was not a good one for photography, smoke from the nearby Roosevelt Fire cast an increasingly dense blanket over the valley as the day went on. The mountains were visible, but capturing them in photos was a challenge. The fall colors, on the other hand, were a treat to see and photograph. For many of these images the best answer was black and white.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Moving North

From Elko, Nevada we continued north and eastward to Twin Falls, Idaho on our way, tomorrow, to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. This most likely will be my last daily post for about ten days as we are reported not to have cell or internet access.

Monday saw us drive through the Great Basin, essentially high desert. Photo opportunities, so to speak, were few. I got a few nice images at a roadside stop near Salmon Creek. And then as we crossed the Snake River at Twin Falls, the scenery became quite dramatic.

Rosa among the berries