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Category Archives: Wyoming

We continued on our way to Old Faithful arriving late in the morning. It was raining hard when we arrived so we headed for the Education center to kill a little time and find out when the various geysers were going to blow. My wife downloaded an app for her phone that gave the times for the big geysers.

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Old Faithful was going to blow in about a half an hour but it was still raining so walked over to Old Faithful Inn to grab some coffee and watch from under cover. Old Faithful did it’s thing and it was still raining so we walked over to the cafeteria and grabbed some lunch. During lunch it quit raining so we started a walk through the geyser basin.

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The sun was in and out of the clouds. There continued to be great clouds as a backstop for the various geysers.

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When we arrived at Grand Geyser we found some benches and a few people waiting for the eruption. My wife checked her app and found that there was a two hour period when it could erupt so we continued on.

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When we arrived at Grotto Geyser it was blowing a lot of steam so we watched it for a while.

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The last stop on the trail was Morning Glory Pool. As the sign indicated it was but a shadow of its former self but still beautiful.

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We then headed back the same way we came and spent a little more time photographing Grotto Geyser.

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As we approached Grand Geyser we noticed it was erupting. We hurried along the trail but as it turned out the eruption lasted for quite a while so I managed quite a few photos.

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We then wandered past Castle Geyser which was scheduled to erupt at about the same time as Old Faithful.

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As it turned out it started to rain so we decided on Old Faithful and walked over to the visitors center to get a cup of hot coco while we waited out the rain. As it turned out the service at the dining area was too slow so I went back to photograph Old Faithful in the rain.

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After the eruption we headed back to West Yellowstone. We found a herd of buffalo along the road and as we drove along the Madison River there was a Bull Elk at the edge of the river.

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More photos from Yellowstone National Park can be found on my website.

After driving along the Madison and Firehole Rivers and a few smaller geyser areas we reached the Midway Geyser Basin Area. There were a lot of tour buses and groups of photographers in the area. The later ignored the signs and crossed into areas that were restricted seeking to get the best photo possible.

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My wife walked around the area and came back to the car a half hour later and the photographers were still in the area taking photos of the same little waterfall.Midway-Geyser-Basin-Yellowstone-National-Park-14-9-_2313

What I really liked about this area weren’t the thermal pools but the spectacular sky. It continued to spit rain during the early morning and appeared to be snowing in the mountains. The sky made a dramatic backdrop to the thermal area.Midway-Geyser-Basin-Yellowstone-National-Park-14-9-_3225

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More photos from Yellowstone National Park can be found on my website.

On our second day in Yellowstone National Park we decided to drive over to the Old Faithful area and spend the day. As we started out we could see heavy clouds with a hint that things might clear.

As we drove along the Madison River we passed Mount Haynes with partially clearing skies in the background.

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Shortly after Madison Junction we turned off on Firehole Canyon Drive which follows the along the Firehole River. The reason for taking this road was to photograph Firehole Falls. There wasn’t a lot of parking but managed to find a spot and spent some time looking at this beautiful waterfall.

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As we drove into open country we encountered a herd of Buffalo and quite a few fishermen. There was a lot of early morning fog along the river.

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At Firehole Lake Drive we encountered more Buffalo and White Dome Geyser.White-Dome-Gyser-14-9-_2283

Further on we passed the famous Ghost Forest. It consists of a forest of dead trees killed by thermal activity and seemingly preserved. I had photographed Ghost Forest a number of years ago in the summer. I think with green grass it is a more striking photograph.

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More photos from Yellowstone National Park can be found on my website.

Things have sure changed in Yellowstone since I was a kid. When our family drove through Yellowstone in the 50’s there were cars lined up all along the roads with people feeding the bears. I recall one day I had a temper tantrum and refused to get out of the car when we stopped. My parents and brother went into a store to look around (those were different times). After a while I decided to go into the store and when I exited the car a bear followed me along the sidewalk. My parents saw me hightailing it along the street ahead of the bear.

When my family made a trip to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks about fifteen years ago we didn’t see a single bear. Fortunately on this trip we were able to see Grizzly Bears on several occasions.Grizzly-Bears-14-9-_2720

After leaving Norris Geyser Basin we encountered a traffic jam. Folks were exiting their car and moving forward to photograph something but we didn’t know what. It wasn’t long before the park ranger showed up with lights flashing. Soon everyone was back in their car. As we drove by we saw a mother bear and what appeared to be a two year old cub along the road feeding. We couldn’t stop but I took a couple of photos as we drove by. The ranger didn’t look too happy as he routed people out of the woods near the bears.

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Two days later we had a second encounter, this time near Canyon Village. We drove out of the woods into an open area and noticed a couple of cars parked along the road. There was a buffalo grazing along the road so we stopped to watch the buffalo.

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I noticed a photographer with a long lens mounted on his tripod but it wasn’t pointed at the buffalo. Following his line of sight I could see a Grizzly Bear with what appeared to be a two year old cub walking out of the woods. It was in the same general area as our first sighting so it could have been the same bears.

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The bears went down in a shallow dip and we could see them wrestling around. The other photographer was running around trying to get a shot of them. We continued to watch the buffalo.Grizzly Bears14-9-_3122

The bears kept walking toward the buffalo when suddenly the adult bear reared up for a better look. At this point the buffalo was looking intently toward the bears. when the bear reared up the buffalo pivoted and headed in the opposite direction at a good pace.

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We watched the bears for a while and then continued on our journey. When we caught up to the buffalo it was a good mile down the road.

More photos from Yellowstone National Park can be found on my website.

We arrived at the east entrance to Yellowstone Park late in the morning. Once again we had a nice chat with the ranger about the Green Bay Packers. He was getting off his ship soon and planned on watching the Packer game. It seems that there are a lot of park rangers that follow the Packers.

We drove over to Fishing Bridge and stopped for a few photos. There were storm clouds in the air with rain in the lower elevation and snow in the mountains.

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There were storm clouds in the sky as we drove along the Yellowstone River on our way to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

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This was the first buffalo we spotted in Yellowstone National Park.

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When we arrived at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone we headed out to Artists Point. We were very surprised to find a large number of people at Artist Point. We thought there wouldn’t be many people in the park given the late season and the fact that many of the facilities were closed. I can’t imagine what the park would be like during the summer. When we were in Custer we met a person who had been working in the park and was in the process of unwinding from a very busy and stressful summer.

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Lower Falls

There were enough people at Artists Point that we had to stand around and wait for a place to open up so I could take photos of the lower falls.

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We then drove over to the north rim and hiked a number of trails.Lower-Falls-Yellowstone-National-Park-14-9-_2550

 

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Leaving Canyon Village we headed over to Norris Geyser Basin. It had been spitting rain most of the day and continued to do so when we visited the geysers. Norris-Geyser-Basin-14-9-_2684

 

As we were leaving we noticed a ranger giving a talk on survival equipment used by firefighters. Here he was demonstrating the use of the personal fire shelter.

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After leaving Norris we headed to West Yellowstone where we were going to spend the night.

More photos from Yellowstone National Park can be found on my website.

After the Buffalo Roundup in Custer, South Dakota we headed west to Cody, Wyoming. The day didn’t start off well. After trying my luck at photographing star trails at Sylvan Lake we returned to our motel. I had drained the battery taking star trail photos and decided to recharge the battery. Unfortunately in my efforts to lighten the load for this trip I had repacked everything. Normally I keep a bag packed and just replenish supplies before starting a new trip. When I repacked I only brought one battery charger and it didn’t fit the batteries for the new cameras.

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So early in the morning we headed back to Rapid City to see if I could pick up a new charger at Best Buy. Luck was with us and I was able to get a new charger. We then headed toward Spearfish Canyon which we thought might be a nice drive with the fall colors. Unfortunately it turned into a disaster. There were some fall colors but it turned out that there was also a bike rally, a motorcycle rally and an old car rally all on the same day and all along the same road. We tried to stop a couple of places but there were so many people we couldn’t even find a place to park. We finally reached Spearfish which was packed with people and some of the streets were closed off for a celebration . We decided to grab a bite to eat and get back on the road. We reached Beluah before I realized I had left my pack in the restaurant. We made a hasty retreat to pick it up.

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All in all we were not making much progress on what should been an easy drive to Cody. We then took Alternate 14 to Cody which is a difficult mountain drive. My wife was driving an she is petrified of driving in the mountains. I love to drive in the mountains but tend to drive a little fast so she wouldn’t relinquish the wheel. When we finally reached Cody late in the evening were exhausted.Buffalo-Bill-Scenic-Byway-14-9-_2479

The next morning things started off better. We drove over to Yellowstone Park along the Buffalo Bill Scenic Highway. There were a few strange sights along the road. This Big Boy Restaurant statue was out in a field. I’m not sure why but since my son was a big fan we took a picture of it to send him.

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We passed the Smith Mansion along the road. At the time we couldn’t figure out what it was since it wasn’t listed in the guide book and we didn’t see any sign. After returning home we found that it was a house started in 1973 by Francis Lee Smith. He died in 1992 while still working to complete the mansion. Efforts are underway to finish and restore the mansion.

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As we neared Yellowstone we saw a number of hunting groups heading out into the wilderness to hunt elk.

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