We had a couple of days to get away so we decided to head to Jackson, Wy. Our daughter and her family joined us for a few days in Yellowstone. We were able to see many of the park’s iconic animals which the kid’s really enjoyed. I found some moose to photograph as well as did some night photography. I missed the bulls stripping their velvet by one day, oh well.
This year we had quite an unusual trip to Yellowstone National Park. For over 35 years we have been staying at the Canyon campground and other campgrounds around the park. This year was no exception our reservations confirmed a year in advance. We arrived at the Canyon Campground by 2:00 p.m. We secured our campsite but as we went to pull our trailer into the site it was almost impossible to access it. It was a steep drop off, that did not bother me, but trying to make the turn next to the tight trees was nearly impossible. After about 1/2 to 3/4 hour of manipulating the truck and trailer around we finally exited the sight. We could not even open the door to the trailer at any point while in the site. It was NOT a pleasant experience maneuvering the truck through that campsite. There were at least 10 other open sites in the same loop we were assigned so we were not worried about switching sites. “We should have been worried.” Upon requesting a change of sites after explaining our problem we were told by the supervisor that it was too bad and they could not change sites. I asked if when I register for a campsite could I reserve a site? The answer was an emphatic NO. “You are assigned a site when you check in.” Calmly and with much restraint, I asked had all the other sites checked in the answer was no, but I had been assigned a site and there would be no changing sites.
To make matters worse they scanned my credit card for the remainder of the nights stay (5). I asked for a refund and they told me that the charge only went through upon check out. Since I had not checked out no charge was made. This is NOT TRUE. I have the instant message from my credit card company to prove the charge and no refund had been applied. The park service needs to inform their employees with the correct information about when the credit card charges are being hit to their accounts. SO we did not have a campsite and had been charged for 5 nights! :(
To make a long story short we ended up at Colter Bay Campground near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They were very pleasant and said if there was a problem with the site they would change us to another site without any problems.
Come on Yellowstone Park Services this is simply NOT ACCEPTABLE. After staying in your campgrounds over 100 times, where is your customer service!
We traveled to and from the park for 5 days not spending another penny in the park, not even for gas.
We were fortunate to view many animals and had a great time together. My advice is the least interaction you can have with the Yellowstone Park Service the better. This is sad because I have always found the rangers and park volunteers to be very patient and willing to let everyone enjoy the park.
Now to end my rant here are a few pictures of some of the animals and fauna we observed this year.
Thanks for looking!
I decided to take a quick trip to Jackson to see if I could see some early spring bears in the area. I am not an orator or an author but I really enjoy taking photographs. I would like to share with you some of the things I observed.
The snow was melting from the valley floor and there were very large herds of elk everywhere.
The road to the Antelope Flat area was just opened and the barns were getting busy. It is always nice to photograph the Tetons with impressive clouds around them.
Schwabacher’s Landing Road opened the second day I was there so I had to go see that marvelous reflected scenes. It is probably one of the most famous postcard scenes in the area.
I went up north to see some grizzly bears but there was nothing visible so I headed to Yellowstone. I always wanted to capture an image of Castle geyser and I happened to time it just right. I only had to wait 40 minutes.
After the geyer eruption I wanted to head to the tower area to look for black bears but the Dunraven Road was closed and I reluctantly had to go through the road construction. Just before the construction I viewed a grizzly with 3 cubs of the year. (COY) They were too far away to take any pictures. These yearling cubs and mother were seen in the Roosevelt area.
This bear was seen at the top of the hill in the tower area.
On the way back to Jackson I stopped by LeHardy rapids. I usually only seen one or two harlequin ducks but to my amazement there were twenty-seven. I could not believe my eyes.
I was driving around the lake and observed a pullout full of vehicles. I drove past and and had to turn around and go back. I am glad I did. This grizzly was feasting on bison remains in the river. He was a very big boy.(?)
This Blue Heron was along Moose Wilson road. It was intent on finding dinner.
I was finally able to see Blondie the grizzly in the northern part of Jackson. She had her two cubs with her. She was quite far from the road at first but I wasn’t in a hurry and after an hour or so she eventually made it closer to the road.
After enjoying my time with the bears I drove down the road and this nice bull elk was sauntering right by the road. It is amazing how they become so familiar to vehicles.
I very much enjoyed this spring trip and hope the one in June will be a lot of fun!
In January and February I took a couple images of the moon. These are most likely the only two I will take this year. The first image is of the super blood moon. It occurred on Jan. 20. We had clouds all day and I did not think it was even going to be possible to see the moon. At the last minute the clouds parted and gave me about 10 minutes to take the picture. It really was beautiful.
The other image occurred on Feb. 18. It was to be a Super Moon. I am located in Northern Utah so again clouds made me watch the sky. I was lucky to catch a glimpse of this moon as well. Two lucky shots, I don’t think i’ll try for a third.
We took the time to visit Zion National Park. It is always a pleasure to get up very, very early and make the drive to the park and catch the first bus. The early morning light makes the rocks glow. This time we did not take the Angel’s Landing hike or walk the Subway but we did experience some other beautiful vistas.
Later during the day we visited the bridge over the river. It is best photographed in the evening.
The next morning we photographed another walk wall. It was very windy and would have been a lot better with clouds but look at that rock amphitheater.
One of the famous views is the Canyon Overlook. It is best to wait until the sun has illuminated the entire canyon. It helps with the shadows.
There are so many things to photograph that you can only do a few in one visit. Remember to have patience because there will always be crowds. Make a few good images, take a few fun hikes, get a lot dirty, and breathe that fresh mountain air. You can always take another visit to the canyon to photograph what you missed. Have fun, we did!
I had the opportunity to go to the Moab are to do some photography work so after I finished I spent a couple of days looking again at the amazing rock and valley formations. Sunrise and sunset are the ideal times to do photography. However, during the late fall you can make photographs almost anytime of day.
I wanted to try for a sun star at Delicate Arch. After I finished my work for the day it was 4:30 that meant I only had about 1.5 hour to get to Arches and make the hour long hike up the steep ascent to the arch. As you can see I made it with minutes to spare. This was my first set of shots. Lucky!
I had seen a picture of turret arch through the north window of the window section of the park. I made a quick recognisence trip to find the spot to scramble to in the dark for a sunrise shot. On this morning I left my motel room at 4:00 a.m. and made it to the spot with plenty of time to spare. I was joined a few minutes later by a young man from Bulgaria who is now living in Sweden. We had a delightful time discussing photography and his world travels.
One of my favorite arches in Arches National Park is Pine Tree Arch. This photograph was made in the middle of the day. I was bracketing my exposures when some older couples came up. I had one more set of images to take. One couple politely waited by my side but not the other. The gentleman ran to the center of the arch and played around on it for several minutes. I was able to finish my shot, just a suggestion. Please be aware of others around you when exploring fun new places, above all have patience.
Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park is always a must see. It is 1 hour drive from Moab and past what I call the wiggles section of the road in the park. If you have been there you will know what I mean. I have photographed the arch before and I know of the problems (people, temperature and wind) associated with attempting to take this picture. You are never alone and there is always a photography tour there. I left my hotel room at 3:40 and arrived at the arch at 4:50. I was the 6th person there. A photo tour and 1 other person arrived before I did. Sunrise was not until 6:56. This day there was so much wind that a tripod and camera had already blown over and a lens was ruined. (very expensive lesson) I anchored my tripod with my photo bag, it is heavy. I was lucky!
I wanted to photograph these three structures. The three gossips, left; Sheep rock, center; the tower of Babel on the right. This evening I was lucky to have just a few clouds to help accent the scene.
After photographing the three distinctive shape rock formations I turned my camera around to photograph the majestic Courthouse. It is impossible to take in the scale of these massive mono lifts.
There is always a surprise image and this one just struck me as strikingly beautiful as I was leaving Arches one evening. The sky was pink and it made the scenery light up. Thanks for taking the time to share in my adventure.
We had the opportunity to visit the Portland area for business and so we decided to take in a few sights. In the Portland area waterfalls seemed to be our focus, so we visited Silver Falls state park. Silver Falls has 10 main falls that are on designated, well maintained trails. Coming from a desert area like Utah, this fern laden, moss draped, treed area was beautiful.
After the visit to Silver Falls we meandered our way to the coast to see the Redwoods in northern California. This has always been on my to do list, I was glad we were this close. The redwoods are fascinating. There immense size, rough, thick bark, delicate needles offer quite a contrast. This forest will provide beauty and hidden treasures to everyone who visits. Make sure to notice the picture of the redwood ladder up in the tree, it was up at least 75-100 feet.
You can view the images in a separate window by clicking on them.
We took the opprotunity to watch the fireworks in Logan, Utah. They really put on a great show. I had to take a few photos. I hope you like the slideshow.
We were fortunate enough to be able to spend a few days in Yellowstone and the surrounding area. Lisa kept count and we saw 29 different bears. What was very remarkable was that the overwhelming majority of them were black bears this year. I took over 2000 pictures and have only worked on 2. We walked to the new Grand Prismatic Springs overview and made a picture and I attempted to make a Milky Way photo. That is all it is an attempt. We had a great time. The variety of animals and experiences are always amazing and keeps us coming back year after year.
I had the opportunity to do some work in Jackson so I took the time to visit GTNP. What an experience. There are always many varied things to see and do.
GTNP is always on of my favorite places.