Yellowstone in the Fall – Stolen!

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I was supposed to return home after the Teton adventure. But AUGH! Yellowstone was a mere 31 miles north! I called my boss and he allowed me to beg out of the one work event I was expected back for (love that man). The Family concurred I shouldn’t return until I’d spent some time in Yellowstone National Park (Bless them), so off I went…..

I had four stolen days to make it through this vast Park, so I blasted north till I made it to Yellowstone Lake. Wow. It’s HUGE!

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake

I parked the van in a lovely little pull-out, had dinner and watched the sun set.

The Sun Leaves its Glow

The Sun Leaves its Glow

But then I got kicked out at dark by the Park Rangers (whoops, really Sir I’m just here to photograph the sunset), and scared the living daylights (literally) out of myself trying to drive in the utter pitch dark to the next campground 2 hrs away. I don’t recommend this. I gave up when I flashed by an elk standing inches from the road. Shaking, I pulled into the next viewpoint and hid behind a construction trailer hoping I wouldn’t be seen. Solid reasoning not to risk my life to be legal in this case, don’t you think? Lesson Learned, have an after dark exit strategy.

There are MANY water falls in Yellowstone. A lot of them require a hike, and many that are at the roadside. Yellowstone Falls is probably the most famous, and of course I had to stop and photograph them.  But how to get a different take on such an iconic subject? I had the help of weather in this case. I got there pretty early after my stolen night behind the construction trailer. Everything was shrouded in thick fog. But with patience and a good cup of hot coffee for company (no one else was nuts enough to be out there in the cold fog), I waited. Here was my reward:

The Falls in Mystery

The Falls in Mystery

I can’t describe what this does to my heart and soul to witness such a spectacular unveiling and then translate that into an image. It brings to mind a favorite quote that’s on my Home Page

No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer it has chosen….. Minor White

My next favorite stop was at the north entrance, Mammoth Hot Springs. I’d always wanted to photograph this amazing place. I spent hours walking through it (it really was mammoth), and met a scientist being filmed for a documentary on her work there. It was fascinating to hear her describe how they study these areas for their similarities with extraterrestrial conditions. Really! I wanted to spend the whole day with her….but we had separate missions leading us. I did see the unusual patterns and textures deposited by the flowing hot mineral waters with new eyes however:

Mineral Sculptures

Mineral Sculptures

Mountains of.....what IS that?

Mountains of…..what IS that?

I watched this scientist being filmed for a bit and looking back I’m sorry I missed catching her coming through the mists.

Boardwalk in the Mists

Boardwalk in the Mists

There’s so much to see in Yellowstone, surely I will have to return! On my way out I witnessed many animals roaming and doing their thing. This coyote was a trip to watch hunting in the meadow:

Intention

She was oblivious of my presence, so  intent was her focus. It paid off with a tasty little rodent for her lunch.

Farewell for now Yellowstone. I WILL be back….

Last Look

Last Look

Check out the Gallery for more images from this trip!


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