Sunday, August 1, 2010

Road Trip!

Yesterday I took what's likely to be my last trip with the employee rec group since they have none scheduled for the first three weeks of August. But I'm signed up for another group's trip in September and am investigating one in a couple weeks.

We had to pick up people from a couple other locations which made for a much longer trip than as the raven flies to Grand Teton National Park, but for me, it largely served the purpose of the bus trip around the park I've never gotten around to taking. I saw many places I hadn't seen before, including Mount Washburn, the Hayden Valley with its bison herds, and Lakes Yellowstone and Lewis shining in the sun. They're not Superior, but I hope to make it back for more than a drive-by. Also en route, we saw a cinnamon black bear and a white pelican.

On top of the extra miles, we added extra time when we got stuck behind a government employee driving very slowly to enforce a special 25 mile per hour limit for no discernible reason--no smoke, no construction, no wildlife by the road. When we finally reached the park border, he turned around and headed back into the park to torment those just arriving.

Here's my first photo of the Tetons, with Jackson Lake in the foreground.

We stopped at Colter Bay Visitor Center where there was a constant and varied series of films in the auditorium, the stores were much better than the ones I've seen in Yellowstone, and there were some very beautiful items in the Indian Arts Museum.

Here's the view from the marina. I love seeing snow on the last day of July.

You can probably guess from those clouds that there was a brief downpour while we there. We waited it out and hoped for the best.

Next stop, the Snake River Overlook, overlooking, well, you know.

Ansel Adams took a famous photo of the river and mountains from nearby (to the right of my position for the first photo, with fewer and shorter trees), and I'm certainly not going to compete with him, so I decided to aim low.

Hey, this flower is good!

Which object does not belong? And hey, check out that ant!

We made a stop at Mormon Row, the remains of a farming community. Adams got here first too, and you can also find many beautifully lit recent photos around the internet. We were here in the early afternoon, so no magic glow was available except for a friend who got upstairs in the barn and took a great shot of the interior with the light coming in between the boards. Looks very churchlike, in a good sense.

Our last stop was at Jenny Lake where it was much too crowded. We took a short walk around, but didn't have time to get to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point across the lake. I didn't like any of the photos I took here, even though I took so many shots of a barn swallow perched on a store sign that I got photographed in the act. A blowup of a not very sharp photo to start with, but I loved the colors.

Back in Yellowstone, it was just another 24-hour bison jam near the Mud Volcano area, with grunts of love in the air. To give you some idea of numbers, here is one view through a dirty windshield. There are just as many on the other side of the road, including the one who was rolling in the dirt so that just his legs would appear in the air intermittently through the dust.

And almost as many on the road.

Through a window, darkly. No cropping here, just a slight zoom from inside the van.

We arrived home to raging thunderstorms, putting the final stamp on a wonderful day. This morning, I was so tired of being in a vehicle that I turned down a canoeing invitation to play with the new tricks I learned on the camera, and get this post and some reading done. Two months down in paradise, two and a half to go.


Woodswalker said...

Paradise, indeed! Those mountains are spectacular. Thanks for the tour.

Allan Stellar said...

I kind of like the 25 mph thing. I wish more rural roads had such limits...cut down on the roadkill and make people drive a more ecological speed.

A fun trip! Loved the adventure...

greentangle said...

Glad you liked it, folks. Long day but fun.