Boiling River & Bears – Yellowstone.

     While Celine and Sophia were napping I decided to go for a walk down to the nearby river. It was a great time to be alone and observe the natural essence Yellowstone had to offer. After they woke up we went looking for the boiling river so that night we could bathe (for the first time in 4 days :P).

     Evening arrived so after supper we went down to the boiling river and made the plunge but what we didn’t realize was that the water was either ice cold or scalding hot 80% of the time. There were only a select few spots that allowed for comfortable relaxing and even then you’d catch the occasional shock of cold or boiling water. Even though it was a painful experience and one that I wasn’t the fondest, of we were a little cleaner and less foul smelling.

     On our way back to the vehicle it was already dark and for some reason I was super paranoid the entire time. About 50 meters from the vehicle Celine and Sophia were joking about seeing a bear and then not a minute later they both went quiet behind me and told me to keep walking. As we approached the vehicle I noticed their speed escalating. Confused and somewhat panicked I asked what was going on and they simply replied by saying, “nothing,” and then full out ran. I followed suit and it wasn’t until we were back in the vehicle that they informed me of the massive bear print in the mud that was clearly not there on our walk to the river. None of us saw a physical bear but the size of the print they described made me thankful for getting back when we did. If it was just a black bear I wouldn’t have been too worried but judging by the size it was evidently a grizzly and at the time of year we were there the bears were feeding 20 hours a day.

     We safely made it back to the campsite and I think I slept with the bear spray in my sleeping bag that night ( just kidding that wouldn’t be safe :p). Anyways, the next morning we packed up and set off for the 10 hour drive home. Overall the trip to Yellowstone was a great time of relaxing and exploring an area I had never been before. The history, wildlife, and unique geological features definitely entice me to go back again but there are so many other amazing sights that I can’t wait to see. Thanks for reading this long, drawn out series and I hope to be able to get up to date with all the other small day adventures I’ve gone on. 

Lamar Valley – Yellowstone.

     Without a doubt wolf watching in Lamar Valley was on the top of my list of things to do. We woke up well before sunrise and began the scenic drive to see the legendary wolves of Yellowstone. There wasn’t a guarantee of seeing them but about 10 minutes into Lamar Valley we saw three vehicles pulled over at the side of the road and thought it wouldn’t hurt to inquire about what they were doing. It felt like we struck gold when they said there was a wolf pack on the distant hillside. That childlike joy filled me and all I wanted was to see them. I pulled out my camera with a humble 70-200mm lens in hopes of spotting them. As you may have guessed, fully zoomed in the wolves registered as mere pixels. I was nowhere close to having a zoom that would suffice for viewing or pictures.

     Thankfully one of the regulars shared his scope with us. He told us people called him the “bear man” because he wrote reports on the bears in the park. In addition to that he pointed out the head biologist who set up a few meters away with his scope and notebook. It was so cool being able to observe this sub-culture within the park and at this time there were more than 20 vehicles parked with scopes and tripods.

     Even though it was impossible for me to take a photo of my favorite animal in the world, the mere ability to observe them in their wildest form was jovial. I don’t know how to describe it really but the connection I feel to wolves (for no apparent reason) make me want to advocate for their well being and safety more than most things. Just a warning that you will probably judge me or think I’m kind of weird from what I say next but I’ve had multiple dreams that I’m part of a wolf pack just running through forests and living with them. I realize how ridiculous that sounds but it’s perplexing and kind of funny. Also I’m sure everyone has that one thing they really connect with. For some it’s the mountains, trees, birds, dogs, elephants, who know but mine is wolves.

     Moving on before you think I’m totally weird, the views that accompanied the riveting wolf experience were amazing. I loved seeing the fog float across the hills creating atmospheric views that I frequently search for in landscapes. After visiting Lamar Valley we went back to the campsite for the afternoon to relax.

     To be continued… (The post was just getting too long so the next post will be the conclusion of the Yellowstone adventure!.... Finally) 

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

     The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone was probably my favorite location in the park. I didn’t really know what to expect but was impressed by the scenic vantage points the park provided. All I could think of was when people first stumbled upon this massive canyon. There’s forest surrounding it so if they were on land and, in the literal sense, stumbled upon it that would be the end of their adventure. Lets hope it didn’t happen that way but it was a funny skit I thought through. Anyways, we visited the upper and lower falls after the initial outlook spot. I loved figuring out how to frame the scene from the various points of interest and create personal photos that I felt were unique.

     I don’t have a lot to say really because the views were breathtaking so I hope you enjoy the photos! 

Old Faithful - Yellowstone.

     After a long day of exploring, we arrived at Old Faithful for the last eruption before the visitor center closed. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot I was amazed by the capacity that the resort could accommodate for. There were massive hotels, restaurants, and visitor centers all due to Old Faithful’s fame. I highly recommend going outside the tourist season because if you hope to get any sort of images without people littering them, that’s your best shot! As for my photography that day, Old Faithful was a little disappointing simply because it was raining so much and the bleak grey sky didn’t allow the geyser to pop like it would have on a clear day. Another bittersweet moment was while we were waiting for Old Faithful to blow a different geyser, that only goes off every 3-5 hours, went off in the background. Unfortunately I was too far away and too low to photograph the magnificent eruption of geothermal water. Even though I didn’t achieve the most striking image of the main attraction it was nice to wander around the rest of the paths to see the wide array of pools and smaller, less frequent, geysers.

     I realize my trip to Yellowstone was ages ago but I’m not too sure how to effectively share my experiences in a timely manner that keeps up with my most recent adventures. What might work is if all my recent stuff is shared through Instagram and Facebook and more long-term storytelling will be here. Let me know what you think and thanks for reading! 

Grand Prismatic Spring - Yellowstone.

     Out of all the locations we visited in Yellowstone I was looking forward to the Grand Prismatic Spring most. Unfortunately I had failed to research the reality that most of the time it’s covered in thick fog because of the warm temperatures of the pool. Regardless I tried my best to create images I enjoyed and reminded me of our time there. It was comical seeing elk prints headed directly into the spring, disregarding any boardwalks or advisories. As for the wildlife we were fortunate enough to see it all on the short drive from our campsite to the spring! There are so many bison that it was sometimes intimidating driving by them on the road; in fear of them charging because you were on their turf. Also the ravens were such fascinating birds. We would stop at a picnic table and out of nowhere there would be ravens off in the distance coming to gawk at our food.

     I can’t wait to catch up on sharing my adventures with you and if you want to see my best images check out my portfolio or follow me on social media to see my personal favorites!