June is National Great Outdoors Month, June 13th is Get Outdoors Day, and apparently there’s a National Trails Day, a National Parks Week, a Fishing and Boating Week…well I haven’t traveled anywhere exotic lately, but I grew up on road trips.
When I lived in Colorado we usually drove to Utah, Arizona, Nevada and even to family in California. I wasn’t into photography back then and Dad’s disposable camera would hardly give justice. However, since living in Arkansas we’ve traveled to farther reaches of the continent–relative to Arkansas, anyway. On a past Great Outdoors Month my feeble new photography skills and compact camera got lucky a few times.
Grand Tetons National Park
The beauty of Grand Tetons National Park is mostly activity lies along a strip of lakes. One of the most infamous lakes, Jenny Lake, brushed against half a dozen trails, one trail brushing against our campsite.
Our first section Jenny Lake had burned some years before, but despite a naked forest the ground was crawling with fraternizing critters–a buck deer that practically galloped into me, as well as this marmot.
A popular view of Jenny Lake and the basin Grand Teton Road passes through.
Farther up the mountains from Inspiration Point was the current snow line. This snow packed at least three feet high and almost buried a trail sign. I admired this particular avenue because of the drastic leaning of the trees and exposure the wild going-ons like hunting weasels. I speculate this was a small avalanche site.
Yellowstone National Park
Anyone can go to an infamous national park and see the same attractions, but I find it’s the individual nuances of nature that makes an excursion particularly memorable. This large raven was next to our truck. He stared at me. I had to walk next to him to get to my door. He stared at me. I half expected him to attack, but he just stared.
Yellowstone endures heavy traffic during the summer. However, if you leave your campsite early you can have free range as well as serene views.
Early in the morning my dad and I parked above Lower Falls. A couple of wandering bison visited the lot while we departed down the paved stairs and switchback ramps to the bottom viewing platform. While the Falls contributed some mist, I’d say the geysers may the atmosphere downstream special.
This is by far my favorite picture, and I wish I took it with a DSLR in a large format. We glanced across the river from the trails and later the Lower Falls viewing platform to see this fascinating spectacle–a combination of a the sun cracking the forest horizon and mist and geyser steam. I want to see it again!