travel

Journey to the West (In Photos)

I recently got back from an amazing trip to Yellowstone/Denver/Salt Lake City/Grand Tetons. Oh, and Idaho, randomly…although I suspect I raise my eyebrows at Idaho the way most Coast-dwellers do at Ohio, so.

Here are some photos from the trip. We took about 500, quite literally (but I only put about ten here, you’re welcome!). Click through to see the large versions and read the captions.

Yellowstone was gorgeous beyond belief, and especially remarkable for the range of features in one relatively small space. Here there were people fly-fishing, but in other parts of the park there were sand mesas and other desert structures. Not to mention snow-capped mountains, a huge lake a mile above sea level, and of course, the geothermal fountains and geysers.

One of the first things we saw upon entering the park—this beautiful elk calmly grazing roadside as passerby stopped to gawk.

 

In “Biscuit Basin” (though it smelled more like rotten eggs than biscuits), we saw these incredible flows of bacterial life, which colored the strange landscape.

My favorite geothermal spot in Yellowstone. The “Sapphire Pool” in Biscuit Basin had these brilliant waters that smoked and seemed to plunge down into the depths of the earth.

We saw this little guy plus a mother bear and her cub on our trip. When he ambled out from behind the bathrooms at a scenic overlook, people went berserk trying to get a picture. One old guy stuck his huge Nikon lens right into the bear’s face. So much for keeping 100 feet away.

At the top of Mt. Washburn (11000 feet above sea level), the wind was so strong I was almost knocked off my feet.

We drove up the highest road in North America while near Denver, CO. This 14 mile drive was beautiful and terrifying. We were above the cloud level for the last bit, and there was no shoulder/barrier, just sheer mountainside. At the very top, we stopped at the “Castle in the Sky”, a structure built in the mid-20th century.

These wild mountain goats were very calm and wandered around the parking lot/bathroom area, munching on lichens and alpine grass. No trees grow that high (note the clouds behind and below the goats).

My sister and I went horseback riding through the Grand Teton mountain range. It ended up being quite an adventure when her horse rolled in the sand and then ran off into the wilderness. We had to ride double back to the camp.

The Grand Teton Mountain Range in the Rockies. Named by French explorers—les trois tetons means “the three beasts”

 

 

 

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