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High Plains Drifter

disclaimer:  "The meteorological views/forecast thinking expressed are those solely of the author of this blog
and do not necessarily represent those of official National Weather Service forecast products,
therefore read and enjoy at your own risk and edification!"

September 18, 2006

Day 4 Yellowstone: Yellowstone Lake View from Above & Another Grizzly

Filed under: Yellowstone Trip 2006 — Mike U @ 9:48 pm

Yellowstone Lake view from high up along the Elephant Back trail just northwest of the lake.Today was another all-around good day for photography in Yellowstone.  I woke up at 5:15am to do a sunrise shoot of the higher peaks of the Gallitan Mountains that make up the far northwest corner of the park.  I was really hoping for some sun at sunrise after the several cloudy and foul weather days, and the clouds parted just in time.  On our way back from Canyon yesterday, I scouted a potential sunrise spot, and my choice was a local high spot on the Mammoth-Tower road very close to a self-guided nature trail.  After this shoot, I wanted to go down to Canyon and investigate tomorrow morning’s sunrise shoot:  the classic Yellowstone Canyon landscape with Lower Falls.  Oh by the way, as I’m typing this, we are driving back on Mammoth-Tower road as Jay is successfully dodging the here and there female elk among an assortment of other wildlife (this typing will be uploaded in about an hour!).  Anyway, as I was saying, earlier today, I wanted to study tomorrow morning’s sunrise shot at Canyon, but for some reason the Tower-Canyon road was barracaded over a short distance, thus foiling that plan.  I drove back to Mammoth-Gardiner where I shot Mammoth Hot Springs terraces in the pristine blue skies of late morning.  Around noon, I met back up with Jay and we hiked Elephant Back trail just northwest of Yellowstone Lake.  This 4 mile hike took us up to an amazing nearly panoramic view of the lake with the famous Lake Yellowstone Hotel in view as well.  Using the polarizer filter, the blues of the lake and the sky were just brilliant.  Afterwards, we had a beer at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel then headed off north for more wildlife hopes along the Hayden Valley and the Mount Washburn area.  I apparently just missed a grizzly bear sighting (Jay claims he saw it) on the north part of Hayden Valley, but we were to have another interesting sighting in the Lamar Valley shortly thereafter.  We, along with a bunch of other people, observed a grizzly bear feasting on a kill (probably elk, we guess) about 3/4 mile away.  This valley has great visibility, and I took a few photos of the scene to preserve what we saw.  In my images, you could make out the features of a grizzly, but that’s about it.  We called it a day and ate dinner at the Beartooth restaurant in Cooke City.  More tomorrow!    

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