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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 22, 2006

Yellowstone Day 8: Two more waterfalls — and a bald eagle!

Filed under: Yellowstone Trip 2006 — Mike U @ 9:09 pm

we found this bald eagle perched above the Firehole River after taking a wrong turn on the Mystic Falls trailToday was another pretty successful day of photography.  The main focus was on the two trails Jay and I hiked (after Jay got off work around noon), the Fairy Falls trail and the Mystic Falls trail on the west side of the park near the geothermal basins.  Fairy Falls was a very interesting falls of about 170 feet with low water flow.  Pretty strong winds were blowing the water all around in this narrow chute of a waterfall, which provided a myriad of different long exposure compositions, as the water danced around on its way down to the bottom.  After that hike, which was 5 miles, we headed to the Biscuit Basin which was the trailhead for Mystic Falls.  At the beginning of this hike, we took a wrong turn which added another three-quarters of a mile to this hike.  This fateful error turned out to be quite magical, for we spotted a beautiful bald eagle perched high atop a tree over a sharp bend in the Firehole River.  I was able to get some decent shots at 400mm of this eagle.  Oh yeah, we also spotted an Osprey on the drive south towards our first hike… who was feeding on a fish perched high above a tree.  The two major birds of prey of interest in the park, and photographed within a few hours time — not too bad!  Mystic Falls was a decent waterfall, which cascaded several levels for a total of about 75 feet or so.  We then continued this hike to the top of an observation point overlooking the entire geyser basin with a few of the whole Old Faithful area.  Unfortunately, the light was very poor with graupel showers falling on us during the hike, with temperatures around 38 to 40 degrees.  This marks the last day in Yellowstone and tonight will be my last night staying with Jay… for my final two days of the trip will be spent photographing around Teton Nat’l Park.  I will be staying in Driggs, Idaho just to the west of the park.  I will shoot here Saturday, Sunday, and the first part of Monday.  I will begin heading back to Dodge City Monday afternoon.  (A couple hours later…)  Jay and I just got done eating dinner at this place that Jay knows about north of West Yellowstone, called Eino’s.  Several firsts for me in this place.  Here, you actually order your food, and you cook and prepare it yourself!  Jay and I both had half pound burgers which were pretty good.  You look around…all around this place and there are dollar bills hanging everywhere that people sign little messages on along with their date they visited.  There’s a couple thousand one-dollar bills hanging around everywhere… some of the older ones laminated from as early as 1988.  The other first was the men’s urinal was tucked nicely inside this old shower, with the shower head and everything still there.  I really went to the bathroom in the shower!  I really wish I had my camera to offer a visual of this odd (but really funny) scene… but talk about freaking hilarious.  Anyway, more later.   

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