Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 9: Yellowstone / Grand Teton Trip - 2011 (FINAL TRIP BLOG POST)

Sadly, after 2,845 miles driven, 74 hours and 7 mins of car time with my son, Jared, and countless special moments and laughs, my (and Jared's) Yellowstone/ Grand Teton 2011 trip has come to a special ending........ I will never forget this trip.

Today was very special. I was able to photograph a Yellowstone black wolf in Lamar Valley. This was one of my goals this trip. Unless you are very lucky, the Yellowstone wolves are elusive and difficult to photograph as they are often "far off", viewable by only a spotting scope. Today, this goal was accomplished. See pic posted above.

Jared and I started out at 5:05 am and arrived in Lamar around 7:00 am, making a few landscape images along the way. It was a beautiful, colorful Yellowstone sunrise. We saw a few black bears along the way to Lamar but didn't stop....

We could hear the wolves howling soon after we arrived in Lamar.

There were many "wolf watchers" in place with spotting scopes.  The radio signal (this wolf was collared) was getting stronger that she was near...... and in a few minutes, this beautiful black wolf appeared over the hill, trotted across the expansive Lamar plains, swam across the river, shook herself off, and crossed the road at the same point as always towards their den.

I can not tell you how thrilling it was to watch this beautiful animal in my viewfinder the whole way. I almost forgot to take pictures, I was that awe-struck. Trust me, you have to experience it. It gives you the chills....

After that experience, Jared and I made our way over to Hayden Valley, then the Fishing Bridge for lunch.We drove to the east entrance but no moose but we did see 6 big horn rams. We drove the west loop and wanted to photograph the Grand Prismatic Spring but it started to rain so we decided to head back to Lamar for spend our final hours of the trip.

We arrived at Lamar at 4:30 pm. There was a light rain and wind. We decided to stay as it looked like it (the weather) would pass over.

When we arrived, we were told that a golden eagle flew about 20 feet over everyone's head and then landed across the street. Just my luck.... I miss it by an hour as I would love to have a nice golden eagle in flight image. Besides, my high school mascot was the golden eagle, the Belpre Golden Eagles!

I said to Jared, "I would love to see that golden eagle again"....

So, I set up my gear and we waited for more wolves to return at sunset but no luck... it was beautiful in Lamar (as always) but quiet........ After 2.5 hours, I was about to pack up the gear and Jared said, "Dad, whats that bird? It's big "... and I looked and, yes, it was a golden eagle soaring over my head! It was pretty far up even for my 1300 mm (35 mm equivalent) with overcast dark skies but I fired away and came away with a decent golden eagle image.   Wow, how cool was that? My trip was complete now. We packed up and made the rainy drive back to West Yellowstone and had a pizza together for dinner. We are packed and headed home in the morning, on Father's Day.

What a Father's Day present! spend 9 days in Yellowstone with my son, Jared.

Kim, Jared and I all love Yellowstone.  It is a very special place. 

If you have never visited, you must do so... sooner rather than later.  If you have experienced Yellowstone, then you know what I speak of.........Yellowstone Simply Rocks!

Thanks to all of you who have followed this blog. I hope you found it entertaining to read.

Best Regards,

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