Homeward At last

The Gallatin, a beautiful river which runs along the west side of Yellowstone National Park, boasts 3k trout per river mile. A couple of them might be a little smarter now.

The Gallatin fish and Fisher. “A woolybugger is all you ever really need,” says the fly fisherman who owns thousands of flies.

The crowds were intense in Yellowstone National Park and we stayed only one night.

The Yellowstone River in Hayden Valley. And Beryl Spring - one of the hottest in Yellowstone!

In much of the park it seems as if the heat of the earth is everywhere trying to escape. The steam of Yellowstone’s grand caldera is especially visible in colder temps - a nice reward for traveling at dawn.

Top: Our timing was fortuitous - we saw and heard the semi-predictable eruption of the opalescent Grand Fountain. Bottom: falls on the Firehole River.

I’m not sure I could ever tire of photographing the Tetons. They’re moody and different on every visit. But this time, given the 3-day rain forecast, we didn’t stay long.

The mountains increasingly snagged the passing clouds until they were smothered by rain and invisible.
String Lake, one of the emerald pools immediately below the peaks
Jackson Lake. Near sunset some soft light briefly broke through. By morning the mountains had disappeared altogether.

From Jackson we drove southeast through the scenic Hoback River valley, with the Wind River Mountains to the east. At the end of the day we landed in the extreme northwestern corner of Colorado, at a place we’d been curious about, the 12k-acre Brown’s Park National Wildlife Refuge.

Sunset and sunrise on the Green River in the Refuge, an important waterfowl migration area. It was beautiful and dry and quiet. We slept in the moonlight without sound or light from other humans, while the temperature dropped to 34 degrees.
It’s “Yellow Season” in the high deserts of the west.

We worked our way to Scenic Byway 24 in central Colorado but really, most of the roads in the state could be labeled scenic.

Twin Lakes in the San Isabel National Forest, below our campsite. Many Colorado campgrounds are already closed for the season.

We spent our last night in the mountians at the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve which is nestled at the base of the Sangre de Cristo range in southern Colorado. Since the crowds were light and the temps were mild, we lingered at the largest dunefield in North America.

From our campsite we watched the light play on the dunes as the sun traveled across the sky.

Powerful winds brought the sand which formed the dunes over tens of thousands of years, and continues to shape and build them, up to 750 feet high. The blowing sand also quickly covers any tracks of humans or tiger beetles (or other resident creatures, such as coyotes, mountain lion, elk, and deer). It was dry and windy and beautiful during our stay.

One could spend a very long time here with a camera.

Our route home will take us across the Texas panhandle, and the warm gulf states.

It’s been a wonderful trip and made even better by staying in touch and sharing it with all of you. Thanks so much for joining us!

Lake Meredith, Texas
Created By
alison blakeslee