Ohhhhh baby!

We drove the Mt Evans Scenic Byway outside Denver.

The peak is the 12th highest of 109 in Colorado that are over 10,000 feet.

It’s up there, well above tree line. Rocks for miles.

But look at all the surrounding peaks and valleys.DSC_4980

It’s tempting to say it’s booooring.

However, if you click on the picture, you’ll see an amazing amount of tones and textures. Those clouds made the sun fight for a chance to shine through…and it did. You can see the clouds also delivered life-giving rain.

Just to the left of dead center you can barely see two little lakes, and another to the right of center. There’s a lot of life happening way up here in the rocks.

Even near the summit at 14,271 feet. For example:DSC_4857

Yes, this Mountain Goat nanny and kid showed up just as we parked in a lot near the summit! A ranger told us the nanny is fond of licking de-icer salt off the steps of a nearby lookout. He thought the kid was about four months old.

The kid just watched, and looked beautiful….DSC_4940

Old, and colorful

On our way back to Dayton, we’ve stopped for a few days outside Denver.

We heard they have some mountains around here….

Wow, do they ever! We wandered several hundred miles, and it was rare to be driving on the level more than a couple miles…usually up or down.

On the way up at one point, we noticed all the trees kind of dropping off…in favor of these bristlecone pines.DSC_4781

Just another 100 feet above them and there was only rock.

Of course, this time of year it’s the aspen leaves that get all the attention around here.DSC_5004DSC_4988

Bye bye Yellowstone

Our time here has come to an end.

We begin our travels back to Dayton, with numerous stops along the way.

Traveling always complicates sharing our journey with you, so there will be gaps in blog posts for a bit.

From Dayton, we plan for the boys to see Mama Sharon in North Carolina, then maybe a couple stops in Tennessee. We expect to be around San Francisco shortly before Christmas.

My parting photo is a special joy, because it combines the magical Yellowstone feature of a hot spring and its steam, with the magical night sky feature of the Milky Way.DSC_3633

Gotta getta bear

We have constantly stopped, looked, and listened for bears ever since we first visited Teton park.

Very rare to see grizzlies there, we were told, unless you’re hiking some back country.

You saw our picture of the black bear that was brown in Teton.

And you saw our picture of the collared grizzly here in Yellowstone…that was soooo distant it looked to have been taken from the Space Station.

Well, Robyn saw probably the same one twice in a week. She…along with 150 of her closest friends who were parked in the middle of the road…watched as the bear ambled waaaaay over there along the edge of the woods. I wasn’t with her, so no big lens, but it probably wouldn’t have helped.

Ah, but Mother Nature felt kindly toward me, and a week later I was driving along that same road…and had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting a grizzly in my lane! It wasn’t fazed, and ambled up a small bank and back toward me on the other side of my car!DSC_4164

But Mother Nature wasn’t through with me….

Up the road a couple miles, I came upon a veritable parking lot in the roadway…because of a grizzly! Yep, two within minutes of each other. I can die a happy man.DSC_4210

Look, up in the sky

Yellowstone’s sky has usually given us something rich and rewarding to see.

During the day, those white fluffy clouds sure add a nice texture.

But it’s the evening clouds that get all colorful….DSC_3433


That last picture was shot from Lake Butte Overlook, across Lake Yellowstone…and those peaks in the distance are the Tetons! Probably 65 miles as the crow flies.

Of course, it’s not always clouds in the evening sky that get your attention.DSC_2684

Eenie Meenie Miney Moe

We all got up waaay before sunrise one morning…so we could be ready at Lower Yellowstone Falls to shoot as the sun rose.

I took two shots before sunrise that seemed interesting:DSC_1521DSC_1538

As it turned out, the sun didn’t know of our plans, and was pretty boring when it made its appearance!

Later in the day, however, the sky got interesting, and we came back for another go.

Hard to say which one from the day’s efforts I prefer!DSC_3557

Out and about

There are quite a number of fascinating spots in the miles around Yellowstone, and we managed to visit a couple.

We had a great picnic and hike with Eric, our great friend from clear back in elementary school days…with the object of our efforts being this remarkable Hyalite Falls outside Bozeman.DSC_0961

I thought the jumble of Lower Mesa Falls was more picturesque than the larger, but straight, Upper Mesa Falls.DSC_2563

One day we went out the Yellowstone east entrance road toward Wapiti and Cody, Wyoming. Along the way, we kept thinking we were in the middle of an old western movie, because around every corner was a scene like this:DSC_3185

One late evening as we pulled into our park, the moon was rising over the hill behind our coach. Not a super moon, not an eclipse, but it was sure close and bright!DSC_2900


We often saw coyotes after dark as we left the park.

They’d dart across the road ahead of us…could never get a photo.

Ahhh, but our luck changed one afternoon, and we saw this one cross in the fading daylight. Notice the notch in his upper lip….DSC_3518

Then good fortune smiled broadly on us one nicely lit afternoon, and we found these two coyotes together. They ignored me as long as I stayed beside the car…and we were close! The first two pictures are one animal, and the third is the other one.DSC_3697DSC_3688DSC_3680

Caught in the middle

This was one of my very first photos when we arrived in Yellowstone. I just liked the scene….where this sweet little evergreen was growing out of a rock in the middle of the Madison River.DSC_0530

I wanted to call the post “Grow where you’re planted”, but I couldn’t find other scenes to match the theme.

But then it became clear it needed to appear with these next two pictures under today’s title.

Robyn and I call this next rock “The Ballerina”, because we can see a lady en pointe in a tutu.DSC_1913

The tension in these next rocks is palpable from the bank of the Yellowstone River…when will the small rock succumb to the pressure? An even more pressing question: how in the world did it land in such a position?DSC_2158

This last picture barely qualifies to be included in this post…I just like scene! Click it to fill your screen…there’s sooo much going on….DSC_0726