Sunday, September 16, 2012

Along the Yellowstone River

I really should title this, how what seems bad might actually turn out good.  Or maybe something about lemons and lemonade.

After watching Old Faithful in the mid afternoon, I had to set about finding a campsite.  One of the things about Yellowstone is the crowds and those crowds fill up all of the available lodging basically every night all summer.  I had hoped with it being only mid-June that I would be able to get a campsite at one of the numerous campgrounds in the park.  My plan had been to stay on the west side so I would be close enough to Old Faithful to try a middle of the night shot.  The campground I wanted has several hundred sites.  They were all booked.

Gulp.

So, I got on the phone and called Yellowstone Central Reservations.  I asked if there were any campsites or even rooms for the night.  The long pause on the other end did not sound good.  Then they tell me that one single tent site was all that was left in the entire park.  Needless to say, I took it.  It was over by Yellowstone Lake.  Really too far to try going back to Old Faithful for a night shot, so after setting up camp and looking at the map, I headed north following the river looking for some thermal features and something called the mud volcano.  It sounded cool.  However, it was also a total guess on being a possible image.

I followed the river into the forest north of the lake and saw several neat geothermal features in a small area.  Turns out the mud volcano was cool but just not a good picture.  However the Dragons Den was one I got a cool image out of.  So, I was thinking this is getting better.

I walked across the road to the edge of the river and then waited for the sunset.  Nice views here.  The clouds gave me some great light and the thermal features across the river gave me something interesting that were undoubtedly Yellowstone. 

I was able to photograph both up and down the river.  If only a bison would have appeared.....  Ok, no bison but the clouds, light, and view with really nice.

It turns out I found a great area with a nice view and luckily no crowds either.  To me that always helps.  The sunset was a great one and I stayed along the river until it was all gone. As I drove back to the last campsite in the park, I smiled.  It was a great afternoon afterall!


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