About MeI live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where I explore the deeper reaches of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem while also trying to raise awareness about light pollution and the importance of dark skies through photography and video.
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Monthly Archives: December 2009
Southern Idaho isn’t exactly high up on my list of places I like to visit. However there is one little area that sticks out that I’ve found so far that redeems a bit of the area: Craters of the Moon National Monument. Considering its size, it’s a rather large reminder of the Yellowstone Hotspot’s violent past as it’s tore through the Snake River Plain over the last 16 million years. It’s name came from an explorer who described it as looking just like craters on the moon from the amount of dried lava in the area. So if you find yourself traveling through southern Idaho and are looking for a campground to break up the scenery, I’d put this one up on your list.
Ancient volcanic and geologic activity leave an alien landscape in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
One place in Oregon that had always stuck out to me as a place of interest was John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. It’s quite a fascinating place and there are actually three different units of it spread throughout central Oregon. This shot is from just south of the Visitor Center where exhibits explain an extremely violent past in Oregon’s history: at one time an entire third (if I remember right) of the state was completely submerged in lava and/or volcanic eruptions. Many of the most impressive features of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument show off a bit of this history in some impressive displays.
A closeup of part of the waterfall of King’s Creek Falls in Lassen Volcanic National Park, California.
As mentioned in a couple of earlier posts, I had never heard of Lassen Volcanic National Park before Ken Burns’ National Park series, however after looking into it a bit I put it high up on my list of places to see on my road trip I started two months ago today. Lassen Volcanic National Park immediately became one of my favorite places along the trip and a place I’d love to get back to soon. While there I did the King’s Creek Falls trail which is a very scenic trail along King’s Creek that climaxes at a 30 foot waterfall.
On one of the nights I was in Yosemite National Park I headed up to the Tunnel View Overlook to get my shots from that scene that have become quite famous by now. With no clouds in the sky, I was hoping for some nice colors in the sky itself, which I got a little bit of, but not quite as much as I was hoping. I was also planning on sticking around till after dark but I wasn’t quite prepared for the cold so this was one of the last shots I got before heading back to camp.
Upon waking up in Monument Valley, I climbed out of my tent in my pajamas, looked up toward my car and saw a rather large group of photographers trying not to stare back down at me. Apparently the primitive campgrounds at Monument Valley Tribal Park also doubles as the most scenic spot to take photography tours. I can’t blame them though, it was a very scenic location and the sunrise was quite scenic that morning.
One of the hikes I did during my stay in Yosemite National Park was to Upper Yosemite Falls. The easy thing about it was the trail started practically right in Camp 4, which was where I was staying that night. I also wound up timing the hike just right getting there right before a couple of spectacular rainbows vanished due to the fading light. It’s a great hike and provides some great views of Yosemite Valley as well along the way. Definitely a highlight during my wonderful stay in Yosemite National Park, but as always, way too short!