Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

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Re: Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

Postby Jay w » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:06 am

Island Lake to Beartooth Lake

Ok, what day is it? It’s great question to ask, since it shows you’re on vacation. It’s Thursday, July 28th. It was a pancake morning, meaning I was making coffee, Julie was making me pancakes, and then I’d make her pancakes. It also meant it was (mostly) a non-driving day.

I found this map:
http://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7016216
which shows the hike, but I hiked to a high point and came back to Beauty Lake and then down to Beartooth. So maybe 8 or 9 miles.

I got a lake start (maybe 9 or 10 am) which meant the good light was gone. This area is beautiful, but it doesn’t have the stunning, post card beauty of Glacier. Still, it was great to be on the trail hiking with no real deadlines except for my pick up in 6 hours.

Near the trailhead.
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On the way to the highpoint.
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I was trying a different selection of gear, in particular a lightweight tripod with an old, very cheap head. Since I had fairly high shutter speeds, all I needed was the tripod to hold the camera still enough to compose and focus (manual focus lenses), but no. The head kept slipping. Oh well. I really liked my selection of lenses (21, 35, 50, 105).
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The “highpoint”
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I went a ways past the highpoint, which actually continues up a bit further to a trail I hiked on the last trip.

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=8555&p=92898&hilit=jay+w#p92898

On the way down.
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This is about where the mosquitoes started getting annoying.
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Along the way, I met a few groups of people and it seems each group had a dog with them. That’s one difference hiking in WY, pets are welcome.

Julie was at the end with burrito materials (yum). I tried again to get in the lake for a bath, but freeze baby Jay couldn’t get in….again.

Jay
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Re: Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

Postby teapot57 » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:51 am

Dogs are allowed on the trails here in Alberta as long as they stay on a leash. I've been a little freaked out more than once coming around a corner to find a large dog at the end of its leash coming towards me.

Really like your photos, Jay.
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Re: Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

Postby Jay w » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:29 am

Thanks tea. On both trips, everyone I saw had their dog off leash. That was fine me. We had a Weim that we walked off leash (in the city) her whole life. The second Weim was too much of a hunter to walk off leash. Anyway, one guy had two huge dogs that were muddy as hell. It was raining on the last trip. I asked about sleeping with the dogs and he said he washes everything when he gets home. What a mess.

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Re: Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

Postby PeteE » Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:56 am

Nice report Jay! And good pics in spite of the tripod.
I'm jealous of your trip.
I did buy a new Beartooth map though 8)
Next year I'm going!!

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Re: Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

Postby MarxMN » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:21 pm

Good pictures, Jay.

I like bison and old barns.

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Re: Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

Postby llholmes1948 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:17 pm

Jay,

Enjoyed your photos and report very much. I assume the large crowd lining the boardwalk as far as the eye can see is at Old Faithful. That is downright scary :shock:

I need to take a golf club on my next trip and walk around pretending it is a selfie stick. Might also prove helpful in warding off animals.

Keep up the good work.

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Re: Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

Postby Jay w » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:59 pm

Thanks guys. Yeah, the crowds lining the boardwalk were at Old Faithful. If you know there's going to be crowds and you relax into it, it's not bad for a few hours. Also, the buffalo jams offer the ability to take pictures if you're the passenger. So Julie and I keep calling shotgun.

Pete, if you're going, there are a few options. The campground is nice, but you can also camp just about anywhere (if that interests you). Also, timing is key since it's so high.

I'll see what I can do about the next installment. I'm thinking about photographing a bike race (up north) this weekend (one I used to race). That will cut into my free time for putting together a report, but I'll post a picture or two.

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Re: Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

Postby paul » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:26 am

Hey Jay,

Nice report! I did some of the same trails in August in the Beartooths as you did in July. My hike started at Beartooth lake and headed north below the butte then I headed east toward beauty lake. I took a side trip to Becker lake then headed back to Beartooth lake on the same path that you followed. It's a nice area, but isn't comparable to Glacier as far as grandeur or pristine wilderness. Oh yeah, lots of dogs on the trails there, it's problematic for many reasons. No mosquitoes for me in August.

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Re: Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

Postby Jay w » Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:05 am

Thanks Paul. Yeah, I did a hike (last time) starting at Beartooth Lake and hiked up the same trail. At the top, I headed west and on the way back, accidentally started for home on the opposite side of the western ridge. When I found out I was lost, it kind of spooked me. It was also my first time using a GPS (I had a map too, but the map doesn't have all the trails), so I was unsure of how I got lost and what the hell I was doing. I got it figured out, but it was a half hour of stress.

Fire in the Hole

If I have a fire like the gates of hell, I can dry wood left in the campsite on one night and use it the next. The problem has been that we’re getting back so late and going to bed so early that it’s hard to have a roaring fire. Still, sitting around a fire with some music and drinks is a nice end to the day. The campground host caught us last night and we started joking about that we’re never in the site. They said, “We can tell you’ve been here because there’s an outline of your car in the dirt.

So, it’s our third and final day in Yellowstone, or so goes the plan. There’s a little loop called the Firehole Lake Drive that I like, so we aimed the car that direction. On the way, we stopped at a couple random places.

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I’m going to guess these are at Beryl Spring.

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The next stops were around the Fountain Group.

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Then onto Firehole and a few photos at the first spring (which I believe is Firehole Spring).

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We didn’t get far before running into some people who thought the next geyser (Surprise Pool, I believe) was going to blow soon. So we sat, I with camera in hand, and Julie talking to a couple about Casita trailers, and an hour later the Geyser did blow, but it wasn’t quite 50 foot high spout we were expecting.

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Swimming
It’s been a week since we’ve had a shower, and on a loop of Firehole Canyon Drive, we spotted a bunch of people swimming in the canyon. I figured the water might be warmer since this area sits on top of some warm ground, so off we went.

It was nice to swim and I made a couple laps up and down the river. Swimming upstream was futile, but got my heart going. Julie took a swim too.

After the swim, we headed to Canyon Village, sat outside transferring photos (with the computer and phone plugged in).
-Changed clothes, check
-Played a few hands of cribbage, check
-Charged batteries, check
-Drank a beer, check
We also ate dinner in the cafeteria before making the drive back home. On the drive home, we discovered Julie left her new North Face down vest on the chair at the cafeteria. Damn. Since we were almost out of the park (probably a solid 45 min into the drive) going back felt like diving over the stern chasing a dropped camera.

We started hatching a plan for the next day.

Jay
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Re: Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

Postby paul » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:50 am

It's pretty easy to get lost in the Beartooths. It happened to me a couple of times when I was out there. The problem is there are so many off shoot trails made by people going fishing or camping. You cross a stream and you think that you are following the trail and then all of the sudden it disappears on you. The other thing is there are very few trail signs and many of the trails are not maintained.

There's an unmaintained trail to Black Canyon Lake that I found and lost a couple of times. Finally I crossed a stream and lost it for good.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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Re: Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

Postby Jay w » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:37 am

7/30/16
Meandering through the Park

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Makin’ burger.

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The first order of business was to find Julie’s vest down at Canyon Village. Since we were heading to the cafeteria, we might as well have breakfast there. They sent Julie off to lost and found and she returned with her vest about the time I was sitting down with my tray. Good, good, she found her vest.

After breakfast, we had could simply reverse the events of yesterday (beer and cribbage, go swim, etc) or come up with something new. Instead, we made our way to Prismatic Spring (again). Since we were there earlier than last time, the crowds were slightly less. I really like the spring, but I was trying to shoot something different this time.

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From there we made a stop on the way towards Upper Geyser basin, with a random right turn into (I believe) Biscuit Basin. After that we walked the boardwalk of geysers (full on sun) and then made a pit stop at Old Faithful Inn. Last time (at Old Faithful) we made the mistake of trying to park in the main parking lots. After circling for a while, we parked (probably illegally) near the worker housing. This time we pulled into the Hotel Parking lot.

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I wanted to go swimming again, but Julie wasn’t that hot on the idea. She’d just tag along. After we finished swimming (yup, she got in) I found a “wallet” on the way back to the car. We walked back to the swimming hole, I yelled out the young woman’s name a few times and returned the wallet. I said to Julie, “She didn’t seem to realize how much of a hassle it would be to lose that thing.”

After swimming, we ran into some elk. (Right?) You see how I know my wildlife.

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And then the skies turned dark and it started raining fairly hard. Ok, we returned to Canyon Village to change clothes and cribbage, and then it was on to the campsite for dinner and a fire.

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Re: Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

Postby Jay w » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:44 pm

Anyone still paying attention?

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“Thump, thump, thump.” Huh.

July 31 Hauser Lake Loop

The neighborhood has variations on three basic hikes: Island Lake, Beartooth Lake, and then some loops across the street. This one was across the street. After looking at the topo map for a while, I thought the way to do this hike was to drive past Beartooth Pass (start high), hike to Gardner Lake, Losekamp Lake, a spur to Stockade Lake, and then meet up with Julie near home on the main highway (end low).

Going down. Down, down, down, down, down

That’s an old Freddie King song, but it seems appropriate here. The hike starts on the Little Rock Creek trail, and if you follow that to the low point, you’ll lose 2000 ft. Instead of doing that, I took a cutoff over some high ground and kept the wide open vistas.

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Near the hike start.

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That says “Gardner Lake.”

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I took off my boots to cross a small stream and at the cutoff trail, I ran into a mt. biker that wanted info on the Little Rock trail. He was trying to decide if the scenery was worth the big drop in elevation. I said, “You have the mechanical advantage, go for it,” which got a grunt and an eye roll. I don’t know what he ended up deciding, but I think he was leaning against the big drop. We also talked about the chairlift at Beartooth Pass. I was wondering what the hell was up with that because it seemed like there was no access to that lift. He said they open it up in May after the road is plowed. Here’s a couple from the cutoff trail.

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Losekamp Lake

After Losekamp, the trail follows a stream and drops into trees. There was an old (I assume hunting or patrole) cabin. I was kind of surprised it was there, but I found it interesting.

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Near the Lake.

From here it was back uphill and towards the highway. The trail goes through some open meadows with a lakes. I took a few photos, but I didn’t get anything really interesting.

I think we had a big meal (late lunch, early supper) and started packing up campe’re since we’re leaving tomorrow. The campground was nearly empty and the hosts hoped we enjoyed our stay. Then we headed off for some Beartooth Pass photos. I was a little hesitant to leave camp because it looked like rain.

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Well, it ended up raining hard as hell. The wind shook the car like a rag doll and Julie didn’t want me parking in a normal turnout because it felt like we’d be blown off the mountain. We parked in the huge turnout which was the start of today’s hike.

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It ended up being very dramatic lighting and a fantastic sunset.

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Ok, tomorrow is moving day.

Jay
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Re: Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

Postby Deb1741 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:47 pm

You have a great eye for taking pictures. I love the different angles you shoot from and your black and white photos.

Regarding the ski area on the Beartooth Pass. If there is enough snow they open it up as soon as the pass opens for the season (Friday of Memorial Day Weekend). If there isn't enough snow it doesn't open up. This year there was basically no snow when we went over the pass June 12th. None of the equipment for operating the ski lift was there so I figured it never opened at all. If it did, they probably only ran it for the first week. This pic was taken June 22, 2011 which was a record year for snowfall in the Beartooths and Yellowstone Park.
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Across the road is a mountain face right next to the road as it curves around where snowboarders and skiers "free ski". They hike a little ways to the edge, ski down and then hike a long ways back up to the road. This pic is from 2011. We did see 2 snowboarders on it when we went over the second week. There is usually at least one person that is hurt on it every year from a fall.
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This pic matches the one you took coming down on the Wyoming side of the pass.
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Here is a website for the ski area. It started as a summer ski school back in the 60's.
http://www.beartoothbasin.com/index.html

Deb
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Re: Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

Postby Jay w » Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:37 pm

Hey thanks Deb and thanks for the photos. It’s great to see this area in the “winter” (June). I was really stumped on how skiers could make it to the lift without a road (since I assumed it’s closed) or from other lifts. Then I wondered if it really was a ski lift. It makes sense now.

August 1st, Time for the Tetons

We had the site packed and we were in the car by roughly 6:15. That has to be some kind of record for us, even considering most of the car was packed yesterday. Our destination was Lizard Creek campground. According to the ranger in Canyon Village, the campground fills by noon, so we didn’t want to dilly-dally around.

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The first thing we saw in the meadows was fog, and every direction looked like a great photo. First I was shooting handheld, then came out the tripod, then lenses. A couple hundred feet down the road we stopped and started all over again. Click, click, click.

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Then another stop, a stop to go pee, and then a stop for gas and ice.

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Fortunately, we didn’t truly dilly-dally too much and we made it to the campground in time to snatch a nice campsite by Jackson Lake.

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After setting up camp, we played some cards, read a bit and then sat down by the lake. There were just enough ankle biters around (I was wearing sandals) that I kept moving around with the camera and tripod. Not much more news for today since a few hours were spent setting up camp.

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Jay

PS, I’ve been thinking about making some photo albums out of these trip reports. Not a “try to sell” book, but single copy books meant to show relatives. My parents have a bunch of photos albums, and my photos albums date back to the 1980s. I think a number of these trip reports would be perfect for that. We’ll see how motivated I am.
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Re: Yellowstone/Tetons, 2016

Postby brindledog » Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:20 pm

Jay w wrote:Anyone still paying attention?


I checked the site tonight, scrolled to the bottom of the page and said "WHAT? When did all this happen?" Then up I scrolled, saw your note. I thought you were done. Glad I kept listening.

And I have thought the same thing about photo books. We'll see who gets to it first. It has been on my 'to do' list for about a decade now, which was about the time I stopped filling photo albums...
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