"EARTH'S EYES"
Trip to Wyoming; July 1 - 4, 2005


Hello !

On the long weekend of July 1--4 I traveled to Wyoming to attend a photo seminar which took place in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks located in north-western part of the state ( see map below where the location of parks is marked with red bar ). The Yellowstone Park occupies very north-western corner of the state, while Grand Teton Park lies about 60 miles ( 100 km ) to the south.
Occupying significant part of American North-West, Wyoming is the least populated state though its nature is wonderful. The residents of Wyoming mostly look belonging to middle-class and live mostly in single houses surrounded with large backyards. The land is cheap there what is not surprising for such underpopulated area.
To get to the parks, I flew from Baltimore MD to Salt Lake City UT and then drove about six hours following Rt 89 in northern direction through northern Utah, south-eastern Idaho and western Wyoming. This road is not a highway, it goes through mountain passes. It is not the fastest way to get to the parks but its sights are real worth to see. I planned to arrive to Salt Lake City on July 1st late night and be in the Park on July 2nd early morning but unfortunately I lost the whole night in the airport : the plane got broken and my travel was interrupted in Cincinnati. So, instead of Saturday July 2nd morning I got to Wyoming in the late evening only. Taking into account that I had to depart from the park by Monday 4th noon, I had less than two full days there, though even this time was enough to get unforgettable impressions including two main impressions which I got in Yellowstone Park : the geysers that looked like beautiful Earth's Eyes as well as the wild buffaloes loitering across the parking lots.


   The place of stay of our small group was Jenny Lake campground in Grand Teton Park. It was a neat campground nearby lovely lake with the same name. The weather was nice : in the daytime the bright clear skies beautifully contrasted with the snowy tops of mountains and emerald meadows, while in the night the masses of shiny starry jewels filled all the space above the head.
   Regarding the temperature, the elevation of the place made its daily changes rather sharp : the air was very dry, and in the daytime we enjoyed middle 70s ( 23-26įC ), while in the nights the temperature dropped to the freezing point and even below, so each mornings we used to get out of the tents shaking because of cold.

If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to contact me.

     

Here is the link to Grand Teton National Park formal page.
Here is the link to Yellowstone National Park formal page.


     My shock of Yellowstone Park was the buffalo loitering about the parking lot : just among the cars !
     Well, I have never seen such a big wild animal so close to myself. The more so, not in the zoo where the fence separates animals from people but without any barrier able to prevent the buffalo from doing whatever comes to its mind...
     Just in case, when the buffalo was approaching I promptly jumped into my car, closed doors and started the engine, but fortunately nothing happened ! Regarding other people around, they didnít look surprised or scared, so I think such things are usual in that place...
     Nevertheless, at the Park entrance each visitor was provided with a poster cautioning that the buffaloes are wild, dangerous and unpredictable animals and urging not to approach them. So, I can't exclude that the scenes represented on the poster had ever taken place in the reality...

     Not only buffaloes but also the bears are close neighbors of people in Wyoming.
    
! YOU ARE IN BEAR COUNTRY !

     Such posters were everywhere at the campground urging visitors to hide the food and leftover since the eatable stuff might attract the bears to campground and even make them to enter the tents and cars, especially in night time...
     Fortunately, I didn't experience such invasion, though -- who knows ? -- may be I just was sleeping too heavily...


     Actually, the geysers were my main impression and my main amazement. I have never seen the geysers before and the World's largest concentration of geysers I encountered in the Park had really dazed me...
     What had captivated me most was even not the geysers that were boiling or erupting the masses of water, but those calm ones that looked like beautiful eyes : Eyes of the Earth itself...


     A single view into the deep depthless of such eye was able to charm you and to make never forget it...

Northern outskirt of Salt Lake City; Rt 89



Bear Lake is a large, natural lake with a striking turquoise color. Limestone particles suspended in the water are responsible for the interesting hue. Bear Lake straddles the Utah/Idaho border in the upper northeast corner of Utah. It is located at 6000ft ( 2km ) elevation and has the size of 20miles ( 30km ) long by 8 ( 13km ) miles wide.



Mountain pass at Utah/Idaho border on Rt 89



At the campground


Sunrise over the Teton Mountains



Wild animals



Sights around the capmground


Mountain view



Burnt canyon



Road through burnt forest



Wild animals crossing the road


Everybody is getting prepared to watch the eruption...



The eruption ! This time it lasted 1-2 minutes...


General view of Upper Geyser Basin

   Actually, the scientists distinguish three types of geysers : Classic Geysers ( the ones that erupt water, "volcano" in my terms ) occur when underground constrictions increase the pressure of the water until it finally erupts; Hot Springs ( "pans" in my terms ) have no constrictions, so water rises, cools, and sinks. Mudpots ( "eyes" in my terms ) are acidic hot springs with limited water. The acid and microorganisms decompose surrounding rock into clay and mud.



Some geysers looked like beautiful eyes of Earth :

Green...


Blue...


Greenish-Blue...


Greenish-Brown...


Hazel...


Brown...


Grey...


So many different eyes...



Other geysers looked like pans with boiling water...

This one was simmering for a while but eventually came to the boil...


Another pan...


Another pan progressing from simmer to rapid boil...


One more boiling pan that eventually boiled away...



Many different pans...



Even a good jacuzzi...



Other geysers were reminiscent of ancient castles...


Or small volcanoes...



While some geysers just looked like dirty shallow pools; other ones looked like holes, or produced rivers of dirt and colored chemical...


That's all about geysers...



The sights of evening journey to campground completed the day...


Short stops


Snake River running along Rt 89 was accompanying me almost two hours...


Thank you !
Have a nice day !
Kostea


If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to contact me.