Friday, September 24, 2010

By clicking onto each picture you can enlarge it to get a fuller impact of the wonderful and beautiful country known as the Greater Yellowstone in northwest Wyoming

Sept. 1, 2010
Several weeks ago my artist friend, Les Lefevre accompanied me up to Brooks Lake Lodge very early in the morning to deliver a painting I had sold. By the time we arrived at the lake the sun was barely breaking the horizon and casting its light across the face of the Breccia Cliffs. It is still and a heavy frost covers everything. The truck thermometer registers 19 degrees.

Sept. 1, 2010
While Les opens the gate into the Dude Ranch I snap a few pictures of the ranch horses in the corral next to the gate. They are way too busy eating to notice an artist gathering research. Breakfast is just way too important.
sept. 1, 2010
Les has never been over the Barber Point Road so forgetting myself just how it is I take him. It is a very nerve wracking road or more a trail. There is no turning back and no room for getting around another vehicle if you did meet one. It used to be one way and I don't know why they ever changed that. It is sheer off the side and straight up from above. I have heard reports of folks seeing a grizzly sow and two cubs during the summer in the area and it is worth having a look. It is certainly a perfect place for them. Bears or not it is a spectacular view when one takes his eyes off the road. Timbered ridges push far into the horizon topped by Downs Mountain and Glacier, the northern most glacier that makes up the largest glacial fields in the continental United states.

Sept. 1, 2010
After a good quarter of a mile of extreme exposure the road is no wider but the drop off is way less severe giving one somewhat a sense of safety. The view looks out across beautiful mountain meadows and spectacular views to the south such as this of Lava Mountain, an extinct volcano that stradles the continental divide which we are also doing at this point.

SAept. 1, 2010
I love photographing and painting what I refer to as little environmental niches such as these little spruce trees tucked in with a Whitebark Pine youngster accompanied by an old fallen log of possibly their Great Grandfather? The light of early morning hitting it at just the right angle gives the whole scene a look of wholesome majesty.

Sept. 1, 2010
The road gives way to more lenient driving and finally comes back to the hiway at Togwotee Pass and Wind River lake. The beginning of the Wind River itself. A beautiful lake tucked amongst the forest and high volcanic cliffs.

On west of Togwotee Pass is the Spread Creek country accessed from the Flagstaff Road. Les has never been here befor so as it is only 8 miles further on I have talked him into going as there is definitely a chance of seeing bears. Everytime I travel this dirt road I have run across Bear sign. we are not long onto the road when we run into very fresh bear droppings all along the road. With all the seeds I can tell they are heavily utilizing berries as a food source. Then for a few miles-nothing until we turn off onto the north fork Spread Creek road. There is more there. I am guessing there are two bears in the general area. We don't find our bear but sure find a lot of sign including tracks. It is still a beautiful morning and the frost has burned off where the sun hits. Warming fast with the rising sun. Spread Creek is a beautiful mountin stream coursing its way through willow thickets interspersed with numerous beaver dams and ponds. It derives its name where upon entering Jackson Hole it spreads out for quite a distance through many channels befor entering the Snake River.

Sept. 1, 2010
The North Fork road deadends at this willow covered madow. Beyond is the wilderness of the Leidy Highlands. A spectacular mountain land of high ridges steep stream canyons and alternating timbered and open meadow country. A virtual American Serengheti of wildlife.
Sept. 1, 2010
Back out on the main dirt road I show Les Lilly Lake with its Beaver House. It is full of waterfowl and we spend a time identifying various species. Wading birds are always present here as well. Some years ago there was a Trumpeter Swan nesting pair who had used this pond for years found shot dead and left floating on the lake. A reward was offered and it was always hopeful that someone in a bar might braggingly give themselves away but it never happened. There is surely a special place for these kinds of idiots who we still call human beings

Sept. 1, 2010
BeyondLilly Lake the road drops off westward and declines in elevation through Aspens, Pine and Sagebrush covered slopes. Always with the Grand Tetons in the background. The road winds and switchbacks eventually coming back to the hiway at the Hatchet Motel and restaurant. A lot of magnificent and beautiful back country has been explored and enjoyed by us.