I’ve always wanted to visit Grand Tetons National Park and since it is right south of Yellowstone, it makes sense to do both parks at the same time. That’s why when I signed up for a photo tour in the Tetons I took extra time to visit Yellowstone as well. (see my previous post). I was signed up for a tour with Dirt Cheap Photo Tours for September 26. Prior to that I had some decent weather in Yellowstone, but by the 25th the snows had started in both Yellowstone and the Tetons. The tour ran Thursday through Sunday and we didn’t get one clear day during the whole tour. Most of my landscape “keepers” were taken either in the days before the tour started or during the couple days after the tour. However, during the tour we did spend some time shooting wildlife when we came across, moose, bison, pronghorn, deer and bears. So all in all, it was a bit of a frustrating tour, but I did come home with a few decent images and now I just know I need to go again on my own when I have the time to wait out the weather. I can’t put any blame on the tour manager – it was all based on weather and he can’t control that.
Added to the weather problems was the ridiculous government shutdown that started on October 1st that kept me from staying longer in either park. The irony was that the fall color was beginning to peak and the weather did actually clear up on October 1st, but instead of being able to take advantage of the prime conditions, everyone was forced to leave the park. I managed to get some shots inside the park at Oxbow Bend by driving in on the night of September 30th and parking in the parking lot of the viewpoint overnight. When I woke up, there were probably a hundred other photographers who either did the same or drove in very early before the park rangers were manning the toll booths. I spent the day of October 1st capturing the sunrise at Oxbow and then moving south through the park trying to get shots I had missed when the weather was bad. I hated to head out the gates because I knew that once I did, I wouldn’t get back in, but once I did, I headed up to the Hedrick Pond overlook, where I spent the night capturing the sunset, northern lights, and then the sunrise before leaving Jackson Hole and heading over Teton Pass towards Idaho. On the trip home I spent a night with a friend in Boise and then drove to Cheney to spend the night at my sister’s house before making the final push for home. So all in all, I was gone 2 weeks. It felt good to get home, but I do wish I had had the freedom to spend more time in Yellowstone after the Tetons tour. – Oh well, there’s always next time…….
Here is a sampling of what I shot on the trip. For the complete gallery, click here.