YNP Photo Tour – Day Five – Transit Day

A Winter Weather Advisory greeted us as well as 4-6” of new snow when we woke at West Yellowstone. We took our time getting ready for a leisurely, slow drive to Bozeman and a stop at f11 photo (www.f11photo.com) and lunch. The drive was pretty when the sun shown through, but the road was fairly snowy and icy. Once we reached Bozeman the roads were much better.

The drive to Gardiner was very easy with some dramatic lighting as the sun and snow clouds played with the landscape.

We checked in to the Absaroka Lodge and dropped off our luggage before heading off to the Park. We encountered a lot of wildlife. Mostly elk and bison, but one lone bighorn sheep.

The sky continued to be very volatile, but we found a few spots that looked good to shoot. There wasn’t a lot of good foreground elements, however, just lots of snow. We found a herd of bison that we used as an interesting foreground element.

We continued west toward the Lamar Valley, looking for a good spot for a sunset. We finally chose the entrance to Slough Creek to stop, but the light didn’t look like it would cooperate with us. Still, we headed off down the trail with our snowshoes to find that perfect setting.

I went about a half a mile down the trail then turned to the west to find a suitable foreground subject. I took a few shots there, but the color of the sky was quite boring. I picked up my equipment, and, disappointedly started back to the truck. On my way back there was a fairly long climb and with my head down and my breathing labored, I said to myself, “The color of the snow is quite nice.” I then looked to the west and the sky had lit up with a beautiful magenta hue.

I was in a terrible spot as the incline was in a shallow draw that obscured the horizon and the valley. I picked up the pace and made it to the top and found a spot to shoot, but the color was fading quickly. I did get a fairly good shot, though.

We headed back to Gardiner in the twilight and dark meeting several more bison and elk on the road, but without any strikes.

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