Monthly Archives

September 2005

Photo of Artist Point, Yellowstone National Park

National Parks, Wyoming, Yellowstone

Road Trip: Day 7

Artist Point is a popular and dramatic spot to view Yellowstone Falls. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone lies before you with its steep cliffs and striking yellow-orange-pink colors, the result iron oxidation and sulfur in the soil. The Yellowstone River churns at the bottom of the canyon, having just fallen 308 feet down Lower Yellowstone Falls, on its way to Tower Falls another 15 miles away. In midsummer, if the wind in the canyon and the spray from the falls cooperate, a rainbow will appear to the right of Lower Yellowstone Falls when viewed from Artist Point around 10:00am. If you are spending the day (or more) in the Canyon area of Yellowstone National Park and are into waterfalls, canyons and hiking, you owe it to yourself to hike both Uncle Tom’s Trail on the north side of the canyon, which offers a dramatic and close view of the falls near their base, and the trail to Red Rock Point on the south side of the canyon, below Lookout Point. They are steep but my kids (3 and 7 years) did both with me in one day.

A rainbow appears in the mist of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.  A long exposure blurs the fast-flowing water.  At 308 feet, the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is the tallest fall in the park.  This view is from the famous and popular Artist Point on the south side of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  When conditions are perfect in midsummer, a morning rainbow briefly appears in the falls, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

A rainbow appears in the mist of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. A long exposure blurs the fast-flowing water. At 308 feet, the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is the tallest fall in the park. This view is from the famous and popular Artist Point on the south side of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. When conditions are perfect in midsummer, a morning rainbow briefly appears in the falls.
Image ID: 13331
Location: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Keywords: artist point, lower yellowstone falls, waterfall, grand canyon of the yellowstone, yellowstone river, yellowstone national park.

The Wedge, Newport Beach

Surf

A wave, breaking with powerful energy, at the Wedge in Newport Beach, The Wedge

A wave, breaking with powerful energy, at the Wedge in Newport Beach.
Image ID: 16988
Location: The Wedge, Newport Beach, California, USA

September swell at the Wedge, The Wedge, Newport Beach, California

September swell at the Wedge.
Image ID: 14416
Location: The Wedge, Newport Beach, California, USA

Bodyboarder drops knee, the Wedge, The Wedge, Newport Beach, California

Bodyboarder drops knee, the Wedge.
Image ID: 16995
Location: The Wedge, Newport Beach, California, USA

Wave breaking, tube, Newport Beach

Wave breaking, tube, Newport Beach.
Image ID: 16802
Location: Newport Beach, California, USA

Wave breaking, tube, Newport Beach

Wave breaking, tube, Newport Beach.
Image ID: 16803
Location: Newport Beach, California, USA

Wave breaking, tube, Newport Beach

Wave breaking, tube, Newport Beach.
Image ID: 16804
Location: Newport Beach, California, USA

A large, powerful wave breaks with offshore winds at the Wedge in Newport Beach, The Wedge

A large, powerful wave breaks with offshore winds at the Wedge in Newport Beach.
Image ID: 18706
Location: The Wedge, Newport Beach, California, USA

Kirk Blackman, Newport Beach

Kirk Blackman, Newport Beach.
Image ID: 16830
Location: Newport Beach, California, USA

Kirk Blackman, September swell Newport Beach, California

Kirk Blackman, September swell Newport Beach, California.
Image ID: 14393
Location: Newport Beach, California, USA

The Wedge in Newport Beach is one of the world’s most notorious and exciting bodysurfing spots. Locals in the 70’s and 80’s developed a reputation for getting barreled in the bruising, thick wave while risking being pile-driven onto the sand if they got sucked over. Growing up in Newport in the 60s and 70s, I remember many times sirens would sound down Newport Boulevard as an ambulance raced to the Wedge to attend to some poor soul who had gone over the falls trying to impress his buds or the (quite fine) local girls, crunching bones as he returned to the beach. The old-school still bodysurfs the Wedge by virtue of a local ordinance that forbids any boards in the water between 10am and 5pm. However, these days boards rule the Wedge, working the place with bodyboards and standup. The Wedge is best on a south swell. Incoming waves reflecting off the adjacent jetty combine with the next wave to form a doubled-up triangular mutant mountain wave that pitches over thick and fast in surprisingly shallow water. The result is a big, sucking, foam-filled donut. Don’t get caught inside during a closeout set.

See more photos of the Wedge taken recently.

Breaking wave, fast motion and blur. The Wedge, Newport Beach, California

Breaking wave, fast motion and blur. The Wedge.
Image ID: 14355
Location: The Wedge, Newport Beach, California, USA

Breaking wave, fast motion and blur. The Wedge, Newport Beach, California

Breaking wave, fast motion and blur. The Wedge.
Image ID: 14354
Location: The Wedge, Newport Beach, California, USA

A tube, the inside of a breaking wave, The Wedge, Newport Beach, California

A tube, the inside of a breaking wave.
Image ID: 17007
Location: The Wedge, Newport Beach, California, USA

Photo of the Wedge, Newport Beach
Photo of the Wedge, Newport Beach
Photo of the Wedge, Newport Beach
Photo of the Wedge, Newport Beach

Photo of Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park

California, Landscape, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

Tenaya Lake lies in the high country of Yosemite National Park, surrounded by enormous granite domes and coniferous forests.

Tenaya Lake is surrounded by epic granite domes, with Polly Dome on the left.  Late afternoon, viewed from Olmsted Point, Yosemite National Park, California

Tenaya Lake is surrounded by epic granite domes, with Polly Dome on the left. Late afternoon, viewed from Olmsted Point.
Image ID: 09955
Location: Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Tenaya Peak rises above Tenaya Lake near Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California

Tenaya Peak rises above Tenaya Lake near Tuolumne Meadows.
Image ID: 09957
Location: Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Keywords: Tenaya Lake, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, photo, picture, image.

Photo of Mammoth Peak, Yosemite National Park

California, Landscape, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

Mammoth Peak rises above Tioga Lake and Tuolumne Meadows in the high country of Yosemite National Park.

Mammoth Peak and alpine meadows in the High Sierra are reflected in Tioga Lake at sunrise. This spectacular location is just a short walk from the Tioga Pass road. Near Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite National Park

Mammoth Peak and alpine meadows in the High Sierra are reflected in Tioga Lake at sunrise. This spectacular location is just a short walk from the Tioga Pass road. Near Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite National Park.
Image ID: 09949
Location: Tioga Lake, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Mammoth Peak in the High Sierra range is reflected in Tioga Lake at sunrise. This spectacular location is just a short walk from the Tioga Pass road. Near Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite National Park

Mammoth Peak in the High Sierra range is reflected in Tioga Lake at sunrise. This spectacular location is just a short walk from the Tioga Pass road. Near Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite National Park.
Image ID: 09948
Location: Tioga Lake, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Keywords: Mammoth Peak, Tioga Lake, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, photo, image, picture.

Photo of Lembert Dome, Yosemite National Park

California, Landscape, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

Lembert Dome rises above Tuolumne Meadows in the high country of Yosemite National Park. The hike to the summit of Lembert Dome is easy and leads through a forest of trees before emerging on the backside of the dome, and offers expansive view of the entire Tuolumne Meadows from the top.

Lembert Dome and late afternoon clouds rise above Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra, catching the fading light of sunset, Yosemite National Park, California

Lembert Dome and late afternoon clouds rise above Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra, catching the fading light of sunset.
Image ID: 09939
Location: Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Lembert Dome and late afternoon clouds rise above Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra, catching the fading light of sunset, Yosemite National Park, California

Lembert Dome and late afternoon clouds rise above Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra, catching the fading light of sunset.
Image ID: 09938
Location: Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

The Tuolumne River flows serenely through Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra. Lembert Dome is seen in the background, Yosemite National Park, California

The Tuolumne River flows serenely through Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra. Lembert Dome is seen in the background.
Image ID: 09940
Location: Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Lembert Dome rises above Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra, catching the fading light of sunset, Yosemite National Park, California

Lembert Dome rises above Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra, catching the fading light of sunset.
Image ID: 09944
Location: Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Keywords: Lembert Dome, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, photo, image, picture.

Photo of Yellowstone Falls from Lookout Point, Yellowstone National Park

National Parks, Wyoming, Yellowstone

Road Trip: Day 6

Yellowstone Falls marks the point at which the Yellowstone River plunges 308 feet into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It is a spectacular waterfall, one of the highlights Yellowstone National Park. (Actually, there are two falls, Upper Yellowstone Falls and Lower Yellowstone Falls, within a short distance of one another. Lower Yellowstone Falls is the one pictured here.) Fortunately, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (aka “Canyon”) offers several excellent vantage points to view the Lower Yellowstone Falls — Artist Point, Lookout Point, Red Rock Point, Uncle Tom’s Trail and the Brink of Lower Falls. In July I photographed the Yellowstone Falls with its morning rainbow, one day from Lookout Point and another day from Artist Point. In mid-July, if the wind in the canyon and the spray from the falls cooperate, a rainbow will appear to the right of Lower Yellowstone Falls when viewed from Lookout Point around 10:15am. The rainbow appears at Artist Point at almost the same time. Since Artist Point in on the other side of the canyon, you will be hard-pressed to witness the rainbow from both Lookout Point and Artist Point on the same day, unless you have a rocket-sled with which to jump the gorge.

A rainbow appears in the mist of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.  At 308 feet, the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is the tallest fall in the park.  This view is from Lookout Point on the North side of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  When conditions are perfect in midsummer, a midmorning rainbow briefly appears in the falls, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

A rainbow appears in the mist of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. At 308 feet, the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is the tallest fall in the park. This view is from Lookout Point on the North side of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. When conditions are perfect in midsummer, a midmorning rainbow briefly appears in the falls.
Image ID: 13327
Location: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Keywords: lower yellowstone falls, waterfall, grand canyon of the yellowstone, yellowstone river, yellowstone national park.

Photo of Gibbon Falls, Yellowstone National Park

National Parks, Wyoming, Yellowstone

Road Trip: Day 5

Gibbon Falls, on the Gibbon River between Madison Junction and Norris Geyser Basin, is one of the most stunning waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park. Gibbon Falls marks the point at which the Gibbon River flows off Yellowstone’s northern escarpment and drops into the Park’s lower volcanic caldera region. Many descriptions of Gibbon Falls state how uninspiring this waterfall is viewed from the road, or how crowded the roadside pullouts are, or complain-whine-wahwahwah. What these folks don’t realize is that it takes a little bit of work to get to the most best vantage point. Most visitors see Gibbon Falls from the pullouts on the road above the falls, which do not offer a good feel of the power and beauty of this waterfall. Instead, at the lower of the two pullouts, park and hop over the wall. With boots or good shoes, slide-jump-tumble-hop down the dirt hill to the river, then follow the fisherman’s trail up the river to the foot of the falls. Yes, you’ll get some dirt in your shoes and then they will get soaked in the Gibbon River, since there are a number of spots you’ll need to wade across the river as you move upstream. In summer the river is warm and the knee deep walk through the whitewater is lots of fun. Use your walking stick or tripod to keep your balance, and put your camera in a dry bag, ziploc or whatever. You may find yourself accompanied by one or two fly fishermen as well who generally have this section of the river all to themselves. The fellow in the photograph was catching lots of tiny little trout-something-or-others and letting them all go. For photography, the best time to shoot this is midday, since at that time you’ll have the entire falls lit evenly with no shadow or contrast problems.

Fly fishing below Gibbon Falls. This flyfisherman hiked up the Gibbon River to reach the foot of Gibbon Falls, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Fly fishing below Gibbon Falls. This flyfisherman hiked up the Gibbon River to reach the foot of Gibbon Falls.
Image ID: 13269
Location: Gibbon River, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Keywords: gibbon falls, gibbon river, waterfall, yellowstone national park.

Photo of Castle Geyser, Yellowstone National Park

National Parks, Wyoming, Yellowstone

Road Trip: Day 4

Castle Geyser is, after Old Faithful Geyser, perhaps the most-viewed of the large predictable geysers in Yellowstone National Park. Castle Geyser is a short, easy walk from the Old Faithful Inn, and is well predicted with intervals of about 10 hours. Since Castle Geyser stands in a large clearing in the Upper Geyser Basin, its eruptions are easily seen from the entire area. Castle Geyser’s eruption a lengthy water phase — 20 minutes is typical — followed by an additional 40 minutes or so of steam, so when it erupts a crowd has time to gather to admire its tall blow, up to 90′ high. Castle Geyser’s 12′ tall cone suggests that it is 5,000 to 15,000 years old. However, it sits on top of an even older and more massive sinter base formed by an earlier spring. Tortoise Shell Spring lies to one side of Castle Geyser covering the base with a beautiful pearly, orange-yellow color.

Castle Geyser erupts, reaching 60 to 90 feet in height and lasting 20 minutes.  While Castle Geyser has a 12 foot sinter cone that took 5,000 to 15,000 years to form, it is in fact situated atop geyserite terraces that themselves may have taken 200,000 years to form, making it likely the oldest active geyser in the park. Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Castle Geyser erupts, reaching 60 to 90 feet in height and lasting 20 minutes. While Castle Geyser has a 12 foot sinter cone that took 5,000 to 15,000 years to form, it is in fact situated atop geyserite terraces that themselves may have taken 200,000 years to form, making it likely the oldest active geyser in the park. Upper Geyser Basin.
Image ID: 13417
Location: Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Castle Geyser (during steam phase, not eruption) with the colorful bacteria mats of Tortoise Shell Spring in the foreground. While Castle Geyser has a 12 foot sinter cone that took 5,000 to 15,000 years to form, it is in fact situated atop geyserite terraces that themselves may have taken 200,000 years to form, making it likely the oldest active geyser in the park. Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Castle Geyser (during steam phase, not eruption) with the colorful bacteria mats of Tortoise Shell Spring in the foreground. While Castle Geyser has a 12 foot sinter cone that took 5,000 to 15,000 years to form, it is in fact situated atop geyserite terraces that themselves may have taken 200,000 years to form, making it likely the oldest active geyser in the park. Upper Geyser Basin.
Image ID: 13427
Location: Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Tortoise Shell Spring bubbles in front of the sinter cone of Castle Geyser.  Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Tortoise Shell Spring bubbles in front of the sinter cone of Castle Geyser. Upper Geyser Basin.
Image ID: 13430
Location: Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Castle Geyser erupts with the colorful bacteria mats of Tortoise Shell Spring in the foreground.  Castle Geyser reaches 60 to 90 feet in height and lasts 20 minutes.  While Castle Geyser has a 12 foot sinter cone that took 5,000 to 15,000 years to form, it is in fact situated atop geyserite terraces that themselves may have taken 200,000 years to form, making it likely the oldest active geyser in the park. Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Castle Geyser erupts with the colorful bacteria mats of Tortoise Shell Spring in the foreground. Castle Geyser reaches 60 to 90 feet in height and lasts 20 minutes. While Castle Geyser has a 12 foot sinter cone that took 5,000 to 15,000 years to form, it is in fact situated atop geyserite terraces that themselves may have taken 200,000 years to form, making it likely the oldest active geyser in the park. Upper Geyser Basin.
Image ID: 13437
Location: Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Keywords: castle geyser, tortoise shell spring, yellowstone national park.

Photo of Grand Geyser, Yellowstone National Park

National Parks, Wyoming, Yellowstone

Road Trip: Day 4

Grand Geyser is one of tallest geysers in the world, and the tallest predictable one. It is amazing, reaching heights of 200′ and often erupting simultaneously with Vent Geyser and Turban Geyser, both of which are very near to Grand Geyser and are connected to it hydrodynamically. Grand Geyser lies in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. Grand Geyser is a fountain-type geyser, meaning it erupts with a broad fountain of spray rather than the focused hose-like spray of a cone-type geyser such as Riverside Geyser, Old Faithful Geyser or Castle Geyser. Grand Geyser’s 12-hour interval is long but predictions are fairly accurate, and its show is worth the wait, especially late in the day at which time rainbows can form in the spray. Grand Geyser has an initial burst lasting about 10 minutes, followed by a cessation of activity at which point many viewers leave. But it can suddenly resume its eruption with a second burst which is often higher and more powerful than the first, so stick around when you think the show is over since it may start up again better than before.

Grand Geyser erupts (right) with a simultaneous eruption from Vent Geyser (left).  Grand Geyser is a fountain-type geyser reaching 200 feet in height and lasting up to 12 minutes.  Grand Geyser is considered the tallest predictable geyser in the world, erupting about every 12 hours.  It is often accompanied by burst or eruptions from Vent Geyser and Turban Geyser just to its left.  Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Grand Geyser erupts (right) with a simultaneous eruption from Vent Geyser (left). Grand Geyser is a fountain-type geyser reaching 200 feet in height and lasting up to 12 minutes. Grand Geyser is considered the tallest predictable geyser in the world, erupting about every 12 hours. It is often accompanied by burst or eruptions from Vent Geyser and Turban Geyser just to its left. Upper Geyser Basin.
Image ID: 13451
Location: Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Grand Geyser erupts (right) with a simultaneous eruption from Vent Geyser (left).  Grand Geyser is a fountain-type geyser reaching 200 feet in height and lasting up to 12 minutes.  Grand Geyser is considered the tallest predictable geyser in the world, erupting about every 12 hours.  It is often accompanied by burst or eruptions from Vent Geyser and Turban Geyser just to its left.  Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Grand Geyser erupts (right) with a simultaneous eruption from Vent Geyser (left). Grand Geyser is a fountain-type geyser reaching 200 feet in height and lasting up to 12 minutes. Grand Geyser is considered the tallest predictable geyser in the world, erupting about every 12 hours. It is often accompanied by burst or eruptions from Vent Geyser and Turban Geyser just to its left. Upper Geyser Basin.
Image ID: 13445
Location: Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Grand Geyser erupts at sunset. Grand Geyser is a fountain-type geyser reaching 200 feet in height and lasting up to 12 minutes.  Grand Geyser is considered the tallest predictable geyser in the world, erupting about every 12 hours.  It is often accompanied by burst or eruptions from Vent Geyser and Turban Geyser just to its left.  Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Grand Geyser erupts at sunset. Grand Geyser is a fountain-type geyser reaching 200 feet in height and lasting up to 12 minutes. Grand Geyser is considered the tallest predictable geyser in the world, erupting about every 12 hours. It is often accompanied by burst or eruptions from Vent Geyser and Turban Geyser just to its left. Upper Geyser Basin.
Image ID: 13446
Location: Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Grand Geyser (right), Turban Geyser (center) and Vent Geyser (left) erupt in concert.  Grand Geyser is a fountain-type geyser reaching 200 feet in height and lasting up to 12 minutes.  Grand Geyser is considered the tallest predictable geyser in the world, erupting about every 12 hours.  It is often accompanied by burst or eruptions from Vent Geyser and Turban Geyser just to its left.  Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Grand Geyser (right), Turban Geyser (center) and Vent Geyser (left) erupt in concert. Grand Geyser is a fountain-type geyser reaching 200 feet in height and lasting up to 12 minutes. Grand Geyser is considered the tallest predictable geyser in the world, erupting about every 12 hours. It is often accompanied by burst or eruptions from Vent Geyser and Turban Geyser just to its left. Upper Geyser Basin.
Image ID: 13450
Location: Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Keywords: grand geyser, yellowstone national park.

Photo of Lion Geyser, Yellowstone National Park

National Parks, Wyoming, Yellowstone

Road Trip: Day 4

Lion Geyser, in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park along the Geyser Hill boardwalk, was a lucky happenstance for me. Lion Geyser, part of the Lion Group which includes a few other geysers, is difficult to observe since it is not one of geysers that the Park rangers predict. Lion Geyser has a relatively complex eruption timeline, involving major and minor eruptions that themselves occur with their own subintervals, steam phases and a rather long and unpredictable primary interval that lasts six hours to over a day in many cases. This hints at the convoluted nature of the subterranean plumbing and geothermal forces which drive the Lion Group. Lion Geyser was not even on my list of geysers to try to see this trip. However, I had just come from a wonderful eruption of nearby Grand Geyser and was walking the Geyser Hill trail for an hour before returning to Riverside Geyser to end the day, when Lion Geyser went off just as I was passing by. A pleasant woman with a European accent and I were the only two people fortunate enough to be near Lion Geyser as it gushed. We stood there quietly enjoying the show and taking pictures and video, listening to the unique roaring sound for which Lion Geyser is named.

A visitor videotapes the eruption of Lion Geyser, with Old Faithful Inn visible in the distance.  Lion Geyser, whose eruption is preceded by a release of steam that sounds like a lion roaring, erupts just once or a few times each day, reaching heights of up to 90 feet.  Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

A visitor videotapes the eruption of Lion Geyser, with Old Faithful Inn visible in the distance. Lion Geyser, whose eruption is preceded by a release of steam that sounds like a lion roaring, erupts just once or a few times each day, reaching heights of up to 90 feet. Upper Geyser Basin.
Image ID: 13371
Location: Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Keywords: lion geyser photos, yellowstone national park.