Thursday, November 12, 2009

Seasons change

The ice on Yellowstone Lake was still solid when I arrived in May. the breakup began within a week.
It was a wet year. With plenty of rain through June, high water levels in lakes and rivers, fire threat was low. There were several lightening strikes that didn't go much of anywhere. One
fire in the northern part of the park went beyond the quarter to a couple acre size of all the others.
Then in mid-September lightening hit southwest of the Lake Hotel area. For days is smoldered. Then the winds came up. My last week in the park included two extremely long days as the fire closed a section of the Grand Loop Road in the southeastern area. The road was already closed on the northwest corner of the Lower Loop due to a major construction project and bridge work. I got caught on the "wrong side" of the park with a tour. To return them to Old Faithful took a detour of almost 7 hours (including a stop for an unscheduled dinner). I drove out the north entrance of the park to Bozeman, MT, then south on Hwy 191 to West Yellowstone, and into the park.
The next morning I waited hoping the road would reopen, as it had a few previous days when the fire got close. But this time it didn't reopen. The fire had jumped the road and debris kept it closed for days.
So, back around the long way. At least I got to see Hwy 191 in the daylight. I hadn't driven that route before.
Once back at Lake, I got my motorhome ready to leave. Mike, one of the dispatchers, brought a Glavall bus (20 seater) down and other drivers brought a couple bigger ones. Mike then drove my motorhome back to Gardiner so I would not have to worry about it as I stood by to drive employees out in the Glavall should word come to evacuate the hotel village area.
Evacuation was not necessary. It began to snow. The snow was sticking to the ground, but not yet the pavement, as I left the park. The next morning I did all my check out paperwork and was on my way.
So, within a day I went from fire to snow.

If you have read the Yellowstone blogs from top to bottom, this is the last photo from the 2009 season. If you started at the bottom, and are working your way to the present, this blog offers the beginning of a series of Yellowtone photos.
In September one of my favorite photo spots is Fishing Bridge where Yellowstone Lake begins (there is some dispute on this, but it works for me) its journey on the Yellowstone River. The Lake, always bitterly cold, has finally warmed enough (if you call 42 degrees warm) to exceed the morning air temperature. This causes fog and some incredible photographic opportunities.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WOW !!! Okay , so you are also writing again or you should be. This is great Beeper. Enjoy your time in Texas then get over ti Aho as soon ans you can...(((HUGS))) Jacque

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