A Few Horny Elk at Yellowstone

✍️ 🕑 September 19-20, 2021 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: wildlife photographyelkYellowstone National ParkNational ParksWyomingMontana • Places: Mammoth, WY Gardiner, MT Mammoth Campground

This marks the 19th post in this series on my road trip from Pennsylvania to Seattle, and as such, it is has finally overtaken "Attractions of Pennsylvania" for the longest "series" on this blog. What a milestone!

In my last post, I finally arrived at the place I was most excited to visit in my drive across the United States, Yellowstone National Park.

After discovering that conditions were just a touch colder than I was prepared for during the daytime, I began heading towards a campsite and a warm meal. Traffic ground to a halt. I figured the cause was some sort of relatively rare animal, causing drivers to slow down and snap pictures from the middle of the road, an annoying penchant of Yellowstone visitors seeing their first buffalo.

As it happened, I was almost completely correct in my guess about the material reason for being in first gear.

The only thing I was wrong about was the type of animal.

It wasn't a buffalo.

It was elk.

Lots of 'em.

Quoth The Corvid, Yellowstone

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: geyserslakeswaterfallsriverscanyonsYellowstone National ParkNational ParksWyoming • Places: East Entrance to Yellowstone Nine Mile Post / Turbid Lake Trail Trailhead LeHardy Rapids Mud Volcanos Grand Canyon of Yellowstone Norris Geyser Basin

Of all of the places I ever visited as a youngster, Yellowstone National Park left the biggest impression on me. I thought its geothermal features were spectacular, its nature unparalleled, and its crowds easy enough to overlook when everything else was so spectacular.

I made sure when I planned my trip West to not just visit Yellowstone but to spend as much time there and just outside there as seemed reasonable. So, after a day spent just outside the park boundaries, I would spend a total of three days visiting the park.

I hadn't planned much of a park itinerary, but I wanted to visit a mix of popular and less popular spots. Along these lines, I picked out my first planned hike, one not far from the park's east entrance.

A signpost indicating nearby trails, including one I planned to hike...
A signpost indicating nearby trails, including one I planned to hike...

Soon, it would turn out there were a few other things I hadn't necessarily planned on. Like snow.

Ancient Lakes

✍️ 🕑 March 13-14, 2022 hiking and campinggeologyvolcanic rocklakesriverswaterfallsCentral WA • Places: Ancient Lakes Trailhead

On one particular weekend in mid-March, the weather seemed nice enough for a little overnight hike around Ancient Lakes, Washington, a beautiful area that with a rich geological history... and a lot of horses, kids on mountain bikes, and loose boulders.

A view early into the Ancient Lakes Trail, showing just how remote and untouched the landscape truly is.
A view early into the Ancient Lakes Trail, showing just how remote and untouched the landscape truly is.

A visit that could raise the following, suspenseful questions:

  • Will Steve manage to find some solitude?
  • Will Steve stay warm and dry at night?
  • Will Steve be well-fed?
  • Will Steve be back to Seattle in time to join his 3PM workshop on perception of time & art?
  • How will Steve navigate the myriad of trails in the area?
  • Will Steve consume the lake water, rumored to be chockfull of nitrates and agricultural runoff from nearby farmland?

All this & more follows.

52 Frames (March 2022)

✍️ 🕑 March 2021 • Series: 52 Frames • Tags: street photographyblack and white photography

This month, I started out feeling a bit uninspired with some of my weekly photography challenges. Some of them came at times when I was more interested in focusing on other themes. And others came just before or after I had a really good run of photographs using similar techniques, when I would have liked to pivot to something else.

But despite my frustrations, I had the impetus to try and create some things that I enjoyed. I remain content to stick with it.

My Thoughts on a Few More 2021 Reads

✍️ 🕑 2021 book reviewsfolktales

After my last post on a trek near some Hawaiian lava fields, I doubt many readers are wondering, "what books was Steve reading when he wasn't hiking?"

Unfortunately for those readers, I've gone ahead and decided to answer the question in some detail. This post is on three such books, which I happened to finish in 2021, started reviewing, and kept forgetting to copy over saved quotations... Until now.

The books in question are Sema Kaygusuz's enchanting short story collection The Well of Trapped Words, Italo Cavino's gigantic collection of Italian Folktales, and Otessa Moshfegh's NYC-based contemporary novel My Year of Rest and Relaxation.

Read on for my budding literary critic thoughts. Or, don't if you're not feeling it. You do you.

A Walk Down The King's Highway (2021)

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Maui 2021 • Tags: lava flowsarduous hikesarcheological sitesMauiHawaiivolcanic rock • Places: Hoapili Trail

Image On Where-Is-Steve

I think it's tremendously cool that Hoapili Trail exists.

The route is an ancient Hawaiian road. It was initially constructed in the 1500's, and partially reconstructed in 1853. The full trail is 138 miles long, and some of it is in threat of undergoing redevelopment. There are people who have hiked the entire route, but generally that is not a common desire.

This hike was pretty intense, but also, really, really cool.

Confluence (2018)

✍️ 🕑 August 12-13, 2018 • Series: Western Europe 2018 • Tags: teleferik ridesriverstractors on highwayslunaparkGermany • Places: Koblenz

A common refrain from my mother is that "no grass grows under your feet, Steve."

Another fact is that the tread on my shoes is frequently well worn. For this reason, I often feel a bit of trepidation when I am descending steep hillsides.

This is what I was feeling when I heard a resounding click and realized the door I stepped through was now locked.

Behind me, Fortress Ehrenbreitstein.

Ahead, a steep slope downwards on a warm summer's day.

Looking up at the fortress from its side of the river.
Looking up at the fortress from its side of the river.