|Yellowstone Falls illuminated by moonlight|
On the basis of images in books (especially those by Tom Murphy) and related TV shows, I have long wanted to visit Yellowstone National Park during the winter. I finally realized this ambition during a 2-week vacation in January, 2014. I can only describe the environment and resulting experience as magical.
During the first half of my trip, I participated in a photo tour offered by Yellowstone Expeditions (www.yellowstoneexpeditions.com) at their "yurt camp," near Canyon Village. This is a family business that specializes in cross-country skiing, but also offers occasional photo tours emphasizing Yellowstone's winter wildlife. Their camp is basic. Guests stay in heated wood and plastic cabins. Meals are prepared and eaten in the two yurts, while shared port-a-potties and showers are a short walk from the cabins. The staff is as accommodating as can be. Typically, we would rise early, grab a quick cup of coffee or tea, and jump into a snow coach for a short drive to a potential sunrise view point.
mission completed, we would return to camp, have a hearty breakfast, make box
lunches, and then return to the snow coaches for extended drives in search of
wildlife, thermal features, and other attractions. As we cruised the roads, we shared these with
the wildlife, many of which conserve valuable energy in this way.
|One of the many bison we encountered on our drives.|
|Sunset at Alum Creek with bison herd in distance|
|Sun Pillar in Yellowstone Canyon|
|Yurt village with snow coaches on left|