Best Laid Plans
Leaving Mammoth we head for Tower Falls(spotting the first black bear of the trip, from the safety of the RV picture to follow), Moran painted a number of works at the falls and arriving I recognise the stone spires through which a surge of white water drops 132ft, unfortunately the route to view the falls from the lower vantage point, which Moran made familiar in his compositions, is closed. It’s the first slight deviation from the trip plans, I’m disappointed but it might present an opportunity for me to either, work on the view we did get to see, or even produce paintings which imagine the viewpoint, using the Moran studies and my experience as a starting point.
So the visit to Tower Falls is shorter than expected and allows a detour to what the local people call the ‘Serengeti’ of Yellowstone, Lamar Valley. It’s an immense lush green flat plain right at the North Eastern corner of the park with the tranquil Lamar River meandering through at a leisurely pace. The mood of a peaceful pastoral is disrupted at dawn and dusk when the plain apparently becomes a demonstration of the park’s wildlife when hungry.
The plan was to stay at a campground up here, Slough Creek, and wake up early to see the the valley at sunrise but it’s closed until late June. So we have to hot foot it back to the Canyon campground, knowing full well it’s a long shot to get a place so late in the day. The road back to Canyon Campground winds its way up and down Washburn Mt one of the highest in Yellowstone and has views you’d expect from such an elevated position. The luck which has evaded us all day returns as we get a pitch from a cancelation. Ending up at the site of our first stay in Yellowstone has a certain symmetry to it.
Tomorrow the leaving of Yellowstone.