Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 6 July 2006

    Not that the front of the alphabet is lame with Arches and Acadia, but Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Zion do the back end proud.

Yellowstone's premier draws are in the other galleries; this is the "ordinary" scenery of this vast and splendid National Park.  [28 photos]

This was my wake-up view at Site 6A, Madison Arm Resort, West Yellowstone, MT. Sounds fancy, but it was just a night of Jeep-sleep in a lakeside camp

Sunrise. The lake was warmer than the chilly mountain air.

It made for a nice scene, but I worried about the morning cloudiness that had bedeviled me for the last week.

Though clouds do, sometimes, lead to nice photos

The Madison River, about 10 miles inside the West Entrance of Yellowstone NP

In 1988, wild fires scorched 1.2 million acres of Yellowstone. The skeletal remains of the once-lush pine forests still haunt the hillsides.

Big deer! They were the size of horses.

Warmer water from the underground springs mixes with the cooler river water.

A buffalo silhouetted against the morning steam near the Gibbon River.

The Yellowstone wildlife does not seem bothered by humans, who mostly just stand in awe and snap photos.

Nice pose, buffo.

The eye of the bison.

Fire-felled trees still litter the slopes of Gibbon Falls, some 18 years after the destructive conflagration.

Steam leaps from Beryl Spring with a roar reminscent of a firehose. It was LOUD!

An elk grazes along the flats of the Gibbon River.

An impressive rack, to be sure.

I think he noticed me.

...but went back to his serene grazing.

Then struck a cool pose. Gotta love those antlers.

The Virginia Cascades: the Gibbon River tumbles into a deep chasm, so steep that it is barely visible from the rim.

An elk chills out near Canyon Village.

The sun catches his antlers nicely.

Yellowstone's east side offers so many wide and beautiful vistas.

Though the dead forests do take away some from the Wow factor.

Picture the hillside with lush, flourishing pines. Oh well...

Yet another sweet vista near Dunraven Pass.

And another

Annnnnd another.

Tower Falls. In 1985, there was a boulder perched on the brink, and sign asked "When will the rock fall?"...

This was the same scene in 1985. Cool, huh?

Not a wall you want to stand under.

The Yellowstone River winds down into Phantom Lake.

Another great vista.

The buffalo plans his attack on the rock....