Yellowstone National Park | Summer 2016

Local newspaper editor Calvin Clawson wrote of this place in 1871, "We could not help feeling that we were lifted up between heaven and hell, for while the seething, sulphurous lakes were on each side and far beneath us, the placid sky hung in grandest beauty above us." Describing Yellowstone as a land "between heaven and hell" is interesting and probably apt. When the first modern Americans happened upon the Yellowstone region, and subsequently reported their findings back east, no one quite believed what they saw or heard. Here was land that seemed to open into another world (heaven? hell?) - perhaps the most shocking element was the thermal features. It appeared the earth was straining and writhing under unknown stresses and forces, and it was a fearful, beautiful, explosive, and wonderful sight to behold.

But of course, we visit Yellowstone for many reasons in addition to the thermal wonders - the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the varieties of landscapes, and of course, the wildlife. My friend Bradford and I stumbled upon a Grizzly feasting on a bison at LeHardy's Rapids, and it made for the highlight of the visit. You lose track of your sense of time when you watch something like this. There are all sorts of odd effects - you feel falsely secure with the river between you and this beast, it looks like a nature documentary, and you forget everything else as your captivated by this unadulterated display of nature. There is a reason Yellowstone stands as the representative of the entire National Parks system, it is truly amazing.

Yellowstone National Park became the 1st National Park on March 1, 1872, and is spread across Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.

All pictures by Karl Magnuson
Canon 6D, Canon 60D

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L, Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L