Sunday, June 3, 2018

Yellowstone 2018

Welcome to John's Island

The month of May included more travel than usual for me. A little cruise up the West Coast, featured in my last post, started things off. Then a road trip to Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, gave me a chance to visit Yellowstone National Park. My first visit to the Park was 29 years ago in 1989. In the years since, I haven't visited every year but, yes, most years, and probably at least 20 of them, sometimes more than once. If you've followed this blog for a while you will know that I'm fascinated with Yellowstone and have put together a little collection of memorabilia, especially postcards, books, and vintage travel related publications. The series of photos below includes some of my new pictures taken this year and, of course, I can't resist including some related older items from my collection.

West Entrance welcome.
Most folks like to stop and get a selfie with the sign.
I've done that before ... this time it's mostly for this introduction to the post.

Monday, May 14th, the crowds have not arrived yet and the traffic
level is marvelous.
The day was partly cloudy and mild temperatures prevailed.

Still snow on the sides of the road in places.
No snow ON the road ... nice dry surfaces.

Mt Haynes from the viewpoint just across the Madison River
From Wikipedia: "Mount Haynes el. 8,218 feet (2,505 m) is a prominent peak adjacent to the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. The peak was named by then Yellowstone superintendent Horace Albright to honor Frank Jay Haynes (1853–1921), the first official photographer of the park. Prior to being named Mount Haynes, the peak was unofficially called Mount Burley for D. E. Burley of the Union Pacific Railroad."

When I got back home I looked through the postcard collection to see if I could find a card featuring Mt. Haynes. The one I found has a photo by Haynes himself, but it is so old he entitled it Mt. Burley. Haynes probably did more to show the beauty of Yellowstone to the world than any other photographer. Mt. Haynes is just one little scene in Wonderland and yet it always catches my attention when I'm in the Park.

Great Falls of the Yellowstone
This was an amazing scene made even more amazing by
the lack of a crowd at the viewpoint. Stopping for a moment
and enjoying the beauty without a lot of chatter nearby
made it a memorable moment!
By the way, an old friend has challenged me to do the stairs with him from the top of the Canyon down to base of Lower Falls. It's called Uncle Tom's Trail and is a wonderful trail that takes you from the top of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone down to the base of the 308-foot-high Lower Falls. You can almost always see a rainbow cutting through the falls' mist. Tackling the 328 steps on the way down is a breeze -- just remember that you have to come back up. But don’t worry. There are many benches and steel platforms to rest upon while covering the roughly 500 vertical feet. I should mention that Uncle Tom's Trail is now closed for reconstruction and is scheduled to reopen in July.

Grand Canyon and Great Falls from Artist Point postcard by Haynes.

There are two falls ... upper and lower.
This postcard shows the Lower Falls also known
as Great Falls of the Yellowstone

Can you help identify this bird?
I spotted this bird while at the Canyon and used max zoom
on camera to get this shot.

I like this shot of a buffalo taken in Hayden Valley.
At first I thought he was looking at me, but then ...
see the enlargement below.  :-)

This little bird goes in the dictionary next to "No Worries"

Haynes vintage postcard.
"Buffalo - American Bison"
If you love critters be sure to check out Saturday's Critters and thanks to Eileen for hosting!

Most tourists want to see bears.
In the past they fed bears garbage and were proud of it.
They stopped this kind of thing long ago.

Back of the Brown Bear Card above.

Bears near Old Faithful.
Notice how tourists were allowed so close to the bears.
Rangers will not allow you to get anywhere near the bears today.
I really don't think bears are agressive unless they feel threatened or
they are protecting their little ones.

Back of the Bears Near Old Faithful Card
Another Feeding the Bear card.
This must have been early 1900s.
Can you imagine doing this?
A great one-day trip into YNP starts at the West Entrance and rolls around to the Lake Hotel where you can enjoy an excellent lunch in the hotel dining room.

My photo of Lake Hotel taken May 14th, 2018
Compare to the vintage postcard view below.

Interior, reading/relaxing area near dining room.

There is a display case near the hotel main desk
with a collection of old memorabilia.
I like this Supper menu from Friday, July 18th, 1924.
Description card accompanying the menu is shown below.

Here are a couple of old postcards featuring Lake Hotel, or, as it has been called in the past, Lake Colonial Hotel or just Colonial Hotel.
Lake Colonial Hotel Yellowstone National Park
This is an early postcard ... probably 1920s or so.

Description on back of card above. In those days they
called it the Lake Colonial Hotel.

Colonial Hotel, Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone Park
An even older card in the style of the day, sepia view.
Another photo by Haynes, of course.

Walked across the road in front of Lake Hotel to snap this photo of
Yellowstone Lake.
Still covered with thin ice.

While looking through my cards to find some related to the Lake area
I found this one of the speedboat Adelane. This is a pretty rare card.
Pictures of the old larger tourist boats are common but this
speedboat is not seen so often.
The theme this week at Postcards for the Weekend is "anything you wish" so I'm linking up and thanks to Maria for hosting!

Another "curiosity" card ... Handkerchief Pool
No, that's not just a white spot in the middle of the blue spring.
It's a handkerchief. The story is told on the back of the card shown below.

As you might expect, they try to keep the location of this feature quiet and
they certainly don't want you to try it out if you do find it!  :-)

Sky Watch

A beautiful morning, May 14, 2018, and I was on the way to spend the day in Yellowstone Park. The early morning light presented a beautiful view of Sphinx Mountain along the way. Thanks to Yogi for hosting Skywatch Friday where you can see other bloggers' sky photos.

Not YNP but not too far away in the Madison Valley of Montana.
This is Sphinx Mountain in the Madison Range
near Cameron, Montana
May 14th  6:14 AM MDT
Ship Watch

The largest passenger ship to visit Seattle arrived this past week. She is NCL's Norwegian Bliss. She docked at Pier 66. The ship was especially designed for the voyage between Seattle and Alaska and was Officially Christened in Seattle on Wednesday. Twenty stories tall, 4000 passengers, 1800 crew. She departed for her maiden voyage to Alaska on Saturday, June 2nd.

May 30th  5:00 AM
Norwegian Bliss Arriving Port of Seattle
Largest Passenger Vessel to visit Seattle so far.
Elliott Bay Marina in the lower part of the photo.

News media photo of Norwegian Bliss at Pier 66 on May 30th.
Photo taken from TV Station Helicopter.

Clippers Through the Panama Canal

Here is the story: I first learned about the Clipper Race around the World back in April when the boats arrived in Seattle and I featured it in my April 22nd post. Since then, I have been watching the race via their website as they completed racing down the West Coast to near the Panama Canal. I am fascinated with the Canal and have become a frequent visitor to their webcams. So, I really wanted to see the Clippers transiting the Canal! The Clipper website revealed the transit schedule. I then used to see exactly where the boats were located. Finally, clicked over to the Miraflores Locks Hi-Res Camera which allowed the following series of 13 photos.

May 31st  9:50 AM Panama Canal Time
Notice the lock on the left ... low water level
[Be sure to click for larger view]
Note the time stamp in the upper left corner.

10:02 AM the Ever Progress Bulk Carrier
has moved forward into the left lock.

10:25 AM Water has filled the lock and lifted the Ever Progress. 

10:25 AM Gates forward of Ever Progress begin to open

10:27 AM Gates are fully open.

10:30 AM Ever Progress moves forward out of the lock

10:35 AM Ever Progress has cleared the lock

10:36 AM Here come the Clippers ... they were
staged right behind the Ever Progress.

10:37 Clippers transit Miraflores lock.

10:38 AM
Only 1 group of 3 transits on a given day

10:39 AM
Todays group:
Liverpool 2018
PSP Logistics

10:41 AM
Clippers leaving the lock and a new
ship has entered the lock on the right.

10:42 AM
Clippers have cleared Miraflores and head to Pedro Miguel for the next lift.

Today's Closing Thought comes from the words around the edge of one of the stained glass windows in Yellowstone's Chapel ...

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Earth with her thousand voices
Praises God.

     Stained Glass Window from Yellowstone Park Chapel ...

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.


  1. You must have an amazing collection, John! I guess it is easy to get fascinated by Yellowstone. I would like to visit it, sure. But... Too far away from home. Well, one never knows. Maybe I have the chance in the future.

  2. Hello, I love Yellowstone Nat'l Park too. We've been twice and I would love to go back. Your unknown bird is an Osprey. The wildlife seen in the park is awesome,the bison and bears. I agree too many people spoil the views and peace. The Panama Canal is amazing. I love the quote you are sharing. Thanks so much for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead. PS, thanks also for your comment on my blog.

  3. That laundry geyser sounds wonderful! (Uh...I am going to start calling my washing machine that!)

    Love the little bird and buffalo. Is it just me or does the buffalo seem scared?

    The white bird is amazing. My guess is it is some kind of falcon or eagle.

    "When I got back home I looked through the postcard collection to see if I could find a card featuring Mt. Haynes. The one I found has a photo by Haynes himself, but it is so old he entitled it Mt. Burley."

    It is so cool you have that postcard!

  4. I've been to Yellowstone once and it was once of my favorite vacations. How fortunate you are to have been many times.

  5. I see that someone has already identified the mystery bird.I agree, it is an Osprey.I love the Yellowstone pictures. I have only been there twice, but have some good memories.With the way my knees are,I would not be trying all those stairs.Good for you to have done it!

  6. I have never been to Yellowstone so one of these days...

  7. I always think of you when I hear of Yellowstone, since you've shown so many different aspects of it over the years. I look forward to hearing about your adventure with the stairs, which is in your future, yes? Or have you already done them? :-)

  8. Hi all, this is a comment I'm leaving for myself in hopes that it will allow me to receive email notifications when others leave me comments. That has not been happening in recent days and the only way I had to see comments was to come here to the comment section on the blog post. I have just read about this trick by reading one of DJan's posts. The trick is to leave a post for yourself and be sure to click the Notify Me box in the lower right of the comment section. So, thanks DJan! And, to answer your question above, I have not done the stairs with the old friend ... it is a challenge for a future occasion when we are in YNP at the same time. However, I have done the stairs by myself about 10 years ago.

    1. Actually, you don't need to leave any comment. You can just click de "Notify me" box (while you're logged into your account). This is being very annoying for everyone!

  9. What a wonderful and fun and informative travel post! Loved all the photos!

  10. John your collection of historic post cards and facts always amazes me.

  11. I have been wanting to visit Yellowstone and haven't got a chance to do so. Hopefully soon

  12. Hi John, very beautiful and informative post! So nice the Stained Glass Window from Yellowstone Park Chapel.
    Many greetings from Turin!

  13. As usual your blog is a joy to read, I love how you match up the photos with old postcards. Not sure I'd be feeding a bear like that myself

  14. Great photos John. Dod you meet Yogi Bear & Boo-Boo? Or are they in Jellystone Park?

    God bless.

  15. Yellowstone and mountainous Montana have a lot in common in the spring - snow on the side of the roads, ice in the lakes and not a lot of tourists!!! I enjoyed your tour of Yellowstone. You're right, no one would willingly feed a bear today. Around here, we can be fined for having our birdfeeders out in May, or our garbage can out too early/too late!!! Thanks for your recent visit to my blog - more Montana scenes/critters coming soon!

  16. Thank you John for visiting my Blog and for commenting so kindly and generously. I have responded more fully on my Blog. Hope you visit us again.

    God bless you always.

  17. John your blog always amazes me. You are so knowledgeable in the history of our nation and your national park collection is mind blowing.
    If you go to my profile page there is a link to email me. I did not see one on your page or I would have sent an email. I have something that I would like to send you. It belongs with someone who treasures the national parks as you do. I've had it in storage for years and I would be honored to have it be part of your collection. If you would email me your snail mail address I would get it in the mail. What is it? A little nation history
    surprise :)

  18. I love the old postcards of Yellowstone, and totally intrigued by your present day photos from the same locations. How cool is that!!? Great post, John!

  19. Wonderful collection as always. Thanks...:)


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