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The Chief Washakie Trail…

The following, including the photo, is lifted right off the internet…

Chief Washakie, 1804-1900 a chief of the Eastern Shoshone Indians of Wyoming was noted for his exploits in fighting and also for his friendship with the white pioneers. When wagon trains were passing through Shoshone country in the 1850’s, Washakie and his people aided the overland travelers in fording streams and recovering strayed cattle. He was also a scout for the U.S. Army.5304goinglander-------.JPG

I didn’t have a clue who Chief Washakie was until I looked him up once I got to my hotel in Big Spring, NE.  All I knew is that I rode the Chief Washakie trail east across Wyoming as I left, and what a beautiful drive it was.  There were the mountains of course, and the fabulous olive green hills with rows of dark evergreens riding the ridges.  I thought that it looked like coloring book pages, but if I’d colored them like that I wouldn’t have though it looked natural.  Only it was.  I couldn’t stop for pictures even though I really wanted to, except for the sunrise pictures as I got myself on the road early on Monday.  If only I had been able to be on wifi while I was in the campground, to learn more about the different places to visit, as well as learn more about the places I did see.  When planning my next trip I will have to do a better job of investigating the destination instead of endlessly asking myself which route to take to get there.  Thank goodness for my cousin Mary and my friend Karen, who shared their love of the area with me while I was there.08-04-20lastsunrise2.jpg

Interestingly, after all that stressing over which route to take to get to WY I just set the GPS and headed home.  East on 80, into Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri so far.  This morning I had my coffee just outside of Kansas City, in Higginsville, while sitting in bed with the internet.  Headed home…

 

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Mean and Menor…

This interest in photography has led me to take a closer-up view of the natural world, and to face the facts that life for the birds and animals that I photograph is a day to day struggle to stay alive.  As opposed to the Disney-like view of how pretty all the creatures out there are, which is about as deeply as I thought about it in the past.  But this rugged Wyoming landscape has given me a new appreciation for what it must have taken for people to come and settle in such a beautiful but harsh climate.  To have had to go out and gather food, or not eat.  To have to build shelters for themselves that would keep them alive through harsher, and longer, winters than I would have imagined.  And to  discover ways to provide services to your neighbors that would allow you make a living.

These are the things that crossed my mind as I visited Menor’s Ferry.  In a non-Covid year there would be displays in the general store, and opportunities to ride the ferry across the river, and a bit more information about life in those days than just taking a self guided tour and trying to use your imagination to fill in the gaps.

07-28-20menorssign

The replica of the ferry itself…07-30-20theferry

The general store…07-30-20generalstore

The home in which a meeting took place which led to the eventual founding of The Grand Teton National Park.07-28-20menorshouse

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I love this sign…07-30-20menorsign

And the Chapel of the Transfiguration.  It’s altar window frames the highest mountain peak, but I didn’t get to see it since it’s not open this year.07-28-20chapel.jpg

I looked this information up this morning to be sure to be more accurate.

Historical Timeline of Menor’s Ferry

Menor’s Ferry
Menor’s Ferry once belonged to William D. Menor who came to Jackson Hole in 1894, taking up a homestead beside the Snake River. Here he constructed a ferryboat that became a vital crossing for the early settlers of Jackson Hole Valley.

Jackson Hole was isolated by its surrounding mountains and had such a harsh climate that it was one of the last areas of the lower 48 states to be settled. Homesteaders came here, mainly from Idaho, beginning in the late 1880s. Most early settlement in the valley took place in the south, or on a few scattered areas with fertile soil on the east side of the Snake River. Menor was alone on the west side of the Snake for more than ten years.

Rivers are often important transportation corridors. However, the Snake River was a natural barrier that divided the valley. In dry months the river could be forded safely in several locations, but during periods of high water even the most reliable fords were impassable. After 1894, Menor’s Ferry became the main crossing in the central part of Jackson Hole. Residents crossed on the ferry to hunt, gather berries and mushrooms, and cut timber at the foot of the mountains.

Bill Menor built the original ferryboat and cableworks. Today’s ferry and cableworks are replicas. The ferry is a simple platform set on two pontoons. The cable system across the river keeps the ferry from going downstream, while allowing it to move sideways. By turning the pilot wheel, the rope attaching the boat to the cable is tightened and points the pontoons toward the opposite bank. The pressure of the current against the pontoons pushes the ferryboat across the river in the direction the pontoons point. This type of ferry existed in ancient times and was used elsewhere in the United States.

Menor charged 50c for a wagon and team and 25c for a rider and horse. Pedestrians rode free if a wagon was crossing. When the water was too low for the ferry, Menor suspended a platform from the cable and three to four passengers could ride a primitive cablecar across the river. In later years, Menor and his neighbors built a bridge for winter use, dismantling it each spring.

Menor sold out to Maude Noble in 1918. She doubled the fares, hoping to earn a living from the growing number of tourists in the valley. Noble charged $1 for automobiles with local license plates, or $2 for out-of-state plates. In 1927, a steel truss bridge was built just south of the ferry, making it obsolete. Maude Noble sold the property to the Snake River Land Company in 1929.

Bill Menor and his neighbors homesteaded here thinking of the local natural resources as commodities for survival, but many of them grew to treasure the beauty and uniqueness of Jackson Hole. In 35 short years, from Bill Menor’s arrival until the establishment of the original park in 1929, this land passed from homestead to national treasure.

 

'scene' along the way, adventure, Camping, family, fun, Just do it, learning, making memories, natural wonders, nature, perseverance, photography, travel

Travels with my cousin…

This particular relationship isn’t so much a reconnection, but a getting to know you.   My cousin lives in Jackson and comes to the park for hiking and kayaking often, which means she has lots of favorite places to show me.  So my birthday was spent being chauffeur driven yet again, and to places I very likely would have missed on my own.  Thank you for a great day Mary, and best is is we will have time to do more while I’m here.07-11-20Mary07-11-20trailview07-11-20reflectionboats

Mary is a great spotter, she pointed out photo op after photo op, I could barely keep up.  She also reminded me to remember to look up while we are watching our footsteps on the trail.  She spotted the cedar waxwings (we think) who loved the berry laden bushes, and waited patiently for us to move along so they could have lunch.

t.07-11-20waxwing

 

There was a stop for gas at a fun looking restaurant I’d love to visit before I leave.07-11-20flowersandwheel

Being here really brings home the reality of people heading west in wagons like this, seeking a better life.07-11-20wagon

Birds were enjoying the water and what nature provides along the trail.07-11-20duckyfeature

07-11-20merganser

I almost caught this buffalo’s dust bath with all four legs in the air, but I missed that shot.07-11-20dusty

Mormon Row was in interesting stop also.  Mary wanted me to see the most photographed barn in the US, I think she said.07-11-20Mormonrowsign07-11-20pinkhouse07-11-20horses07-11-20mountainview07-11-20barn

I got a kick out of what I thought of as ‘the little outhouse on the prairie’…07-11-20outhouse

It was a great day, as you can see.  Happy Birthday to me!

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Milky Way Photography…

Honestly, the timing could have been better.  My cousin and I had gotten up at 3 AM to take my uncle to the VA Hospital for sinus surgery (all went perfectly), but in these days of social distancing we weren’t allowed in, and even though we had a nice breakfast out, we endlessly waited in the hospital parking lot.  Part of that waiting period included me thinking there would be a bathroom somewhere for people who were also in this situation.  Port-a-potties were out there, somewhere, they said.  I was pointed in various directions, and in .93 miles, during which I briefly considered climbing a fence, but instead opted to backtrack to where I started from and skirt a retaining pond instead, I was finally back in the car.  And still we waited.  And that’s when I got the message that friends were meeting at 2 AM on Pass-a-Grille beach to take photos of the Milky Way.  Like I said, not the greatest timing exhaustion-wise, but too perfect of a chance to learn something new to pass up.

With lots of hands-on instruction from my very helpful friends, I tried, I really did.  And even though my best (also heaviest) tripod was in the car I chose the lighter one.  And my best choice of lens wasn’t ideal, but adequate for the moment at least.  I say all this to distract myself from facing that it’s on me that instead of sharp stars in the sky my photos resembled a sky full of commas, flocks of birds, and tadpoles.  But in the photos you do see the Milky Way instead of the faint smudge in the sky, which is how it appeared to me in person.  It’s a start, and I hope to get a lot more practice on my next adventure.06-20-20milkyway406-20-20milkyway106-20-20milkyway7

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Opening up…

 The good news is that Pine Island is open again, with restrictions of course. My friend and I decided that we would head there for the sunset on Thursday night when we hoped it wouldn’t be too crowded. My first impression as I drove through the gates and saw all the cars was startling, but the parking lot may have looked crowded, but the beach was not. My second revelation came when I turned on my camera to take a picture of the scenery with a lone fisherman who happened to be positioned just right. That’s when I got the dreaded notification that I had no card in the camera. I’d never done that before, but I guess it had to happen eventually. Of course I had my trusty iPhone with me, and I knew that this would be my opportunity to put our recent class in Lightroom Mobile to the test. It was supposed to be great, according to our fearless leader Jeff. And he did make it look easy, but I had to force myself to stick with it and not just give in to the easier, more familiar version of that not-so-intuitive-application on the computer. Who knew that when I bought the iPad and Apple Pencil nearly three years ago I’d finally be putting them to use.IMG_2867rampIMG_2860IMG_2859runnerIMG_2807distancingIMG_2804bettyIMG_2799sunsetPineisland2IMG_2833pineisland3 

Alas I must confess.  Editing the pictures was tough but I managed it.  But when it came to putting them into this post I eventually resorted to using my laptop.  I have so much more to learn.

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Delete, delete, delete…

You know what?  Yesterday I said that my technology issues weren’t because of anything I did or didn’t do.  I said that because I had been attending an online photo class with my group and our leader said that some of us are using computers that just don’t have enough power to work well in Lightroom.  It wan’t the first time he talked about us beginners and our approach to photography, and I always feel like he’s been looking over my shoulder because he has a knack for bringing up something that’s had me tearing my hair out.

But in this case at least the issue was me being a bonehead.  I bought my desktop computer because of the storage issues I was having with my laptop. I needed to preserve my laptop so that I would have it to use while I traveled.  And I did buy an external hard drove for the computer, but it was a challenge to figure out how to get the photos to be stored on the external drive.  So in the meantime I proceeded to go out and take pictures and let them live on my brand new computer hard drive, and I didn’t give it a second thought because 1T of storage would never get used up.  Right?  Wrong.

All of which explains why I’m sitting here going through the thousands of pictures that are taking up space on my hard drive, and deleting them.  One by one.  And coming across a few I liked here and there, but hundreds of them are just junk that I won’t ever miss and didn’t know they were there in the first place.  Hundreds of pictures of dolphin fins, taken just in case you could catch a fabulous picture of one leaping out of the water.  Which, of course, never happened.  Delete, delete, delete…

These are from the Dunedin marina, and the feature photo is a hawk who happened to pose for me in my former backyard on a day with perfect light.  04-29-20dunedinmarina2.jpg04-29-20dunedinmarina.jpg