July 2010

Danger in our national parks






Our national parks are places where nature is preserved – and nature can be dangerous.

We have been away from news  internet service for about 4 or 5 days.

A while back, I subscribed to press releases from the National park Service.  While going through those that had accumulated, I noticed that there were several fatalities .  Then, while I was putting this post together, I was told about bear maulings in the Yellowstone area.

Nature can be dangerous.

Some people get hurt or killed because they don’t follow the rules.

Sometimes, though, natural events are the cause.  The bear maulings near Yellowstone appear to be very unusual, where no one did anything wrong.  It appears to be a rogue bear.

Links on each of the picture go to the applicable news piece.

A Fifth Wheel passing through Jackson, Wyoming.


Jazz Fifth Wheel passing through Jackson, Wyoming.

When we’re traveling, I take a lot of photos of the places and things that we’ve seen.

While we were in Jackson earlier this month, it occurred to me to take photographs of RVs in various settings as we travel to share here.

The RV in this photo is a Jazz fifth wheel, by Thor Industries,  with a Dodge Ram 2500 truck as a tow vehicle.  It is a headed towards the Jackson town center from the direction of Grand Teton National Park.

Woman survives attack by enraged buffalo


The animals in our National Parks truly are wild and even those that seem mild may attack if provoked.

Recently, a woman was attacked by a buffalo that appears to have become enraged when someone in another group threw something at it and hit it.  Following a friend who also got too close, they became the buffalo’s target after angered by being hit in the side.

The CNN report includes the woman’s video, in which you can see the object hitting the buffalo, followed by the buffalo bucking and charging the first humans it sees.


“I thought it was the end,” Cathy Hayes told CNN by phone late Wednesday.

Hayes said she was vacationing in Yellowstone on Monday with her husband and a friend. The group was driving through the park when they spotted a bison.

“My friend is from California, and had never seen a bison before,” she said. “So we pulled over and went to get a closer look.”

Minutes later, the bison attacked. And it was all caught on tape.

Read the whole story and see the video on CNN.

Hidden Falls and Beyond


One of our favorite hikes starts with a boat ride across Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park.

We got a start in the morning, as did a number of others. Our boat, below, is returning  empty to pick up more hikers.  Later in the day, the boats will be full both ways and, in the late afternoon, will be packed with returning passengers while empty in the opposite direction.

passenger "ferry" on Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National park.

Hidden Falls is one of the most popular destinations in the park.  When we visited back in the 70s and 80s, there were lots of places all around and right up to the falls where people could sit, rest, and have picnics.  Unfortunately, all of the “lovin’” of nature, was causing the area to erode unnaturally.  So the park service undertook measures to restrict access to specific areas.

Trail to hidden Falls, Grand Teton National Park

Today, access to the area of the falls and along the trails  is restricted and has returned to a much more natural setting.

Hidden Falls, Grand Teton Nationa Park

Beyond the falls is the trail to Inspiration Point.  Part of it is a bit unnerving to those nervous with heights.

trail to inspiration point, Grand Teton National Park

A ways beyond Inspiration Point, the trail opens up into Cascade Canyon.  We went about a mile past Inspiration Point.

Cascade Canyon, Grand Teton National park

Flooding closes Campground


Heavy rains caused a Wrightsville, Wisconsin, campground to close this week after a nearby creek overflowed according to  a WLUK-TV report.

Apple Creek Campground Flooded

A manager at Apple Creek Campground says the water had risen to the driveway by 6:00 a.m.

An hour later, she had to use a kayak to get around and check on the campers; however, most were gone by that point.

Later in the morning the water had gotten into the buildings and covered the entire area.

Read the rest at WLUK-TV.

Stout’s Point in Fog


Stout's Point, Petit Jean State Park

Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas, January 6, 2007

Gallery – Petit Jean State Park and Petit Jean Mountain

(click on image for larger version)


This is the eastern tip of Petit Jean Mountain which is a part of Petit Jean State Park. A public road takes you to the parking lot about 75 yards from the overlook. A board walk has been constructed to afford a good view of the Arkansas River Valley to the north and various mountains to the south. There are steps to exit the board walk and climb out on the rocks if you so desire. The elevation is approximately 1050 (feet above sea level) and the normal pool elevation of the river below is 286 feet. At more than 750 feet above average terrain, Stout’s point affords a grand view.

This place has been a favorite of photographers for years. There are approximately 300 degrees of view of the valley below. For those who like to patch photographs together to make panoramas, this is an excellent place.

See more of our Image Galleries at Haw Creek.

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