String Lake to Cascade Canyon

Fog on String Lake

Distance (one way): 6.2 miles (to the end of Cascade Canyon)
Difficulty: Easy
Best time of year: Summer, Fall

On a normal summer day, I wouldn’t go anywhere near Cascade Canyon unless I were coming out from a larger, overnight trip. However in late July of this year, we received an unusual dusting of snow in the higher elevations. I probably would have gone backpacking to get a better view, but I had already made plans days earlier to be in town in the morning. However with those plans cancelled at the last minute, I decided to spend the morning getting some good views, and the closest views I could get in the shortest amount of time were in Cascade Canyon. I knew String Lake would look spectacular as well, so I started there at sunrise.

The String Lake trailhead itself has some spectacular views of the Tetons from several different vantage points.
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Categorized: Hikes and Backpacks, Wyoming
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The Other Side of Doubt and the View 22 Project

Rainbow Over Aspens

Earlier this season, I was honored to have been included in the Jackson Hole Land Trust’s View 22 Project. In previous years, only a handful of local artists were selected to portray lands that the Land Trust has protected over the course of their existence. This year, however, they expanded it to 35 artists covering all different mediums. As one of the 35, I happily agreed.

The property I was assigned is a small piece of land located along the border of town along the Flat Creek corridor, between Snow King and Josie’s Ridge. As someone whose favorite places are away from civilization and light pollution, I began to have a little trouble finding the motivation to see what kind of photo I would ultimately capture. I was most thinking of trying to get a shot around sunrise and night, but this proved to be a little trickier than I initially anticipated.
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Categorized: How I Shot It, Landscape
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Defeated by Cream Puff Peak

Hiking Trail in Mountain Meadow

Distance (one way): 6 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Best time of year: Spring, Summer

If the hike hadn’t been as challenging as it was, I might have felt a little demoralized by the name, but summiting Cream Puff Peak does not come easy for anyone, especially once the 6-7 foot wildflowers have grown in. This hike is definitely not for novices or anyone looking for a casual day in the mountains.

After my safe return, I discovered there were two main routes up the peak. I was using a popular guide book by Rebecca Woods called Hiking the Tetons (a mandatory addition for anyone wanting to hike in the area). The trailhead I was directed to was on Bull Creek Road, just west of The Shield (a popular climbing destination) and Granite Hot Springs. As I began hiking, I was thankful I was in long pants.
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Categorized: Hikes and Backpacks, Wyoming
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Why Yellowstone National Park Needs a Shuttle System

Tourist too close to bison

Yellowstone National Park is exhausted and over-stressed. It’s so heavily visited and trampled in the summers that I believe it’s currently left with only two options. The first option is to completely revamp all the parking lots, consuming and overtaking more natural resources from fragile ground, as well as adding in four-lane highways to account for ever-increasing traffic to an already stressed park. The other option is to close all roads to the majority of motorized traffic from Memorial Day to Labor Day. I don’t doubt that many people would find this preposterous, impossible, and unrealistic, but I argue that the park is currently left either with embracing this option, or continuing to devour its own natural resources in an attempt to scale to meet increasing demand, a trend that shows no sign of slowing down.

Before getting defensive, there would of course be exceptions, ensuring that Yellowstone’s most frequent and active visitors aren’t affected at all, but first, step back and look at the National Park Service as a continually evolving entity.
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Categorized: Article
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The Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower

Eta-Aquarid Meteor 2013

The annual Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower peaks every year in early May and is the result of the debris field left over from Haley’s Comet. While it’s best viewed in the southern hemisphere, the northern hemisphere can catch some fireworks from it too on the morning of the peak. Though the shower is quiet with infrequent meteors for the northern hemisphere, it’s still known for displaying fantastic fireballs in the sky. The shower radiates from the southeast, from the constellation Aquarius.

I went out into the National Elk Refuge to watch the shower with my girlfriend and another friend early in the morning of the 6th. We bundled up with sleeping bags, and got cozy in the back of my car with the back open to watch the show. With it being early in the morning, well before dawn, we wound up falling asleep without seeing a meteor.
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Categorized: Landscape, Night, Video
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