Grand Prismatic

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone, Wyoming, U.S.A

The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is the largest hot spring in the United States, and the third largest in the world, after Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand and Boiling Lake in Dominica. It is located in the Midway Geyser Basin. (Wikipedia)

While the Old Faithful geyser may be more famous, the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring is the most photographed thermal feature in Yellowstone. It has unique colors combined with its own steam clouds over a large area.

What Makes the Grand Prismatic so Grand?

Deeper than a 10-Story Building
Extremely hot water travels 121 feet from a crack in the Earth to reach the surface of the spring.

Football Field on Steroids
The third largest spring in the world, the Grand Prismatic is bigger than a football field at 370 feet in diameter. A gridiron is 360 feet long and 160 feet wide.

Rainbow of Colors
The hot spring has bright bands of orange, yellow, and green ring the deep blue waters in the spring. The multicolored layers get their hues from different species of thermophile (heat-loving) bacteria living in the progressively cooler water around the spring. And the deep blue center? That’s because water scatters the blue wavelengths of light more than others, reflecting blues back to our eyes.

A Living Thermometer
What living thing in Yellowstone has helped investigators solve crimes and NASA search for extraterrestrial life on seemingly inhospitable planets? Heat-loving microbes living in the Yellowstone’s thermal pools. In 1968, researcher Thomas Brock discovered a microbe living in one of Yellowstone’s extremely hot springs. In the years since, research on Yellowstone’s microbes has led to major medical and scientific advances, including the sequencing of the entire human genome.  Check out yellowstonepark.com for more information and images.  https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/grand-prismatic-midway-geyser-basin

Below is a neat YouTube video that provides an elevated view of the spring.

AMAZING PLACES ON OUR PLANET
The Beauty of Our World Without Words
by Milosh Kitchovitch

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Streams to dams

Jackson Lake Dam, Grand Teton, Wyoming

Just think how a little stream with clear water and pebbles meanders into larger streams, rivers, lakes – providing such a powerful force that benefits, and sometimes threatens, life and land.

The Grand Teton National Park provides many opportunities for observing simple landscape to recreation, including survival. The Snake River flows into Jackson Lake, providing delight to rafters and boaters alike. Jackson Dam controls the water to benefit habitat downrange, and beyond.

May we let the streams flourish for ourselves and others, maintaining control to prevent overflow of the banks and damage to all. May we use controls within and without to benefit ourselves and others as well.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Ranchers and Jackson Hole

Cabin on Mormon Row, Grand Teton National Park

I wondered what type of ranches developed in Wyoming even before the Grand Teton National Park was established in the early 1900s.  Upon research, it is interesting how people traveled from the eastern side of the U.S. to explore and settle in the western U.S. 

Barn on Mormon Row, Grand Teton National Park

Land Opportunity

The Homestead Act of 1862 established by President Abraham Lincoln was apparently a key piece of legislation that would entice easterners to move west. 

Historical barns with newer ranch house on Mormon Row, Grand Teton National Park

The Homestead act created a public land management system that allowed individuals traveling to the west to acquire land for free.  Sign me up, right?  However, the land no doubt was taken years ago. 

Cabin on Mormon Row, Grand Teton National Park

A homesteader was an individual 21 years of age or older, the head of a household and someone who had never taken up arms against the U.S. government.  When the act was signed, the U.S. had just finished its first year following the end of the Civil War. 

Homesteaders were individuals who used legal means to acquire virtually free ownership of their land.  https://jacksonholehistory.org/homesteading-in-jackson-hole/

Historical ranch house on Snake River at Grand Teton National Park

It appears Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was a central location that supported ranchers throughout the Teton Range, including the establishment of “dude ranches.”  For instance, experienced dudes, Struthers Burt and Dr. Horace Carncross opened Jackson Hole’s second dude ranch in 1912, the Bar BC Ranch. Burt described dude ranching as cattle ranching modified to care for “dudes”—visitors willing to pay handsomely for a quaint cowboy experience.

Wanna-be Ranchers

During its peak years, as many as 50 dudes could stay at a monthly rate of $300 each. These rustic destinations copied the layout of working cattle ranches. Only six dudes stayed the first summer, but the Bar BC soon became Jackson Hole’s most famous dude ranch. More information and images are also located at https://www.nps.gov/grte/learn/historyculture/bcran.htm and https://jacksonholehistory.org/sky-ranch/.

Additional images of the Teton history may be viewed at  https://www.nps.gov/media/photo/gallery.htm?pg=1952309&id=FCF8CFA1-155D-451F-67A5268A72280213.

Historical ranch barns remain on Mormon Row, Grand Teton National park

Mormons Build Community

In addition to those traveling from the east to establish land ownership, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, sent parties from the Salt Lake Valley to establish new communities and support their expanding population.

Historical barn on Mormon Row, Grand Teton National Park

Mormon homesteaders, who settled east of Blacktail Butte near the turn of the 19-century, clustered their farms to share labor and community, a stark contrast with the isolation typical of many western homesteads. These settlers first arrived in the 1890s from Idaho establishing a community (named Grovont by the U.S. Post Office), and known today as “Mormon Row.” https://www.nps.gov/grte/learn/historyculture/mormon.htm

Mormon Row At Grand Teton National Park

The area surrounding Jackson Hole still reminds travelers of the western life and the open terrain of the Teton Range.  When we visited the town of Jackson, it had the feel of a tourist attraction with many shops and restaurants.  It is a nice place to shop and explore though, and it still has a lot of history to examine. 

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Settlers make a difference

Cunningham cabin at Grand Teton National Park

Frontier settlers throughout history made a difference toward building development and life itself.  Wyoming’s Grand Teton benefited by certain visionaries. 

J. Pierce Cunningham was a rancher who became a conservationist.  He settled in Jackson Hole in the 1880s despite the winter hardship.  He originally opposed the expansion of Grand Teton National Park but later became an advocate. 

Cunningham teamed with his neighbor, Josiah “Si” Ferrin to write a petition signed by 97 valley ranchers who agreed to sell their land to form a “national recreation area.”  John D. Rockefeller, Jr’s Snake River Land Company bought Cunningham’s land and other ranches.  Rockefeller later donated more than 33,000 acres to expand the national park. 

Now we can observe and preserve the beauty of the Grand Teton National Park. 

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Dubois arrival

Respite along the trail, The Longhorn Ranch cabins are a welcomed sight. A base from which to travel, Over here, there – mostly while there is light.

Traveled over the Rockies, Reach Teton and Yellowstone, Daily commute, snow-capped peaks, grizzly with cub, Buffalo, and many more before we’re done. 

Traveled to hearts content, Camera in hand; Take a deep breath, behold the beauty, Trying not to hurry, seeing God’s great land.

For now, the journey westward complete, It’s rest for the mind, Interpreting, writing, sharing my journey, Don’t want to leave anyone behind.

I realized I couldn’t keep up with the posts while traveling since there is so much to share.  I’m now home in Florida – safely and thankfully.  We will continue the journey – virtually – recalling our days and sights. 

I’m glad you are still with me as we recap Teton, Yellowstone, Deadwood, Mount Rushmore and more.  It will take some time. 

Do you enjoy the little pieces of the journey along the way or do you prefer longer posts?

We stayed a number of nights at The Longhorn Ranch Resort in Dubois, Wyoming, a natural, western-style lodging.  It was a distance to travel each day to see Teton and Yellowstone.  Below are more images of our approach to stay in Dubois, and our lodging. The area was very relaxing and enjoyable. 

Travel toward Dubois, Wyoming.

Dubois, Wyoming and The Longhorn Ranch Resort tout their locations as a gateway to Jackson, Teton and Yellowstone in Wyoming.    “You are in for a vacation to remember at the Longhorn Ranch Resort – Formerly the home of a small longhorn cattle herd, and now a beautiful RV Park, Campground and Hotel facility located in Dubois Wyoming, along the scenic Togwotee Trail to Yellowstone. Whether you choose to stay in our comfortable hotel rooms, one of our cozy cabins, or bring your own RV with you, you will always feel welcome here.  Located just three miles east of Downtown Dubois, Wyoming and a perfect home-base for your trips to Jackson Hole, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park!  Dubois and The Longhorn Ranch Resort will be the best stop on your Northwest Wyoming National Park tour!” http://www.thelonghornranch.com/

The Wind River’s headwaters are at Wind River Lake in the Rocky Mountains, near the summit of Togwotee Pass (pronounced toe-go-tee).  It gathers water from several forks along the northeast side of the Wind River Range in west central Wyoming. It flows southeastward, across the Wind River Basin and the Wind River Indian Reservation.  Wikipedia

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Enjoy the journey

Snow-capped mountains near the Grand Tetons from afar

So, you can’t wait to finish the journey,

Your travels bear down and create the stress,

Keep aware of life all around without worry,

Realize what we have and how we are blessed.

Clouds cap the Wyoming mountains and the lake reflects the light

The clouds along the way, always with sun above,

The snow so lovely like icing on a cake;

Yet so cold but warms the heart,

When we realize the beauty – it’s real and not fake.

Small mountains, prairies, rock, trees and lakes are part of Wyoming’s landscape

Thank you for going along on our journey through Wyoming and eventually in South Dakota.

Blessings and love along the Way!

Ron

Lander – on the way

Red rock formations near Lander and Dubois, Wyoming

Following a beautiful, yet wide-open plains travel into Wyoming as we traveled toward the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, we welcomed a respite in Lander.  One could naturally feel the pioneer and western spirit. 

While Lander is a stopping point, it is also a beginning point for those desiring to explore the mountains or the desert.  It is surely a welcomed site for bicyclists and hikers.  In 1906, Chicago and North Western Transportation made Lander the end point of its “Cowboy Line” railway and the town earned the slogan “Where the rails end and the trails begin.”  The Cowboy Line ran from 1906 to 1972.  (Lander Chamber of Commerce)

Lander was named for transcontinental explorer Frederick W. Lander and is located in central Wyoming, along the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River. It is just south of the Wind River Indian Reservation.  Population is around 7,500. (Wikipedia)

The Wind River Indian Reservation is quite stunning.  I can see why travelers would consider settling there, albeit the winters can be quite brutal.  I can see also why the Indians fought so valiantly to retain their dwelling and hunting land.  Still, with the news of opportunity in the west continuing to bombard those in the east, it was inevitable that travelers would come. 

“For 19th century prospectors and miners in the rich gold fields of South Pass, the crimson mouth of Red Canyon meant a change in diet. From the wind-swept sagebrush prairie, they could descend nearly 2,000 feet down a steep wagon road to the fruit orchards and vegetable gardens in the warm valley below where they purchased fresh produce – a welcome switch from wild game meat.”  https://windriver.org/destinations/lander/

Since we had been traveling for a few hours along the Chief Washakie Trail, lunch was calling.  We traveled through Lander and located a local, nice place to eat – Gannett Grill. 

The menu was enticing as we examined something different.  That’s one of the interesting and fun parts of travel, getting to try things different than our normal routine.  The food was excellent and we enjoyed sitting outside, relaxing from the drive. 

Before leaving Lander, we wanted to check out some authentic Native American gift items and stopped at the Indian Territory gift shop.

I liked Lander.  The people were friendly.  The town wasn’t large, but it had about all the conveniences you need. 

Time didn’t permit stopping at the western museum but it is worth a stop if you’re in the area.  Here is some of their information.  http://museumoftheamericanwest.com/#first-row

The pioneer village at the museum provides excellent insight to life as a western pioneer back in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  http://museumoftheamericanwest.com/index.php/pioneer-village/

#LanderWyoming; #westernpioneers

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Cheyenne’s Frontier Days

Frontier Days
Bull-riding statue at The Frontier, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Since 1897 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the “daddy” of the rodeo has been “kicking up dust” with the “world’s largest outdoor rodeo and western celebration,” states https://www.cfdrodeo.com/about-us/.

According to the website, Frederick W. Angier, traveling passenger agent of the Union Pacific Railroad, suggested to the editor of the Cheyenne Daily Sun-Leader, a festival similar to Greeley, Colorado’s “Potato Day.”  As a result of that suggestion, plans for the first “Frontier Day”, were formulated in the Tivoli Saloon at the corner of 16th Street and Carey.

It’s amazing the influence of the railroad in developing the western frontier.  I’ll have more on that in a separate post. 

Frontier Days events included pony races, bronco busting, steer roping and other activities.  At the time, the events were seen as a test of a cowboy’s skill.  YeeHaw!

The inaugural event was so successful it was extended the next year to include two days.  A parade was added.  The rodeo expanded as the years went on and more affiliated events were added. Its reputation increased as well. And today it is one of the most authentic and largest rodeo events in the world.

We rode around the event area and it was rather quiet in June.  Can you imagine the excitement and activities come July 11-18, 2019, when the cowboys, cowgirls, livestock, vendors and all associated people start converging on the site?  I’m sure it is a wild ride. 

Have you attended the frontier days? How about a rodeo?

Blessings along the Way!

Ron