Friday, March 25, 2016



This special edition this week is all about the "Rocky Mountains - a Photographers Dream".  For those who live among these precious mountains, you can't help but love the scenery of these beautiful mountains.  I, for one, live on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains,  where we enjoy the beautiful outdoors as much as possible.  When we go into the mountains, our companion is our camera.  I often go fishing with my sons, and friends, and we will often go hiking to get to our favorite lakes, just to get away from the crowds.  We have a few things that happen to us when we do this:  1-  we enjoy absolute silence like you have never experienced before, to get away from the crowds, and be in the mountainous wilderness, and 2- we develop a closeness between each other, as we think you can't help but do this because you are closer to God.  When God created the world, this must be where he stood and said:  " This is Good".  3-  The nature is so beautiful, we just plan on taking pictures along the way to our destination.  And 4- we get to see lot's of wildlife along the way.  What a treat to go and spend time in the mountains.  When I go up in the mountains, we are usually at an elevation of 9,000 ft. to 11,000 ft. and the air is brisk and clean and pure.  Something about the smell of all the pines is so incredible too.  I wanted to take this moment and spend some time showing some pictures captured along the whole area of the Rocky Mountains.  So, with that, I have lots of help from many photographers as well.  So, enjoy the photo tour and written tour of the Rocky Mountains:

The Rocky Mountains, commonly known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States

Photo Credit:  Rocky Mountain Hiking Canada
 Elk herd right beside hwy 1 in Canmore.

Currently, much of the mountain range is protected by public parks and forest lands, and is a popular tourist destination, especially for hiking,campingmountaineeringfishinghuntingmountain bikingskiing, and snowboarding.

Rocky Mountain Locator map

A quick drive from Calgary and a few (thousand) steps later, you could be here. 

Photo by @chanelaries via Instagram
Mount Yamnuska

The eastern edge of the Rockies rises dramatically above the Interior Plains of central North America, including the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico, the Front Range of Colorado, the Wind River Range and Big Horn Mountains ofWyoming, the Absaroka-Beartooth ranges and Rocky Mountain Front of Montana and the Clark Range of Alberta. In Canada geographers define three main groups of ranges: the Continental RangesHart Ranges and Muskwa Ranges (the latter two flank the Peace River, the only river to pierce the Rockies, and are collectively referred to as the Northern Rockies). The Muskwa and Hart Ranges together comprise what is known as the Northern Rockies (the Mackenzie Mountains north of the Liard River are sometimes referred to as being part of the Rocky Mountains but this is an unofficial designation).

The eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains just outside of Denver, Colorado

The western edge of the Rockies includes ranges such as the Wasatch near Salt Lake City and the Bitterroots along the Idaho-Montana border. The Great Basin andColumbia River Plateau separate these sub-ranges from distinct ranges further to the west, most prominent among which are the Sierra NevadaCascade Range andCoast Mountains. The Rockies do not extend into the Yukon or Alaska, or into central British Columbia, where the Rocky Mountain System (but not the Rocky Mountains) includes the Columbia Mountains, the southward extension of which is considered part of the Rockies in the United States. The Rocky Mountain Systemwithin the United States is a United States physiographic region; the Rocky Mountain System is known in Canada as the Eastern System.

Western edge of the Rocky Mountain range:  the Wasatch Front. City:  Salt Lake City, Utah
Home of the Winter Olympics 2002.  It's unique location of the city to the mountains made it 
possible to have the Olympic venues within 30 minutes of a major city.  Also unique to the 
Wasatch mountains are the famous ski resorts of Snowbird, Alta, and Park City.  The snow
is somewhat unique because the storms travel over the desert first before hitting the mountains,
and the snow seems to be almost dry, and powdery, thus making this snow very light and fluffy
compared to most other ski resorts.  Thus, they can claim " The Greatest Snow On Earth" because 
of it's incredible dry, fluffy snow.
Photo by USA today.

The Continental Divide of the Americas is located in the Rocky Mountains and designates the line at which waters flow either to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. Triple Divide Peak(8,020 feet (2,440 m)) in Glacier National Park is so named because water that falls on the mountain reaches not only the Atlantic and Pacific, but Hudson Bay as well. Farther north in Alberta, the Athabasca and other rivers feed the basin of the Mackenzie River, which has its outlet on the Beaufort Sea of the Arctic Ocean. See Rivers of the Rocky Mountains for a list of rivers.

One of the most famous of all the National parks in Yellowstone National Park.  Here, up high in 
the mountains is the most unsettled, underground system in the world.  Geysers dot the area
with incredible shows and colors that draw crowds by the millions every year.  This is the famous
"Old Faithful" geyser.  It got it's name by faithfully shooting itself off every hour.  That was faithful until
an earthquake struck the area many years ago and now it is not so faithful, but, it still produces
a great show for everyone to see.

The wildlife that roams the Yellowstone park is also famous.  They leave the park to be left alone in it's natural state so that nature can just do it's own thing.  Bears, wolves, elk, are all naturally roaming the park among the millions of people there.  Here are a few pictures of the wildlife you would see there:

In addition to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, The State of Wyoming has a seemingly endless amount of amazing attractions, and we want to share them with you: This photo is of Devils Tower National Monument, and is really a "must see" while traveling through the great state of Wyoming. HAVE ANY OF YOU BEEN TO DEVILS TOWER?

Devils Tower in Wyoming is a strange mountain.  It just looks like some alien dropped it 
there or something.  Oh, wait !!  Did anyone see old movie:  " Close Encounters of 
The Third Kind"?  Does this mountain look familiar?  

So, with all these mountains and streams and lakes, and beautiful forests, and wildlife, and interesting mountain formations, can you see why that the majority of the National Parks in the United States are in the Rocky Mountains, OR, close by the Rocky Mountains.  Now, I live in a city in the Rocky Mountains, and I feel like we have the worlds best kept secret here.  Every time I go hiking in the mountains, I am sure that no one has ever taken a picture of what I am about to take a picture of.  I may be wrong, but, there is so much wilderness, and scenery,  and the beauty of the wildflowers in spring, the waterfalls in the canyons, and the beautiful mountains, snowcapped to add contrast to the picture, how can you go wrong here.   So, with that, now you know where it's at, I am going to leave you with some photos that some professionals have taken of the Rocky Mountains, and see if you don't fall in love with this place.

One of the more famous mountain ranges of the Rocky Mountains:
The Grand Tetons.  This mountain range is just south of Yellowstone National Park.
Many people that plan on going to Yellowstone, make it a point to see these huge mountains.
They are beautiful mountain peaks that snow is always on them.  Sometimes it is June before 
it stops snowing there, or even later.  The elevation of these mountains is very high.

Here is another interesting part of the Rocky Mountains:
The Uinta Mountains of Utah:
There are well over 1,000 natural lakes in the Uintas and more than 500 of them support populations of game fish. There are also over 400 miles of streams. Over 2.5 million visitors come to the Ashley National Forest each year for outdoor recreation.
The Uinta Range is the highest in Utah, and is the only major range in the contiguous United States with an east-west orientation. Elevations range from 8,000 feet in the lower canyons to 13,528 feet atop Kings Peak - the highest point in Utah. Ridges divide the area into large, scenic basins; many ridges rise abruptly several thousand feet above the basins.
Fishing at one of the many lakes in the Uintas can be fun.  If you go to one lake and the 
fishing is not good, you can just hike about a 1/4 mile, and the next lake will be good. But fishing
with this kind of scenery, and this is a Saturday, no one along the shore to bother you.  This is
the life.  Photo by Lanny Cottrell

Even though you go hiking in the Uinta mountains to enjoy getting away, you do have to 
learn your landmarks.  Many people get lost up in the wilderness area every year.  The weather is 
too harsh to get lost here, and if you are not prepared, you won't make it very long. 
Photo: Lanny Cottrell

Now, it seems interesting that the best thing you can do to really showcase the Rocky Mountains is to actually make a National Park.  So, they U.S. Government found a place that best resembles the best of what the Rocky Mountains really looks like.  This is located in Colorado, and it is true, it is a beautiful showcase of the Rocky Mountains.
Rocky Mountain National Park, established in 1915, is a living showcase of the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. With elevations ranging from 8,000 feet in the wet, grassy valleys to 14,259 feet at the weather-ravaged top of Longs Peak, a visitor to the park has opportunities for countless breathtaking experiences and adventures.
Elk, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, black bears, coyotes, cougars, eagles, hawks and scores of smaller animals delight wildlife-watchers of all ages. Wildflower-lovers are never disappointed in June and July when the meadows and hillsides are splashed with botanical color. Autumn visitors can relax among the golden aspens or enjoy the rowdier antics of the elk rut during mating season.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Dinosaurs once roamed here. Their fantastic remains are still visible embedded in the rocks. Today, the mountains, desert and untamed rivers flowing in deep canyons, support an array of life. Petroglyphs hint at earlier cultures. Later, homesteaders and outlaws found refuge here. Whether your passion is science, adventure, history or scenery, Dinosaur offers much to explore.
Visitors can see over 1,500 dinosaur fossils exposed on the cliff face inside the Quarry Exhibit Hall.
Location of Dinosaurland is just on the South East slope of the Uinta Mountains in Eastern Utah.  
And finally, to cap this special edition off, let's just end with a few great photos of just the Rocky Mountains.  Hope you enjoyed this brief, but quick tour of the Rocky Mountains.
Built in 1914 by the Great Northern Railway, the Granite Park Chalet is one of the two remaining historic back country chalets in Glacier National Park. Located along the Highline Trail 7.6 miles north of Logan Pass, the historic Granite Park Chalet is not only charming, but rests in one of the most scenic locations in North America.

Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is spectacular no matter what time of year, and winter is no exception. But the only way to see Lower Falls in the winter is either by snowmobile or snow coach. At 308 feet tall, Lower Falls is nearly twice as high as Niagara Falls, and is a Yellowstone National Park icon.

This is the remarkable view from the top of the Bears Hump in Waterton Lakes National Park. This short but very steep trail takes hikers from the visitor center to a glorious views of the Waterton Lake and Waterton Village. We highly recommend this wonderful hike during your Waterton Lakes National Park visit.

Here's another photo of a classic "Buffalo Jam" (Bison Jam) near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. A "Buffalo Jam" is one of those classic Yellowstone experiences that everyone needs to participate in at least once! 

One of our favorite times of year in Grand Teton National Park is Autumn. There are a ton of aspens in the area, and in the fall they turn vivid yellow and gold. It's really a breathtaking sight! This is a photo of Mount Moran from the Oxbow Bend Turnout. The water that you see is the amazing Snake River. 


Well, that concludes this special edition of "The Rocky Mountains - A photographers Dream".  I hope you enjoyed this.
Next week we will have another form of Special edition for your entertainment.

Thank you.

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