Archive for August, 2015

On The Beartooth Highway

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 19, 2015 by johnbuckley100

Beartooth for Tulip Frenzy2

The Beartooth Highway between Red Lodge, Montana and the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone is one of America’s most beautiful roads, and if not its most dangerous, then certainly its most sublime.  It rises from the valley floor to vertiginous heights, along switchbacks that make the driver keep her eye on the center line, praying no truck comes hurtling around a curve at an epic velocity more associated with the Karakoram Highway than a U.S. interstate.

Beartooth for Tulip Frenzy

At the first real turnout, you catch your breath and steel your nerve for the next segment up.  But when you get near the top of Beartooth Pass, roughly one-third of the way along the 68-mile road, if you catch the weather right, the views are simply not of this world.  The mountain goat photo at the top was taken just after a sudden snow squall arrived, and sadly, just after a 70-year old British tourist and his wife seriously injured themselves just after a 50-year old motorcyclist was killed, his friend seriously injured, driving off the road moments before we got there.

Beartooth Highway-5

Somewhere distant is Cody, Wyoming, and it is possible that the helicopter sent to rescue the unfortunate motorcyclists was dispatched from there.  We don’t know how often accidents happen on this dangerous road, but put it this way: the snow squall arrived in the time between when we pulled over to take the photo below and we stepped away from the car.  Moments earlier we saw the distant light and said, “Let’s pull over!” You can see the tendrils of rain/snow that quickly blotted everything out.  It was that fast.

Beartooth Highway-6

Eventually, you wend your way down along the switchbacks toward Yellowstone, and the road evens out for a short while. At this point, it is a less dramatic extension of Yellowstone’s northeast corner, not quite the adventure it was going up and over.  But thrilling, glorious, beautiful.

Beartooth Highway-7

We went up in bad weather, but by the time we were coming down into the valley toward Yellowstone, the light was beginning to fall in cathedral shafts, and the view of the distant Absarokas was spooky.

Beartooth Highway-10

Not unlike the Tetons, 150 miles to the south, the upthrust off the valley floor makes for startling vistas.  The two peaks that become more prominent as you get near Cooke City — Pilot Peak and Index Peak — are analogous to the Grand Teton and Teewinot.

Beartooth Highway-12

Until finally you are down in the valley floor, and about to enter Yellowstone just to the northeast of the Lamar Valley, and the west’s most dramatic playground for animals — wolves, bison, eagles, pronghorn, not to mention trout — greets you with its own adventures.

In The Elk Refuge

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 16, 2015 by johnbuckley100

Sleeping Indian MonoReplacement5

Surely fishermen understand the experience of going to a familiar spot and have fish after fish land in the creel.  So it was that night at the Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, when clouds materialized above the Sleeping Indian — the formation formally known as   Sheep Mountain, but so-called for obvious reasons.  The particular trick on this evening was that as the large clouds materialized behind the Sleeping Indian, the sun that illuminated them kept slipping behind clouds to the west.

Sleeping Indian MonoReplacement8

The clouds were enormous, and spectacular.  We actually thought we had gotten the pictures we came for when we drove a few miles further up the dirt road.

Sleeping Indian MonoReplacements-3

Distant Jackson Peak — all the way across the valley from the Tetons — was similarly lit by this magical light.  And then we saw, from a different angle, how the clouds were lining up with the Sleeping Indian’s face and headdress.

Sleeping Indian MonoReplacement9

This rendered the Tetons themselves perhaps the fourth most magnificent sight in the valley.

Sleeping Indian MonoReplacement6

It was one of those nights.

All Of The Ingredients In The American Dream

Posted in Leica Images, Leica M with tags , on August 13, 2015 by johnbuckley100

Leica M, 35mm Summilux.

The American Dream2

Oh Yeah, And The Mountains Are In The Other Direction

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 10, 2015 by johnbuckley100

Oxbow Bend, 8:40 PM, Leica M, Vario-Elmar R, 80-200.

Oxbow Cloud 1

Break In The Rain

Posted in Uncategorized on August 8, 2015 by johnbuckley100

Leica Monochrom (typ-246), 35mm Summilux Asph.

Wenzel Trees 2

In Defense of Lions

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 4, 2015 by johnbuckley100

How could anyone?  Leica Monochrom, 90mm Summicron, Botswana, 2014.

B+W Low Rez 5

Helicon’s Thundering Glaswegian Psych

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 4, 2015 by johnbuckley100

“We’re Gaun Tae The Moon,” is the third song on Helicon’s new EP, Gehenna, and like a Jeff Torrington novel or a meal of haggis, it is not for the faint of heart.  Nine minutes of thundering instrumental riff rock with the drum kit at the center of the mix, this is music for fans of Sleepy Sun, the Wooden Shjips, and others who like their psych with a metallic taste.

The five-piece band from the Glasgow suburb of East Kilbride are not the only brother-led group from their neighborhood to make amps shudder, for if memory serves, this is the town from which Jim and William Reid launched the Jesus and Mary Chain.  With a sound more like the Koolaid Electric Company than JAMC, we envision them playing under castle’s eve in the full of moon.  Touring widely in support of bands like the Warlocks and the Black Ryder, Helicon’s latest EP shows the band is ready for its long player, which we hope comes soon.

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