Since I arrived home from that magical week, I am not the same any longer. I spend lots of time, usually while at work, daydreaming about going back. I find myself adding and multiplying numbers
in order to get a budget together only to find it improbable to be back before summer spoils the tranquility and white solitude of winter.
I planned this trip for a while and put a lot of time in choosing the right guide and the right time of year. I did not know what to expect: was a dense forest or a snowy desert?
But Yellowstone is none. Yellowstone is unique in so many ways it’s nearly impossible to grasp it’s beauty from any explanation, photographs or even video. You have to be there. Go.
I chose Juan Pons as a guide. Juan was an experience photographer with many years of experience touring in Yellowstone plus he was available on the right dates and he was also latino, which was not a must but it guaranteed a better chance of us getting along. This prove extremely important since we were riding together for 12-16 hours a day for 6 straight days. We agreed to meet at Bozeman and then drive to Gardiner, MT. We would wake up way before dawn and drive into YNP around 6:45am.
The landscape is breathtaking. Distances are great Everything is far and wide and the eye has to really work fast to digest the raw subtlety and transfer it quickly to the brain before going out for more.
It was a weird winter all over the States; not much snow, but the cold was still bitter, specially for a dominican guy. But one cannot talk about “Yellowstone weather”, since Gardiner has one weather, Lamar Valley another and Cooke City another. I shot over 7K photos in 6 days only to end up with 90 and the end of the editing process.
I will not try to explain my adventure in YNP; it will prove hopeless. But I will tell you this: IF you haven’t gone, Go. If you already been there, go in winter. If you already been there in winter, go again. If you have kids, be sure to take them. If you don’t have kids, take your nephews… also, don’t go in summer. Don’t treat this trip like a vacation, take it as a life lesson. Take pictures, even if you are not a photographer. Read up on the origins of the park and the peculiarities of its geology, its wildlife and its history. Don’t get caught up with wolves. They are definitely the celebrities of the park, but if you insist on it you’ll end up with a speckle of dark on your photograph and miss out on pronghorns, coyotes, foxes, bighorn sheep, bohemian waxwings, river otter, american dippers, goldeneyes and more.
If you enjoyed these pics you can check out more at www.mariodavalos.org