It has been some time since I posted a Morning Coffee post so I hope you like the first one for Spring 2018. Living in Wyoming offers so many opportunities for one with a camera. This mornings journey began around 4:30 am when my alarm went off. I popped out of bed, made some coffee, woke Peyton and got my camera gear together, jumped in the truck and headed south west. This morning’s adventure would take us about 50 miles to the Bear Valley area and just west of Montpelier Idaho. For those of you who grew up in the 70’s you may remember the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with Robert Redford and Paul Newman.
This is Butch Cassidy country for sure. Butch Cassidy was known to summer just a few miles from our home here in Star Valley Wyoming but that story is for another post. Montpelier Idaho is not only home to one of the best Oregon Trail museums in the country as this town was a major hub for those heading west it is also home to a bank that was robbed by the infamous Butch Cassidy and his merry band of men. August 13, 1896 was a very bad day for the Montpelier Bank as Butch managed to rustle up more than $16,500 in Gold, Silver and Currency. A good days haul for his criminal band for sure.
But this was not my intended destination this day. I was actually heading to the south west end of Bear Lake to a place where an old School house sits that I have wanted to photograph for some time. Not sure when it was built but I have been told it was well before the turn of the century. This school house sits right on one of the main pathways of the Oregon Trail and it seems to be in pretty good shape considering all the long winters that have attempted to rob this place of its soul.
Peyton and I arrived, coffee cups empty, and waited for our 10 minute window to get some pictures in the early morning light. I have waited for a morning like this for over 3 weeks as we have had days of clouds, rain and thunderstorms. However this morning was absolutely beautiful. We pulled up to the school house and I did my thing and ten minutes later we were back in the truck heading back home. On the way back through Montpelier I snapped this picture of the Butch Cassidy museum that sits right on main street across from where the bank robbery occurred. If you ever plan a trip to the Yellowstone Basin put Montpelier and the Bear Valley in your travel plans. You won’t be disappointed.
Winter has finally passed here in the Yellowstone Basin. I can’t tell you how nice it is to see the ground again… and the sun! I spent a good part of this winter studying some of the latest Nikon Cameras and it was time to step up to something new. I definitely wanted something with a fast frames rate and a camera that operates in lower light as well.
Although I was hoping for the release of the new 800 series camera I decided to pull the trigger and purchase the new D500 as I shoot so many moving things up here. This new Nikon camera is just as advertised and once I was able to get it to my front door I could not wait to get out and take some new pictures. The weather however did not cooperate until this past week when I finally got a window of clear weather. Although I was not able to get out as early as I wanted I did make it to one of my favorite spots to look for interesting things to share.
This morning I decided to go to the gym first and then head north with my favorite LARGE cup of morning coffee in my hand. I must say – I need to order two cups from now on or take a thermos… One is just never enough.
This time of the year the mountains are just starting to come alive. This morning I headed to Antelope Flats just north of Kelly Wyoming. The light was not what I wanted and there was very few animals to be found. One of my favorite animals to photograph is the Pronghorn Antelope. They are hard to get close enough to and they are FAST.
This big boy was checking me out and just as I was getting into a position where I would be on the right side of the light some tourists decided to speed down the road I was next to at an unacceptable speed thus forcing me to take these shots while I could. Even though these are not what I wanted I do get excited for this summer as I am sure to encounter my friends again on favorable lighting terms.
If you are ever to visit Jackson Hole this is a wonderful part of the valley to check out as you never know what you will find. Be sure to bring your camera and enjoy Jackson Hole through the lens of your camera. You just may run into some of the locals like the Antelope, Bison, Moose, Deer, Elk, and for sure the beautiful mountain vistas that abound in every direction. A great way to share a cup of Morning Coffee…
One of the most enjoyable things I am able to do where I live is to walk out my front door and I can find so many wonderful things to take pictures of. The Yellowstone Basin is truly one of the most beautiful parts of the United States and photographic opportunities are simply everywhere.
As I have achieved a higher level of skill for this craft so too has my desire to keep up with the latest camera technology. Today’s DSLRs are simply amazing. The quality of the image taken is almost as real life as viewing it through your own eyes. I have been waiting for some new camera introductions later this year but my older Nikon was crying for help. So I decided to pull the trigger and new camera now and then watch for future releases.
I settled on the new D500 which if you look into it is simply amazing at the depth of capabilities built into this new body. With a burst rate of up to 10 FPS (Frames Per Second), 151 focal points, 4000K video and more I can’t wait to try it out in the wild. I am sure I will be sharing some new stuff real soon. I am currently awaiting an order of new Gallery Quality Acrylic Mounts that are being added to this website for sale as I write this. Acrylic Mounting is nothing short of amazing!
For several years I wrote a blog post almost daily and I called it “Morning Coffee”. I had so many people tell me how much they enjoyed these post many of which can still be found on this website by clicking on the MENU LINK “BLOG” and then in the search field search “MORNING COFFEE” and a list will render for your reading pleasure.
This new camera is inspiring me to bring this back to all of you and I hope… no I am sure I can find some really cool things to share with all of you. If you have not already subscribed to my blog you can easily do so in the EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION area found in the upper left column of every page. Each time I post something new you will receive it in your Inbox. Please consider subscribing…
Here in the Yellowstone Basin our winters tend to be long and cold. Most years winter comes and goes within the normal season time frames and yes snow is definitely part of the mix. There are really two seasons that bring people to our area… summer and winter. Not that Fall and Spring are not beautiful but the masses tend to travel during the summer and winter months.
Summer is simply breathtaking here in the Yellowstone Basin and people flock to this part of the world during the summer months by the millions. Winter is a different crowd mostly looking for that powder stash we are so well known for. Not only skiers but snow machiners as well. Togwatee pass is one of the top places in the world for Snow Machining and our resort Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is one of the top ski resorts in the world.
But for those of us who live here getting away from the deep snow, especially in years like this where the snow just keeps coming is a necessary endeavor. Last thursday we decided it was time to just go … anywhere where the snow was not so deep. Our destination was to be Bozeman Montana. From our home here just south of Jackson Hole our road trip was to take us 227 miles to the heart of Bozeman Montana.
Now I know this sounds a little like a crazy thing to do which is to say drive 227 miles in winter to get away from the snow but this was to be our journey this day. It is important to note that the drive from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Bozeman Montana is one of the most beautiful drives in North American winter or summer. In the winter we travel from Jackson Hole, to Ashton Idaho then up to West Yellowstone and through the very NW corner of Yellowstone Park and we then follow the Gallatin River down into Bozeman. Simply beautiful the entire way! So we grabbed our Morning Coffee and off we went…
Once in Bozeman we stayed for the night and in addition to our normal Costco run we decided to explore some new places to eat since when in Bozeman this is one of our favorite sports. This trip we ate at four local restaurants two of which we will not talk about but there were two that we really enjoyed. We love to eat breakfast at local eclectic venues if we can find them and one that we ate at was simply a joy.
We found and ate at the Stockyard Cafe located in the Northeast side of Bozeman. A bit of an adventure to find and truthfully not a lot to brag about as this place is truly a small slice of Americana. Our first impression was that we made a mistake as this place is actually at the Bozeman Stockyards. We located the little red building that at first glance seemed to be in need of repair. But with all the cars parked in the parking lot it was a good indication that the food inside would be the perfect answer to the morning hungers.
To be truthful there is not a lot to talk about as this little cafe is well – let’s just say a place stuck in time. Don’t be surprised if you will need to help the staff with your table and such and the tableware is… well kind of plain. But those people who had already been served all seem to be pleased with their meals as everyone was eating and not much talking going on.
We placed our orders for each of us and waited for the hot coffee to pour which basically is a bottomless cup of joe for those of you who love coffee. The servers were friendly and busy to boot. The place was decorated with local flavor and let’s just say the decor was done a few years ago but actually quite quaint.
There were three of us for breakfast and I must say that we were not disappointed with our meals. I admit it… I had the biscuits and gravy two eggs and a side of local bacon… Why not? After all this was the west and we were in a real western cafe. Peyton’s meal which was … well I am not real sure – maybe some sort of huevos rancheros but delicious just the same. Brynn had the french toast and she too left satisfied and smiling.
If you want a real feel good breakfast then you have to visit the Stockyard Cafe. It was a lot of fun with a great atmosphere and the food and service were excellent. We liked it!
The other meal we had which was really good turned out to be the first choice of our daughter Brynn the evening prior. Brynn selected Pizza Compania Italian Restaurant which is located in the Cannery district of Bozeman. This restaurant sits in what was apparently the old granary and the atmosphere is excellent.
The funny thing was that earlier in the day we were talking about maybe a pizza place but she was not having the idea. But later that evening she all the sudden got the bug for pizza and well, it was her turn to pick. She did a great job picking Pizza Compania.
This restaurant is probably the best place we have eaten in Bozeman. The service was excellent and friendly, the beer cold and local, the food simply amazing.
The artichoke dip we started with was absolutely the best we have ever had. OMG – we could not stop eating it! The salads were fresh and the dressing perfect in every way. But the pizza was to die for! Oh and the cost was hard to believe – our total bill for all that we ordered plus 3 beers and a wine was less than $70.00 dollars. If you are in Bozeman you will want to try this place out! If you like pizza then you will not be disappointed. There are other things on their menu as well and I am sure we will be back to try just about everything at some future date.
Road trips can be fun and they can be cathartic to your well-being. We love grabbing a cup of coffee and hitting the road. Although most of our Morning Coffee adventures are a bit shorter in duration. At the end of the day and the end of the trip we came home with smiles on our faces.
One of the most iconic images from Jackson Hole is the Teton Range. Although I do not know the percentage – I would guess that most of the photos taken of the Tetons is a frontal shot that is taken from the general vicinity of Antelope Flats. What is so cool about the Tetons is the many faces it has when taken from different locations throughout the valley. Here is the picture of the day taken from a more northern approach. Enjoy and may it bring peace to your day! (click image to enlarge)
Another beautiful day here in Jackson Hole Wyoming and a perfect cup of coffee to go with it. This picture seemed a bit unusual this time of the year with no snow on the ground and the warm sun shinning. Taken behind Miller Butte on the Elf Refuge… He looks chill. I hope this brings a smile to your face this morning…
I have to apologize as I have been kind of missing over that past winter. So many things have happened but life is getting back to normal. Spring is here in the Tetons and it is in full swing. After a long winter and a pretty wet Spring the sun if finally out. On this morning I grabbed my cup of coffee from my favorite coffee bar here in Jackson and off I went.
The sun was out and the sky clear. I was on a hunt for anything that looked like it deserved the lens of my camera. After getting into the park I turned off on one of the dirt roads I have seen grizzlys on and instead I found these little guys. I had stopped to take a couple of pictures of some cool looking trees when I noticed this group of varmints enjoying their morning. I literately sat down among them and these are a few of the shots I got.