Views from the Craig Thomas Visitor Center, Grand Tetons

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

The best part about the Craig Thomas Visitor Center is that it is located in Moose, Wyoming! I happen to love everything MOOSE. On my second trip to Alaska I saw plenty of them and came home with all kinds of MOOSE crap, er, I mean lovely MOOSE souvenirs.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

To my dismay, on this trip to Big Sky Country I saw no MOOSE (meese?). Plenty of bison and elk but none of my favorites. So the name of this town had to suffice…

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

But, how can I complain when the views from here were so gorgeous?

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

As you can see from the photo at top, the architecture of the building rivaled the surrounding landscape, and that’s saying a lot.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

I couldn’t decide if the colors of the trees, the textures of the grasses or the majestic views of the Tetons were the most beautiful. This whole trip was an embarrassment of riches.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

As you can imagine it took me quite a while to walk over to the visitor center… I didn’t want to be indoors when faced with this luscious outdoors.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

I would walk a few inches and another view worthy of photographing would present itself.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Inside the center was an interesting display of Native American Indian artifacts from the Vernon Collection.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

Oh, wait, I was mistaken… I DID see a MOOSE… isn’t he elegant? Do you think my HOA would mind if I put him in front of the building?

Craig Thomas Visitor Center

This last photo was actually the first photo I took at the visitor center. 99% of my photos are “as shot” with sometimes some cropping and always post-processed in Lightroom and/or Photoshop. But I’m not a photojournalist and once in a while I go above and beyond. This is one such case. When I shot this I knew I would have to do a little Photoshop magic to get the image I saw in my mind. In the foreground was a parking lot. So I had to move the bench a couple of feet and make the parking spaces disappear to make it work.

Craig Thomas Visitors Center

This is the photo as my camera saw it. I shoot all my photos in RAW (and hi-res JPEG as a backup) and I have learned with digital photography it’s better to over-expose so I can bring out the details or dramatic effect in Lightroom.

However, no amount of Lightrooming or Photoshopping will compensate for a bad photograph in the camera… make no mistake about that! Photography is much art as skill as far as I am concerned. Ansel Adams always made his photos look like his own personal vision of the scene.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

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Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I really wish I had taken better notes on my trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. We zipped around to so many places I lost track of where we were, so trying to identify my photos is proving to be very difficult! Next time I take a trip I am documenting it at least hourly.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

However, I am pretty sure all the photos on this post were taken in the vicinity of the Lamar Valley. Yes, those are American bison you see above. Some of my companions had a discussion regarding the difference between bison and buffalo. They are indeed different. Bison are found in North America. The two main buffalo species are located in Africa and Asia.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

As usual on my trips I really didn’t know what to expect. All I knew about Yellowstone was Old Faithful and I also knew the Grand Tetons were big. End of story!

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I was totally unprepared for the stunning beauty of Big Sky Country.

Big Sky Country

We traveled through both Montana and Wyoming.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

As a city girl I am not used to such wide open spaces. But I totally embraced the idea of such freedom.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

Miles and miles of pine trees interspersed with the brilliant yellows of the aspens.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

And those skies… endless blue with fantastical cloud formations we don’t see in LA.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I love fences and we saw all kinds on this trip. My friend J who was my roommate said she has a habit of singing songs that come to mind when she is traveling around. My contribution was “Don’t Fence Me In!”

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

We also saw a million “water features,” a term I was reminded is used at the Disney theme parks! In this case it was rivers, lakes and ponds.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I took about 1,700 photos during the six-day trip in the motor coach (not counting the first and last days which were primarily transportation days to and from the airport).

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I had to break the photos up into nineteen folders in the Lightroom catalog. This is merely one of those folders. I don’t know if I will ever be able to upload everything to my blog. So this is just a taste.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

The color palette was mostly greens, browns, purples and blues with accents of the yellow aspens.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

I was so taken with the grand vistas I had to force myself to scale down from time to time to see things like this moss on the rocks.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

We had great weather most of the time… both J and I have great weather karma so the weather forecasts of doom and gloom didn’t have a chance.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

Oh, those clouds… if you painted a picture they would look unreal.

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

Yellowstone Lamar Valley

We had quite a few stops for photo opportunities. My finger couldn’t stop clicking away.

lamar-valley-091916-191-c-500px lamar-valley-091916-251-c-500px lamar-valley-091916-267-c-500px Yellowstone Lamar Valley

As much as I would like to think some day I will return to this glorious region I know that will never happen. Too many other places in the US I have not seen yet!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!