Follow this link to see a full album of our photos from the second day of our travels.
On a cool, overcast day with sporadic rainfall, we did a driving tour of Grand Teton National Park. Despite the clouds, the views of the Teton Range from various pullouts on the Teton Road and Jenny Lake Scenic Drive were awe-inspiring and made Susan say “WOW!” We stopped for a walk around Menors Ferry Historical District where we saw the Chapel of the Transfiguration and various historic buildings from when Bill Menor ran a ferry across the Snake River from the 1890s to 1920s, allowing tourists to pick huckleberries.
Peter was cold so we returned to Jackson where we picked up a fleece pullover on sale at one of the outdoor stores. We also had a pub lunch at an outdoor table. We returned into the national park via the narrow and partially unpaved Moose-Wilson Road which Peter learned is a place with a good reputation for wildlife spotting. Peter and Susan may have got a glimpse of a bear and Liam briefly saw a mule deer, but despite all the promises we didn’t see any moose.
As the rain got heavier we went to historic Mormon Row. The kids didn’t want to leave the car so Liam went out alone to take photos of the famous T.A. Moulton barn. As the sun set, we drove along the Oxbow Bend of the Snake River where the NPS rangers had set up warning signs for bears. We saw no bears, but did see various birds and pretty reflections in the water. Nearby we saw a grazing mule deer and a glimpse of a herd of elk. We finished the evening at the Jackson Lake Dam where our van was surrounded by an unkindness of ravens, drastically increasing our corvid risk.
Follow this link to see a full album of our photos from the first day of our travels.
We finished off our very strange summer with a week-long vacation to two great National Parks: Grand Teton and Yellowstone. We began by flying in to Salt Lake City where we spent the night at a hotel near the airport. We woke up in the morning to a beautiful sunrise over the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains. We called a Lyft to get a ride to to pick up our camper van, and our driver Chris gave us a tour of the highlights of Salt Lake City.
Chris dropped us off at Basecamper Vans where the staff member Jen met us to show us how to use our van with a fold down bed in the back and a pop-up tent up top. With this knowledge we headed off to the grocery store to stock up on food for the week. Peter described the grocery store experience with one-way aisles and the need to avoid other shoppers as like being in a Super Mario Bros. game. Stocked up on food, but our tummies rumbling we picked up lunch at Del Taco.
There was a long drive ahead of us, 311 miles, but it turned out to be fun. This was probably because of the novelty of traveling through three new states – Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming – and seeing the constantly-changing landscapes. The suburbs of Salt Lake City gradually turned into cattle ranches. After crossing the Idaho state line we left the flat basin behind and headed into rolling hills. We stopped for gas and refreshments at Lava Hot Springs, a local hotspot for camping and boating with its own water park. We passed by historic markers for the Oregon Trail and then phosphorus and gypsum mines before diving into the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
At last we arrived in Wyoming and enjoyed the awe-inspiring views of the Snake River in the Bridger-Teton Forest. We stopped in the well-heeled vacation town of Jackson for supper, getting take out from Hand Fire Pizza. While waiting for our order to be ready we took a photo under the elk antler arches in the Town Square park and checked out the oddly out-of-place lifesize sculptures of figures ranging from Ben Franklin to Jeanne d’Arc to a bison. Kay was also able to find a keychain with her name on at it at one of the souvenir shops.
With our bellies full, we continued on to our destination – Grand Teton National Park – stopping to take many photos in front of the sign. As we continue deeper into the park we come upon a field where a whole herd of bison are grazing! Finally we arrive at our home for the next two nights, the Colter Bay Campground tent village, where we will stay in a tent cabin with a wood stove.
Photographs from my first ever visit to the deCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Massachusetts. I tried to have fun capturing the sculpture against the natural landscape and museum architecture.
“Listening Stone” by Joseph Wheelwright
“The Wild Within” by Rachel Mica Weiss
“Pasture Song” by Nancy Winship Milliken
“Tree … #2” by Myoung Ho Lee
“Ugly Mess” by Aaron Curry
“Donut with 3 Balls” by Fletcher Benton
“Eve Celebrant” by Marianna Pineda
Found art, a natural sculpture in the woods.
“Cardinal Points” by Alexander Liberman
“Elegantka” by Ursula von Rydingsvard
“Best of All Possible Worlds” by Saul Melman
“Lincoln” by DeWitt Godfrey
“Venusvine” by Richard Rosenblum
“Two Big Black Hearts” by Jim Dine
“Two Big Black Hearts” by Jim Dine (Detail)
Over the weekend, the family returned to visit the he Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, a place I’ve visited dozens of times over the course of my life, and enjoyed by previous generations of my family as well. This was a unique visit for three reasons:
- It was the first ever visit for my daughter Kay
- It was the first time we visited on two consecutive days
- It was the first time we visited as members!
The membership was a gift of my mother, who having moved to a new home in walking distance of the zoo is ready to visit the zoo again and again with her children and grandchildren.
Here are some of the best photos from our visit:
Rhino sculpture at the Zoo Center
The joy of mantis-back riding
Brown bear resting
Tiger buddies rest together
Chilean flamingo flapping
Scarlet ibis flapping
Young giraffe resting
The nyala tease the lions across the moat
Introducing his lion to the lion pride
It’s easy to get to the zoo
I’m not someone you will often find at a college football game, but I got free tickets from work (full disclosure: my employer has a football team) and my son enjoys going to sporting events of any kind. So on September 26, Peter & I made our way to Harvard Stadium to see the Crimson take on Brown. A few years back, we saw Harvard run up the score in a torrential downpour against Holy Cross. For this game, the weather was crisp and clear, a perfect autumn night, but Harvard still ran up the score.
I may not be a big fan of football, but I love historic sporting venues and seeing a game in Harvard Stadium is a treat (when it’s not raining). It was also nice to be there when a lot of other fans were present for the atmosphere, including a large number of students who we first saw having a rowdy tailgate in the parking area. Unfortunately, with the score 37-0 at halftime, most of the other spectators departed, making it feel very lonely in the cavernous stadium. After the game, kids were invited on the field and Peter got autographs from a couple of Harvard players which was pretty cool.
Maybe I’ll do this again in another three years.
Refs in the zone.
Peter tries to identify the players.
Harvard defense prevents Brown from scoring.
The band’s half time show was full of painfully bad jokes.
No Brown players will be going in here.
Soldiers Field panorama
The Harvard dance squad does a quick show between quarters.
Peter in the end zone
The bass drum is running for president.
On a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in Boston, my family and I visited the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway to experience the monumental work of art As If It Were Already Here by Janet Echelman. At first it felt underwhelming, pretty, but smaller than expected. But as I walked under and around the sculpture I couldn’t help but notice how it interacts with sun and sky, buildings and trees, always changing even with a small change of perspective. So I took a ton of pictures. You can see them below, but definitely check it out in person.
Hey, look at that big net in the sky.
Punch a hole in the sky
A smaller net, full of kids.
I made another first time in a long time visit to a Boston institution with a day out at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Unlike the Museum of Fine Arts, there is only one work of art at the Gardner Museum, a collaboration of Mrs. Gardner and thousands of painters, sculptors, designers, architects, and gardeners. This was my first visit since the opening of the new Renzo Piano wing, which is impressive, but seems mostly a utilitarian annex to the historic museum. It was also the first time I’ve been to the museum since photography is allowed, although only of the courtyard on the main level. Plenty of scofflaws took photos from the upper levels too, but were only stopped by the guards when using flash. I followed Mrs. Gardner’s preference of immersing myself in the art and beauty.
Lemon tree in the greenhouse
Two paths diverge in the Monk’s Garden
Here, photographs are encouraged
The central courtyard
Odysseus peers into the courtyard
Steel supported glass roof, a modern innovation for the classic museum
The goddess Persephone welcomes school groups
The headless Peplophorus
Shadows and light
Mrs. Gardner used to sit on this throne
The Gardner changes with the daylight
No more pictures!
French poetry in the men’s room? Why not?
The historical museum
Peeking back into the garden
A massive tree rises over the wall
The front of Mrs. Gardner’s Palace.
A snow mound in front of my place of work has become a gathering place for at least five rabbits (there could be more but rabbits can’t count beyond four).