Day 2: Grand Teton National Park


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.

Day 1: Salt Lake City to Grand Teton National Park


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.

Photopost: deCordova Sculpture Park


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)

Photopost: Return to Bronx Zoo


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:

  1. It was the first ever visit for my daughter Kay
  2. It was the first time we visited on two consecutive days
  3. 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:

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Photopost: College Football


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.

Photopost: As If It Were Already Here


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.

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Photopost: Getting Dizzy With Izzy


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.

Photopost: Bronx Zoo


On our last day in New York, we visited the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo.  This was a second visit for Peter, a couple of dozen visits for me, and countless more for my mother.  In short, the zoo is a place we all love.  Highlights include seeing baboons and ibex on hillside, sunning lions and giraffes, baby gorillas galore, and the flitter-flutter of the butterfly garden.

Alpaca
Feeding goats
Bathing bear
Baby baboon and mother

Baby baboon in action!

Resting giraffe
Baby gorilla
Beautiful butterfly

Photopost: Brooklyn Bridge


A highlight of any visit to New York is to stroll across the famed suspension bridge to Brooklyn.  I did this for the first time as a child over 30 years ago when the bridge was mobbed with people heading to an Irish festival in Brooklyn.  I’ve been back a half-dozen times since and generally it’s been serene.  But on this occasion, the first time for my son, it was as crowded as my first time even though there seemed to be no special event.

Bridge cables and soaring towers
Toy cars for sale. Selfie sticks were also a popular item sold and used on the bridge.
Manhattan skyline
The love locks trend has caught on big on Brooklyn Bridge
A gazillion people crossing the bridge at once, give or take a zill.