Category Archives: Our World Tuesday

Our World – Tulsa Legends at Memorial Park Cemetery

As part of a solving a geocaching puzzle I had the opportunity to view some of the famous people buried at Tulsa’s Memorial Park Cemetery. It was really kind of interesting so who was buried there.

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Firsts up is Roy Clark. Those of a certain age, remember him in the television weekly comedy music show Hee Haw back in the 70’s. He was a great performer and projected a warmth while performing. He had hits on both the country and pop charts and was known as a great musician. He didn’t grow up in Tulsa but he called Tulsa home.

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And then Bob Wills, the godfather of everything musical in Tulsa and a co-founder of country swing music.

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He played for years at Cain’s Ballroom here in Tulsa which is still a music hall with quite a full schedule. His ghost is said to reside there.

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Leon Russell had the most elaborate monument and had coins, rocks, and other mementos from his fans on the front. (Roy Clark had coins on the back ledge of his monument for some reason.) He was active for over 60 years. Elton John called him a mentor. He was enrolled in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

He played with Frank Sinatra, Eric Clapton, and others he is a legend.

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Underneath one of the benches at his grave site sits a hat like the ones he used to wear.

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And Sam Kinison. He was one mixed up dude. Lots of talent and very outrageous. Watch the following video at your own risk!

Strangely enough he started out in life as a Pentecostal Preacher and had to quit because he wasn’t making enough money. He went into comedy and got several big breaks.

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Oral Roberts, the father of the “Name it, Claim it” Prosperity Gospel is buried in a common grave next to his wife.

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He might be the most recognized preacher in history. He was an innovator in several fronts, with his prosperity gospel, tele-evangelism, and was founder of Oral Roberts University which is still going on although they separated from the family years ago. He was a character.

His life and ministry is still a conundrum to me. On the one hand he appears to have been a bit of a huckster. On the other hand, his University has done a lot of good. He was colorful, I’ll give you that.

And so that concludes my tour of the Cemetery. I love cemeteries. I google names on the tombstones and you would be surprised how much information is available. For instance I saw a gravestone for a man and wife and it just had birth dates and no end dates. I googled the names and found out that yes, they died but are buried in another cemetery. I am not going to name them because it happened pretty recently and I think I am friends with one of their offspring. So what’s the deal, why would somebody order a double gravestone in advance of the need and have it installed?

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This last guy is my favorite. Waymon Tisdale was a basketball player who played at the University of Oklahoma and later in the NBA. He quit basketball after twelve years in the NBA to concentrate on his first love, music. He played bass guitar in a smooth jazz band that he led. My wife and I used to go to a Jazz Festival here in Tulsa where Tisdale frequently played and he radiated such a friendliness and warmth from the stage and was totally approachable and well grounded.

He and his family lived in a house not far from where we lived at the time. In fact I would go running by his house in the early morning and it was pretty cool. They had young kids and a huge play area for them. It was nice but not superstar gazillionaire nice. His diagnosis with cancer and subsequent early death was a huge tragedy. I still don’t get how somebody so alive can be so dead.

Sorry, I didn’t intend for this to be so long but here it is. It could have been longer, especially if I had elaborated on some of the more entertaining tales of Oral Roberts.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Sunday Morning Hike on Turkey Mountain

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Sunday morning I let my heathen pagan self run loose and decided to go on a hike on Turkey Mountain. Nobody was there!! I started from the lower parking lot and and after soaking myself with DEET headed up the hill. After I got to the upper parking lot I went on a modified Snake Trail route.

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Turkey Mountain was a rowdy place back in the day. Whisky stills, oilwells, farms and ranches. There are still remnants of houses and oilwells there. This is the remnants of a oilwell. A pump jack sat on the foundation closest to us and the motor running it was in the back. There are no longer any operating oil wells on the Mountain.

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I was looking for color and I found these leaves turning color.

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Sorry for the fuzzy photo. Using the online wildflower id at discoverlife.org the nearest match was “Asiatic Dayflower.” Don’t know if I believe it or not. What do you think?

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The Snake Trail crosses this creek and then loops back across it again. This is in the vicinity of the last time I saw deer on Turkey Mountain. Sometimes when I am there late in the day when it is dark I can hear deer off down the creek. I guess it is deer, either that or a Sasquatch maybe.

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I have no idea, but I like the photo. Some sort of cluster of flowers I found.

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Black Eye Susan’s anybody?

I went a little over three miles and was exhausted. It was cool and overcast when I started but got hot and extremely humid before I was done. Like a dummy I didn’t bring any water. But hey, I had my Church on the Mountain. Congregation of one. We didn’t sing, we pondered, prayed and expressed gratitude for the many blessings that God gives us.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World – Tulsa’s Downtown Churches

Tulsa is unique for having thriving downtown churches unlike many big cities where they are just barely hanging on. Here are three of them and a bonus photo.

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This is one of my favorite churches, the Catholic Holy Family Cathedral with its unusual three spires. This year it is 105 years old.

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Right down the street is the First Christian Church of Tulsa with its unusual tiled roof. It looks a little Middle Eastern to me.

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And my favorite, the Boston Avenue United Methodist Church on the very southern end of downtown. An zig zag art-deco masterpiece designed by Bruce Goff and Adah Robinson. It was barely finished when the Depression hit and church legend has it that the leading members had to work like crazy to keep it from being foreclosed and turned into a movie theater.

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This is the bonus photo. It is not of a church. It is the underside of the 21st street bridge over the Arkansas River in Tulsa. I caught it in the afternoon late enough to be lighted by the sun to the northwest (to the right roughly) and early enough where the light had some intensity to it. And I helped along a little with a Topaz Studio filter. It kind of looks like the inside of cathedral doesn’t it? Oh throw me a bone somebody!

There are several other very active vital churches downtown with interesting buildings. I’ll be posting about those later, maybe. I don’t plan my posts much.

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Our World – Drawing Inspiration from Jason Lee

Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art is putting on an exhibition of over 150 photographs by Jason Lee. I’d never heard of him before and he got famous as a skateboarder way back when, and then got into movies, and for the last decade and a half has developed quite a reputation as photographer using various film formats.

Philbrook commissioned him to do a series of photographs on Tulsa and Oklahoma. They are his vision of Tulsa and Oklahoma. So when I went to check them out recently I was like, well, okay. His vision is kind of bleak and a lot of shows the disparity between the haves and the havenots here. There a shots of dilapidated buildings with the high rises of corporate Tulsa in the background for example.

There isn’t like one single work that is a showstopper. Its not that kind of exhibition. I think you have to look at the whole work in its entirety. From that vantage the show is outstanding. The thing that really inspired me is that I sensed a confident photographer going about his business shooting photographs of various scenes based on his instincts.

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So, inspired by him, I am trying to figure out what my vision of Oklahoma is and make it more right brained than my analytical side. I found these images of various bison in a rural area of Tulsa. I kind of like them even though I had to park in the driveway of the property and just as I finished up since big loud dog showed up acting like he wanted to bite a piece of my leg off.

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They are colorful, what they mean about Oklahoma, I haven’t figured that out yet. I am just going with it.

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What do you think?

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I drove on out of Tulsa into the countryside and came across this Turkey Vulture. I didn’t bother him one bit.

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Across the road was a mainline block valve for some sort of liquids pipeline. It needs a little work I think.

So anyway, if you are in the Tulsa area go check out the Jason Lee exhibit at the downtown branch of Philbrook.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World – Riding in a Tulsa Tough Grand Fondo

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I was so excited because my number 251 is a prime number. I love prime numbers.

Tulsa has a bicycling event called Tulsa Tough sponsored by a local hospital. It started out kind of small and has grown considerably. It consists of three days of criterium racing and a couple days of Grand Fondo’s and a Townie Ride. Criterium is racing around and around in a closed loop of a mile or two or three and the most famous of those is Cry Baby Hill on the Riverparks. The Fondos are longer distance rides from Tulsa to the boonies and back of at least 32 and miles on Saturday and Sunday. The Townie Ride is a free community event just a few miles long.

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The view from the parking at lot at 6:30 am.

I’ve always been a spectator at Cry Baby Hill but this year I went for something different. I signed up for the shortest of the Grand Fondo rides on Sunday. Thirty two miles. I had never rode a bike that far and thought about waiting until next year but I am kind of that age where it is wise not to be putting off stuff like that. You know what I mean?

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So I signed up and did some training on some hilly routes near out house and I was as ready as I ever was going to be.

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I got there early in the morning and got the bike ready and went to the starting line and waited. I am a slow rider and so I always get to the back, just like my running races!!

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And I got left in the dust. It didn’t bother me. I just kept going at my pace and pretty soon I passed a few people.

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So us back of the packers made for a congenial group of nodding acquaintance as we passed each other, and got passed.

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The race organizers had lots of SAG vehicles to help riders with flats, or first aid, or haul them back to the starting line if they can’t finish the race.

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At about mile 10 or so we had a rest stop. Lots to eat and drink. Our son, the banana nazi, forbids bananas in our house so I had my fill of bananas here, and water. Bananas are the perfect food for running or riding, lots of carbos and electrolytes. They also had gatorade, picklejuice, pickles, cookies, peanut butter sandwiches and all sorts of other stuff including fireball shots. I didn’t imbibe. I’d of had to stop every mile or so if you know what I mean. I’m not going to spell it out for you.

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Right across the road is a view of Holmes Peak which I have run up to a bunch of times during various Post Oak Lodge Trail Runs over the years. I am glad I didn’t have to ride my bike up to the top. I know that you folks from places that actually have mountains are in hysterics about our “Mount” but hey it is harder than it looks so get over yourselves.

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So then we went north. We wound through some beautiful back country with birds singing and water flowing in the streams and it was very nice. It reminded me of some early morning summer hikes in Oxley Nature Center. You totally miss it in a car.

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And then it started raining which wasn’t quite as much fun but I was wearing tech gear and the temperature was not too low so it was tolerable. My gopro clone camera ran out of juice so that is the last photo I got. I didn’t really feel like stopping and take pics with the phone because it was raining.

So everything was pretty cool until about three miles from the finish. I misread a sign and took off through the core of downtown instead of continuing straight to the west side of the Arkansas River. So I wandered through the core part of downtown Tulsa thinking, wow this is kind of a busy route for a big race. There were the purple race markers but now I know it was for the Townie Ride scheduled in the afternoon. Then I got to the Midland Valley Trail and it’s oh wow, this isn’t right.

So I could have backtracked but I was tired. So I just headed back to my car. I thought briefly about a 0.6 mile jaunt to the beginning of the finish line but that would have been cheating even though I would have ended up with more mileage than the official distance. And I was still tired and it was still raining, and I would have just had double back where I was and I would have an official finish and it would have been fraudulent. Nobody would know, except I always tell the truth on my blog and so you guys/gals/X’s would know!! Do you believe me? Seriously?

So I had an official timed start and a DNF. I hope that you are not too ashamed of me. Tell you the truth, I am not ashamed. If I had gone to the finish and got an official time then I would have to explain. And as a veteran of over 40 years in industry I always tell the youngins that if you are having to explain, then you are in trouble. Just tell it like it was is my motto.

So tell me, do you always tell the truth on your blog?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday, where everybody always tells the truth, at least most of the time.

2019 Broken Arrow Chalk it Up Art Festival

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Saturday the family headed out to the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow to check out their “Chalk it Up Art Festival” held in conjunction with the Broken Arrow Rose Festival.

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The event is held on Main Street in downtown Broken Arrow (aka the Rose District). Contestants use chalk and create their works right on the street. It is pretty amazing and it looks to me like a lot of work.

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They had a lot of entries, maybe over thirty or so. The only other time we came was years ago and they had maybe a dozen.

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They were very colorful and showed a wide variety of themes.

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Unfortunately it started sprinkling when we got there so I turned into a man on a mission, photographing almost all of them before it started raining so I was not able to go back and study them in more detail. Plus there were a ton of vendors set up in tents selling all sorts of interesting arts, crafts, and other things. We usually try and check those out also but not this time.

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So just as I finished it started sprinkling pretty heavy and we had parked a ways away so we headed back to the car. Turns out that maybe we should have not left so quickly but oh well. I didn’t care if I got wet I was more worried about my camera.

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I liked this one showing some of the flora and fauna of Oklahoma.

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And Tulsa’s iconic Golden Driller.

Here is a link to my last visit to Chalk it Up seven years ago.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Camera Critters – Oklahoma Aquarium

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Logan and the Sea Turtle wave at each other. My employer helped pay for this exhibit.

Once a month during Heather’s Book Group meetings, Logan and I have “Boys Night Out.” Recently we checked out the Oklahoma Aquarium in the Tulsa suburb of Jenks. They recently opened up the Polynesian Reef Exhibit.

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It’s beautiful. The exhibit looks better than I photographed it.

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I love this colorful Red Spined Starfish. 

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And this turtle. 

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The African Cichlids have been there a while. I love the colors and the random patterns.

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If you are an Oklahoma fisherman, these striped bass are the ultimate in Oklahoma. They are huge.

We had a good time. Check the Aquarium’s Website for information to plan your visit. They are open late on Tuesdays which makes it very handy for Boys Night Out!

I am linking this post to Camera Critters and Our World Tuesday

Our World Tuesday – A Hike by the Lake

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During my brief stay at Yellowstone, sister Ellen and I went down to the Grand Tetons National Park just south of Yellowstone and looked around. We went on a short, flat hike, of about 2.3 miles on a little Island next to the Colter Bay visitor center and the Jackson Lake marina.

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It was a nice mixture of shoreline and woods. I was able to get a few photos of some of the wildflowers in the woods.

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I like old dried out tree trunks.

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We found some berries including these. Bears eat berries as well so even though we were close to the visitor center we stayed aware of what was going on around us.

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The shoreline was beautiful.

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And here is my sister, the Park Ranger, Ellen taking a break. I felt guilty taking up all of her three days off. But we had fun. Check out her blog.  

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And across the lake the Grand Tetons. The most powerful and majestic mountains I have ever seen, even when obscured by forest fire smoke.

We mosied along taking over an hour for the walk. We both take lots of pics, and especially when you are shooting in  manual mode, that takes lots of time. At least it does for me. I hope that you are not tired of my adventures with Ellen. I have several more posts coming. We saw a lot during my three days with her.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday. Come join us.

Our World Tuesday – Yellowstone Park’s Grand Prismatic Spring

My last few posts have been about my recent trip to Yellowstone National Park to see my sister Ellen, the Park Ranger (so proud of her, our father was a Forest Ranger so it is great to see her carrying on the tradition). I only spent a few days with her as we went around the Park and the adjoining Grand Teton National Park, but I saw so much.

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So one day we went to see the Grand Prismatic Spring at Midway Geyser Basin. I’ve seen lots of photos of it the last few years and maybe, or maybe not, I saw it as a kid during our whirlwind 1960’s style vacations that we took as kids.

This trip I was wondering what the first people who saw the thermal features in the park thought. Steam and boiling hot water coming out of the ground. What a wonderland or what a nightmare. Plus the ground could give way any time sending somebody to their doom or at the very least severe burns.  Something that happens to the dummies today who think the rules do not apply to them.

Yellowstone is a wonderland in many senses of the term. Its natural beauty is astounding and its supernatural features such as the geysers and hot springs are bewildering. 

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When you leave the parking lot of the Grand Prismatic Spring you come upon this scene of boiling hot water entering the aptly named Firehole River. The chemical engineer in me was doing mixing calculations trying to figure out how much the temperature of the hot water raised the river temperature plus wondering how much bad stuff from deep down in the earth is now dissolved in that how water, and how  much precipitates out of solution when it mixes with the cold water, and how the remaining dissolved minerals and higher temperature affected the trout fishing. My sister just said she sees lots of fishermen (fisherwomen too!) on the River and so I decided I would worry about something else, especially since I didn’t bring my calculator with me.

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But it was like entering a different world with all the steam all around us. I learned that autofocus cameras don’t like swirling clouds of steam so I would focus a on a rock and then pan away. Just in case you are wondering why the steam is out of focus and the rocks are not.

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The closer you get to the Spring, the more steam you see, especially on a chilly morning.

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They have benches but they are mainly for people getting a better angle on the water.

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At first, I could see why you got up on the benches. So much steam swirling around obscuring the view.

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I liked this view. You can’t really see the spring, but you can see the colors of the spring reflecting off the steam.

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Ah here you go, things kind of cleared up a bit. The different colors are from some of the bacteria that live in the spring that thrive at high temperatures. I find that concept fascinating. How can anything live close to boiling point with all sorts of strange chemicals involved. 

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The strangeness just extends away from the spring.

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There is an overlook trail that Ellen took us to where you can get a better look of the Grand Prismatic Spring. You have some elevation and perspective that you don’t get at a lower level and it is easier to see. It is more than just a little walk but it is worth it if you are up to it. I think the spring is gorgeous. And I love the name Grand Prismatic Spring. I think it lives up to its name.

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One thing about Yellowstone that I learned very quickly is that not just Americans love Yellowstone. The world loves Yellowstone Park. A huge percentage of visitors are from outside the USA. Somehow I feel that increases the responsibility of us to take care and preserve the park. The international visitors bring their culture with them and selfie sticks but somehow it all works and everybody gets along. I think that is great.

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This is a view at ground level below the overlook. We are pretty far away but one can still see the colors of the spring in the spring.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday, come check it out.

Our World Tuesday – Yellowstone Park’s Gibbon Falls

I have been out of pocket for a few days. My sister Ellen  who works as a seasonal Park Ranger in West Yellowstone, Montana for the Yellowstone National Park  invited me up for a few days for a chance to see a bit of the park with her. She loves sharing the park. 

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One of the first things we looked at was Gibbon Falls on the Gibbon River. A beautiful 84 foot drop of the Gibbon River.  This is the view from a bit downriver.

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The Gibbon  River is about 25 miles long and starts near the center of the park at the outlet of Grebe Lake and confluences with the Firehole River to form the Madison River.

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This is a view of the river downstream of the falls as it flows toward the Firehole River. I came across a post talking about how the Park Service is starting a process to remove non-native fish like rainbow and brown trout from the river and re-introduce native species such as cutthroat trout. They are starting later this month and is expected to continue to 2020 or 2021.  I love these kind of projects.

 Ellen tells me that the week I was there the visitor count had dropped off presumably because of schools starting. The park had the fewest people I have ever seen on my visits there. That being said, the parking lots fill up early and so you need to get up get out early to go see what you want to see.

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My sister Ellen

This is just a small bit of all that we saw in my few days at Yellowstone. I am trying to break my visit down into bite sized pieces to make it easier on me, and hopefully you.

This was maybe my fifth time to Yellowstone and the first time I didn’t just do a drive by, and instead got to hike a little and spend some time getting to see things. When I was a kid, we did the standard 1960’s thing and just breezed on by and maybe stopped to see Old Faithful and maybe a few thermal features but then it was back in the car and head out.

How about you? Have you ever been?

I am linking with Our World Tuesday