Sunday, October 18, 2009


In 1981 we had just moved from Canada to California. We spent every available weekend and holiday, traveling in our VW camper, visiting the National Parks, some on our doorstep and some further away. In the late summer we went to Yellowstone.

This summer 28 years later, our eldest son, standing next to his dad, traveled from Taiwan with his wife and daughter to join us on a return visit to Yellowstone .

There are two faces to Yellowstone park. The stinky, smelly, barren landscape with mud pots and fumaroles of hissing steam.

And the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone river with crashing pounding waters and rugged walls capped with fir trees.

This is the photograph we took this year

Here is the one I took in 1981. Not much difference.
We stayed in the Madison Campground which is close to the west entrance to the park. Our granddaughter toasted marshmallows.

From the this location we headed out to visit all the different features in the park.

Emerald Pool in Black Sand Basin.

Boiling water flowing into Firehole River.

In 1981 the buffalo stampeded across the field.

This time we only saw them peacefully grazing the lush summer grass.

Even in the more barren parts of the park wildflowers were growing. Here the fringed gentian, designated the official Yellowstone Park flower.

Hare bells.

We waited at Old Faithful for the show!

We stood well back from the crowds as the geyser blew.

At Mammoth Hot Springs we donned our sunglasses to view the blindingly white travertine formations.

Fishing Cone, at the West Thumb at the West Thumb Geyser basin on Yellowstone Lake, photographed in 1981.
Just a taste of all the wonders that await the visitors to Yellowstone National Park.


  1. How great to take the next generation these places. It's so much fun to share it with them, isn't it?
    Thanks for sharing with us, as well.
    This is one of the places I want to revisit.

  2. Great pics, even the old ones, Jenny. I tried to scan in my old print photos of Mammoth's travertine formations, but it just came out a white blur. I'm glad you got the detail of that amazing sight.

  3. Great photos! I'm all nostalgic--in 1971 I moved to Bozeman MT in late summer with a 2-year-old and visited Yellowstone many times over the next 7 years, but haven't been back since 1978. My first memory (of bears and Old Faithful) is from 1949 when my father, mother, baby brother, and grandparents took the trip.

  4. I went to Yellowstone 30 years ago as a kid and still remember it very well. It's an endlessly fascinating place and very beautiful. I love the shots of the wildflowers. It was great to see all of the pics, both old and new!

  5. Linda- we had a really super time. Can't wait for the next camping trip.
    Pam- These were from slides. I'm not terribly happy with the quality They aren't crisp like the slides.
    Hibiscus- You would notice some changes I'm sure. The crowds for one as it is one of the most popular parks. The travertine formations were not as good as we remembered. The water has stopped flowing.
    Sweet Bay- I loved the wildflowers too. I had a tough time identifying the gentian. I thought it was a gentian and asked the park ranger. He had no idea and it was not in his file of photos. Funny as I read it was the Park wildflower! Those clumps of harebells were gorgeous and growing in a very arid area.

  6. I've never been to Yellowstone, so seeing the photos was a special treat. Thank you for sharing your family excursion.

  7. Holy smoke. That picture of Dad and us is absolutely amazing. Dad looks like Nick today!!! Andrew and I sure missed the news that tubes socks were on their way out!! Oh ho ho, to go back to that day, even for a few minutes!! --- Mommmm. Mark pushed me off the boardwalk!

  8. I would have put in your amazing photo of the bear but somehow I lost it. OK so how many of those incidents were there. A lot I bet. I just remember the snowy day one in Toronto.

  9. I love the 1981 Fishing Cone pic you posted ... Thanks!

    If you are interested you can check out this geyser on my website which relays a little history surrounding this location.

  10. Great photos of your family and Yellowstone then and now, Jenny - you all look so happy!
    It's fun to go back to a beloved family vacation place when the kids are grown ups, isn't it?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  11. The photo comparison of then and now is priceless, Jenny --not just of Yellowstone, but of your family. I can't wait to take my family there. Hopefully this next summer...