20 Feb 17 Starting out Monday morning we had traveled but a short distance when one of the trucks got totally stuck in a pullout. After about 20 minutes of mess'n with the truck we gotter unstuck and moved on only to begin following a lone coyote trotting parallel to us along the side of the road. At one point he started playing in the snow, a shot of which I'll share a bit later. Shortly thereafter we came to a rest stop where we parked and very carefully walked across the road to observe a large bull elk in the valley directly along side the road. After spending some time with the elk from the road, we walked a very short distance to make our way through 18" deep snow on the other side of the valley to shoot from that side. While we were doing so we noticed a large red van that seemed to be having trouble navigating the slippery surface of the road. By the time we got back to the road and heading to our vehicles the driver had gotten the van 90 degrees to the road blocking traffic. So we all pitched in and got her headed in the direction back to Gardner from where she had rented the van. By the time we put our gear into our vehicles and started out of the parking lot, we realized that she had decided to turn around again and attempt to go further into the park. Now she had the van at a 45 across both lanes, the weather was RAPIDLY deteriorating into a white out, and she was totally stuck. We managed to get the van shoved to one side of the road, and then directed all the backed up vehicles in both directions around her. Then for some unknown reason two of the drivers in our group just drove off leaving me alone trying to assist her along with the couple from CA watching me. Finally two snow plows drove around her, backed right up to her van, and began laying down sand directly in front of her directing her to follow them to the top of the hill where she could turn around and go back to Gardner. Also at the top of that hill was a law enforcement officer with light flashing herding all the oncoming traffic into a parking area waiting for the road to be cleared of that van. I'm wagering there was also a traffic citation awaiting the van. In the process of helping the lady driving the van the weather turned to 30+ mph driving snow which thoroughly soaked me through and through so I was done shooting for most of the rest of that day until my clothes and bod dried out. But I did get a few nice shots of that bull elk.
The base was adjusted a small amount for better color and contrast as the lighting was quite poor and the blowing snow didn't help much. Nikon D500; 18 - 200; Aperture Priority; ISO 400; 1/800 sec @ f / 9.
The Daily Image