family, photography, random thought, travel, writing

four(?) musketeers

when i lived in wyoming in 2005, i didn’t have many friends.  but don’t feel sorry for me.  it wasn’t because of the excessive whiskey drinking, or the lack of bathing.  no, it was mostly due to the simple lack of people in the great state of wyoming.  a numbers game.

you see, the entire state boasts a smaller population than the city of austin, tx.  i believe the last count was around 750,000.  and it didn’t help that i lived in a town of only 2000.  so the few friends i had were very important to me.

among those few friends were two of my closest; anna and kim.  we called ourselves the “three musketeers”.  original, huh?

this last trip up to my former home partially happened because i had a good excuse.  well, two.  the first was that anna, who now lives in new york city, had planned her first trip back to pinedale since she had to leave in ’05.  and the second reason was that kim, who is from the area and thus stayed, had a baby a few months earlier.  kate.



kate is a darn cute kid.  so the three musketeers, plus one, set out for a reunion hike.  we decided to hit up sacred rim in the wind river mountains, just outside pinedale.





it was a great time to be with my ladies again…  and i must say, kate is quite a nice addition.


i was raised by a family of grizzly bears in a former life (or so i tell people), so we reenacted a scene from my past when i used to attack unassuming hikers…







it seemed as though we hadn’t skipped a beat.  and truly, i guess we never did.  i’ve been going back up to wyoming a lot since i left, and almost every time, i get to see kim.  i also have had the opportunity to visit anna up in philly and new york, and we tend to email, talk on the phone, and mail each other music mixes every so often.  so really, the unique situation here is that we were all together again in the very place we met and became friends…











sacred rim is a pretty amazing place….



but it seems that we wore little kate out.



more bear attack scenes…


by the time we made it back to the car, kate was out.

it was really special for all of us to get together.  we all live thousands of miles from each other, and our lives have all gone their separate directions.  i hope we can reunite again before time gets away from us.

regardless of how much time passes in our busy lives before we’re all together again, it was evident with this short reunion, that we will always stay connected.  these are the type of friends you keep for life.

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2009

film making, photography, random thought, travel, writing

…last week in wyoming…



one of my first, and best, friends when i lived in wyoming was kim.  she recently got married and had a gorgeous little girl, kate.  first thing’s first… i had to go see them.


now on to my animals.  a coyote searches for food in the elk national wildlife refuge near jackson.




two ocean lake in teton wilderness provided fantastic scenery.





on the way out of two ocean and pacific creek, one of my favorite views of the tetons materializes quickly.  almost out of nowhere, the jagged peaks come into view with force and drama.





then, of course, the jackson lake dam provides unimpeded views of this beautiful mountain range, the grand tetons.



a lone big horn ram wandered, grazed.


early in the morning, the elk eat dew-covered grasses.




lamar creek.  the hidden gem of the lamar valley.  always one of my favorite spots to sit in the morning.


the lamar valley in the summer is a haven for the american bison.  they graze it heavily in massive swarms.


the lamar valley is also home to many bears.  this pair, one black bear and one cinnamon black were inseparable as i watched them cross miles of open landscape.  i saw this same cinnamon about four years ago in the exact same spot.  glad to see he’s got a lady to keep him company now…


bull elk are scattered across yellowstone this time of year.  typically alone, they seem to know that the autumn rut and breeding season will be coming in a few short months.


sulphur stained ponds dot the landscape of yellowstone.


a lone black bear on the northeast entrance road scavenges in the shadow of the mountains surrounding the montana/ wyoming border, near cooke city.


not even a mile away from the bear, a fox too looks for an evening snack.



on the road to lulu pass, just outside city limits, seedlings, clear cuts, mountains, and sky provide the backdrop for cook city, montana.




early morning, heading back from a night spent at the cooke city dump, the mountains and fog performed a ballet.  mist danced across the tops of trees as the light watched passively from behind the clouds.


and it only gained dramatic crescendo as i made my way back, further into the lamar valley of yellowstone.


after a long morning hike up the side of a peak in the lamar, a lone antelope kept his distance.



a 45 minute exposure at oxbow bend in grand teton national park, well after sundown.



morning glow over the tetons.  i love waking up to this view!!




mid-morning at oxbow bend.  light slowly makes it way toward me from behind, painting my canvas.



jackson lake was glass.  a rare site.




string lake, near jenny lake, grand teton national park.


back to my old haunt in sublette county… green river lakes in bridger-teton national forest.


the lower lake was in tumult, with wild winds from the south rumbling like a freight train through the valley toward the upper green.


the green river was calm the next morning, though the sky overhead read drama.


i hiked the highline trail toward the upper lake.  squaretop mountain spectacularly reflected the patches of sun.




i followed massive grizzly tracks all the way to the upper lake about three miles.  it was not alone.  two smaller sets of tracks alerted me to the fact that a sow with two yearlings could be around any bend.


on the way into little soda lake, the aspen groves catch a reflection more colorful than reality.


cactus patches keep me aware of where i place my feet…


just a few minutes from the front door of my old house in pinedale, soda lake reflects the wind river mountains, creating impressionistic hues that would make any artist salivate.

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2009