After Neil’s appointment with the urologist on Wednesday…we decided to do nothing on Thursday and take a day trip down to Thermopolis WY about 70 miles south to take care of the Fun Stuff© items that we would have taken care of if we had actually departed from Cody as scheduled last week.
With Neil’s laser lithotripsy procedure scheduled for Tuesday afternoon…we figured that it would be good to get that out of the way ahead of time. In addition…Connie is going to make a list of all the drives, tours, boat rides, animal drives and such that we want to do here…once we know how he feels after the procedure we’ll get busy on those.
Neil decided to buy himself a new bird lens…the tech for telephoto zooms has changed considerably since he bought his Sigma 50-600 mm zoom back in 2013. While it was the best inexpensive telephoto zoom available back then…it’s a little soft at the long end and since it is the bird lens it gets used mostly at the long end. Lens engineers have figured out since then that making the overall zoom ratio smaller while still keeping the long end is more betterer…and cheaper to boot. The relatively new (late 2017) Tamron 150-600 generation 2 lens is significantly sharper at the long end than the older Sigma…and equivalent to the current generation Sigma 150-600 Sport…but it’s lighter and smaller than the Sport which means you need a smaller tripod to hold it up and it’s a bunch easier to carry on hikes. That’s what he decided to get…he sent his old bird lens off to B&H Photo as a trade in on Thursday, once he gets the store credit on it he’ll buy the new one…which even at full price is 500 bucks less than he paid for the Sigma back in 2013.
We’ll be here awhile…and he will give the new one a workout both around the campground and on Fun Stuff© to get familiar with all the ins and outs of the new lens once it arrives.
The Wind River Canyon…amazingly enough…is not located on the Wind River, but is so named because (I guess) of the wind through the canyon. The river is actually the Bighorn River…but the reaches of it in the canyon are colloquially referred to as the Wind River according to Wikipedia. The river flows south to north with a dam right south of the canyon.
After our 75 mile drive south from Cody and through Thermopolis we drove the length of the canyon…about 20 miles or so…before turning around and returning to Thermopolis for lunch and more sights.
Looking downstream (north) just inside the north end of the canyon. The canyon is up to about 2,500 feet from the river to the rim…you can see the early morning shadows on the west side of the river cast by the eastern rim.
Looking down into the river from that same viewpoint…here are two different shots of the same area of the river…the difference is that the first one was shot at 1/400 of a second exposure and the second much slower at 1/25. I’ve talked before with waterfalls and other moving water shots how you can either use a high shutter speed and freeze the motion of the water or a slower one that allows some of the details to blur into the flowing textured sections that Neil prefers. You have to be careful not to go too slow on shutter speed or else the water becomes just a white spot with no texture…he shot another one at 1/15 of a second and that one was too slow so that it lost all character in the texture. As I was editing his shots today I noticed that he had taken several shots at various speeds of the same rippled area and thought I would have a little show and tell.
Looking south as we stopped at another viewpoint further into the canyon…the road goes down the east side and a railroad track down the west side of the river…unlike many other canyon railroads we’ve seen this summer, this one appears to be still in use as there was a bunch of track repair equipment on a siding about halfway through the canyon.
Hoodoo along the eastern wall.
The Boysen dam just upstream of the canyon itself…the dam is about 200 or 250 feet high and provides recreational opportunities, fishing, and electricity to the area.
Heading back through the canyon…we got one last shot of the western wall before we headed into Thermopolis for a stop at Hot Springs State Park right in downtown. Thermopolis…in fact this entire area of northwest WY…is still in the area affected by the Yellowstone caldera…hence the Colter’s Hell from the other post and the hot springs in downtown Thermopolis.
Hot Springs State Park…you can see the spa in the second image…the mineral walls are about 30 feet high.
Immediately to the left of the mineral deposits from the springs is the Thermopolis swinging bridge…you can see the right hand support tower on the left of the first shot above. The bridge was built in 1916 to allow ranchers in the area access across the Snake River in Thermopolis and to allow access between the hot springs and the hotels on the other side of the river.
By the time we were done there…it was 1100 and the One Eyed Buffalo Brewery and Pub was open…we stopped in there and had a beer and some tater skins for lunch. After that we headed back to Cody and stayed in side in the A/C the remainder of the afternoon as it was hot.
I’ll post again on Tuesday or Wednesday after Neil’s procedure.
Interesting stuff found on the net.