A Break on the Long Ride Home

After two weeks on the road and seven hours in Grand Teton National Park, I decided it was time to head home. I didn’t expect it would be a pleasant trip, and it wasn’t. Right out of Jackson Hole I ran into a major rainstorm with thunder and lightning which slowed me down considerably and made it impossible to get some scenic shots I was hoping for. Ironically, after that I was confronted by grass fires as nearly 300 miles of Idaho was burning, and there were many highway signs warning of delays. To make matters worse, in Boise I ran into a major traffic jam caused by an obviously fatal accident. By the time I got home at 3:00 AM, I was exhausted.

Still, there was some pleasant breaks on the way. I seldom get the chance to see a Swan


in the wild, certainly never in the summer.

My favorite moment, though, came when I spotted a large flock of Franklin Gulls next to the highway. I had seen them earlier in the year at Malheur but had been unable to get a shot of them there. Even traveling at 75 miles/hour, I had to pull over and track the flock down. I followed them up the river and found a single spot where the flock landed, and it was relatively easy to get a good shot of them.

small flock of Franklin Gulls

I even managed to get a shot of one of them landing quite easily.

 Franklin Gull landing

Unfortunately, it was much more problematic getting a shot of them in flight. The rain hadn’t stopped and the light was rather poor so setting a fast enough shutter speed to prevent blur caused excessive noise.

Still, it’s never easy capturing birds in flight, so I was relatively happy with this shot,

Franklin Gulls flying

Though it would have been nice to have blue water in the background. It was one of those unexpected treats that help to make a trip more enjoyable.

2 thoughts on “A Break on the Long Ride Home”

  1. Agree wholeheartedly…Love that last shot. As for Idaho, we had to detour once leaving LaGrande Or on a summer day becuase the highway was on fire! So your travel woes seem minor to me. Id find a Red Roof Inn and chill

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