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Ed Felker

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Yellowstone National Park Lives Up To Its Reputation (PHOTOS)

Posted: 09/30/2012 10:06 am

In planning my latest trip, partly due to the film, Where the Yellowstone Goes, I had been giving thought to the Yellowstone River and our nation's first national park. So I flew into Missoula and met up with friend and fly fishing guide Joel Thompson of Montana Troutaholics.

We had a full itinerary: Five rivers in six days, from Missoula to Great Falls by way of Yellowstone.

I was most excited about the Yellowstone leg of the journey. I had never been, but for almost six months I read about the park, and set my DVR to record anything containing the keyword "Yellowstone." I learned much about the unique geological characteristics, the wildlife and the history of our nation's first national park. As my departure date grew near, I was actually starting to worry. Were my expectations too high? Could it really be as special as I was dreaming it would be?

In two days you can not even scratch the surface, but with just that limited time, Yellowstone National Park has made it to the very top of my list. It is the most beautiful, powerful, magical place I have ever had the privilege to be. I can't wait to return, but for now my photos will have to serve as reminders that truly special places do exist, and thanks to the National Park Service, will be preserved for generations to come.

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  • Mammoth Hot Springs

    Mammoth Hot Springs, one of the many fascinating geological features of Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Ed Felker)

  • Bugling Elk

    A bull elk bugles along the Yellowstone River near the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Ed Felker)

  • Elk in the Madison River

    A group of elk cool off in the Madison River, Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Ed Felker)

  • Slough Creek

    Slough Creek's first meadow, Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Ed Felker)

  • Slough Creek

    <a href="http://www.montanatroutaholics.com/" target="_hplink">Joel Thompson</a> hikes into Slough Creek's Second Meadow, Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Ed Felker)

  • Bison Skull

    A bison skull hangs on a tree, Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Ed Felker)

  • Slough Creek

    Slough Creek's second meadow, Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Ed Felker)

  • Slough Creek

    Slough Creek's second meadow, Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Ed Felker)

  • Bison at Slough Creek

    A lone bison grazes in Slough Creek's second meadow, Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Ed Felker)

  • Slough Creek

    Slough Creek's second meadow, Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Ed Felker)

  • Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout

    <a href="http://www.montanatroutaholics.com/" target="_hplink">Joel Thompson</a> releases a Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout into Slough Creek, Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Ed Felker)

  • Slough Creek

    Slough Creek's second meadow, Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Ed Felker)

  • Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout

    Joel Thompson with a Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout on the line, Slough Creek, Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Ed Felker)

  • Slough Creek

    Slough Creek's second meadow, Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Ed Felker)

  • Quaking Aspen

    Quaking Aspen trees, Yellowstone National Park. (Photo by Ed Felker)