America’s best idea

Christopher RobinOur Town Arts

Yellowstone National Park turns 150 years old this month. Filmmaker Ken Burns called our national park system “America’s Best Idea.”

My family truly has had a love affair with America’s first national park. No, I’m serious – a true love story. As college students in 1947, my mother and father met while working in Yellowstone. Mom was a waitress in the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Dad worked for the official park photographer delivering books, postcards and such to the park stores. As they say, the rest is history.

Growing up in Nebraska, Yellowstone was our vacation destination on several occasions. I have returned several times to cross country ski, snowmobile, and most recently to photograph this winter spectacle.

In January, I spent five days in temperatures as low as minus 17 degrees, capturing over 3,000 images of snow and ice, steam and frosty wildlife. I’ll not subject you to all of them but here is a sample of three scenic images. More of my favorites can be seen under “Travel and Trips” on our website by clicking here.

Old Faithful Erupts – Seeking the most iconic of all images of Yellowstone, we positioned ourselves looking directly into the sun for the coming eruption. This position backlit the water and steam creating texture and shadows. A very narrow aperture (f22) created the starburst around the sun.

Frozen Walkway – Constant steam rising from Excelsior Geyser Crater creates these icy images. A fellow photographer’s presence gives the image perspective.

Caldron of Color – A constantly boiling hot spring with Cascade Geyser on the opposite side of the Firehold River, create wonderful complementary colors of blue and orange.

Our national parks face many challenges. Lack of interest is not a problem as America’s love affair with our national parks continues.

Photographer Chris and painter Robin Rohwer each week share a painting or photograph that captured their interest in hopes that it will also capture yours. They have a small studio and gallery in the Phoenix Building at 418 South Gay Street where you can stop and see their work. Their website is All works are copyright protected.

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