YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo.--During the course of Road Trip 2009, I've covered more than 4,000 miles, been in seven states, and seen some pretty amazing things.
But entering Yellowstone at the West entrance today--later in the day than I should have, admittedly--I thought I had finally met my match: a traffic jam that seemed, based on my map, to stretch nearly 15 miles to the first visitor center. It promised a horrid day of waiting hours to get anywhere and not even being able to park at some of the more popular destinations.
I was ready to throw up my hands and write a cautionary story: Don't go to Yellowstone in summer!
And then, suddenly, I saw something alongside the road. It was a bird's nest, high in a tree. At first, I just thought it was something nice to see while sitting in the awful traffic. But, slowly, the birds became visible, and I thought, "Is that an eagle?"
As I got closer, I realized it was, in fact, an eagle's nest--and lo and behold, the traffic jam became clear.
Now I was excited. I pulled over, as many others were doing, too--thus, the traffic jam--and took a look. It was two eagles, presumably a mother and its offspring, or maybe a breeding pair? I'm not actually sure which it is. But they were so beautiful. I pulled out my camera, and the shots, well...they're just amazing. I have no problem saying that this is my favorite shot of Road Trip.
And I wanted to post it right away. Still, it's already nearly 4 p.m. on the East Coast. But because I have Inmarsat's BGAN satellite modem, I decided to do it anyway. Not too many other people, I'm guessing, are going to be able to live-blog an eagles' nest from within Yellowstone. So here I am, sharing this incredible thing with you. Live.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
For the next two weeks, Geek Gestalt will be on Road Trip 2009. After driving more than 12,000 miles in the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest, and the Southeast over the last three years, I'll be writing about and photographing the best in technology, science, military, nature, aviation, and more in Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Colorado. If you have a suggestion for someplace to visit, drop me a line. And in the meantime, join the Road Trip 2009 Facebook page and follow my Twitter feed.