Of Mountains and Mist: Surveying the Big Sky Winter with Brian Merriam, Part 2

A snowy landscape along a treeline where a herd of bison are huddled together

Brian Merriam’s photographs offer an earnest and eager appreciation for the outdoors. Each image acting as both an inviting adventure and a dramatic call to action, providing the necessary inspiration to phone in that vacation time and get lost in the beauty of the vast American landscape. Follow along on the second half of Brian’s journey through the early-winter tinted landscape of Montana and Wyoming.
32600019A light dusting of snow had fallen on Jackson over night. When we woke up, a few flakes were still meandering their way down through the cold breeze. What we didn’t know at the time was that over a foot had accumulated in the park. In a few hours time, we would see what was just yesterday a world of lush greens and yellows, and geothermal mists transformed into a winter wonderland.

The timing couldn’t have been better. It was the last day of the year that the interior roads of Yellowstone would be open, and to be able to explore the park under completely different conditions than the days prior was truly a gift. The night before we’d watched the sunset brilliantly over the Tetons. As we stood before the craggy peaks this morning, the palette of glowing pastels had been replaced by a coat of steely grey. It was no less spectacular, albeit in a different way.32600035
Places we had visited in the park just a day before had been rendered unrecognizable under mounds of fresh powder, and the geothermal mists had grown even thicker. I had joked with my friend prior to embarking on the trip how all I really wanted were photos of Bison with snow on them. Fate must have been taking requests that day, because we saw them in abundance.32670013
As with most things, it seems fate comes with a small price, and with this I will leave you. When making the potentially ill advised choice to approach Bison along the roadside, if youre going to leave your dogs in the car, be sure not to leave the remote key unlock on the center console. Dogs know not where they step.