Last week I posted the first installment in a series of posts in which I share images from a collection of 14 rolls of Ektachrome slide film requiring an outdated chemical process, but which I decided to develop with black and white chemicals. In this set of pictures, we see the photographer’s continued photographic journey through one of the most photographed parks in the United States, along with additional clues suggesting the age of the film – we are probably in the neighborhood of 1970.
The deer, above, is taken during a roadside stop. Another photo can be seen in the collection where the cars are seen along the edge. Then there’s this bear who decides to amble across the road. We believe the VW Beetle is 1968 or 1969, while the car on the left is a 1963 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. So the photos are likely 1968 or newer – but not much newer because the E2 and E3 film processes were being replaced at this time.
While the bird appears to my uneducated eye to be nothing more than a common crow, I am impressed – given that I have used cameras of this time period – at the photographer’s ability to get the right thing in focus. The late 1960s saw a lot of cheaper, plastic cameras without much ability to focus much (imagine Instamatics and their precursors) so this may have been a higher-end camera given the number of photos its owner snapped on a trip to Yellowstone. But oddly, never had developed…
Given we know this was at Yellowstone National Park, the photo just below appears to be one of the geysers. But what is the marker in the photo just below that?
Update: Thanks to Mike for identifying the above location – “Fountain Paint Pot” in Yellowstone. This would have been great in color; here’s a contemporary shot of the same place.
The photo below appears to be a covered bridge (there is another murky photo in the collection that appears to be the same bridge from the outside). You can search by image in Google now, and all searches lead to the photo just below, “Honey Run Covered Bridge” in Chico, California. Unlikely that’s the bridge – but does anyone know of a similar bridge in or near Yellowstone?
Then there is also this unidentified building, which must have been significant enough to photograph; and finally, the grave of “John C. Fenex, an old-time cowboy.” I don’t find anything about this grave on the internet – is it a well-known Yellowstone sight? I’ll have to go and visit someday.
Update: a bit of sleuthing by my Mom reveals that the grave of John Fenex is in Fort Fetterman Cemetery, just north of Douglas, Wyoming. The photo was taken well outside of Yellowstone – east of the national park. Likely the photographer was either heading to, or from the park on their vacation, and briefly left Interstate 25 for this photo-op. It’s a relatively obscure cemetery so it seems a little odd that they would have ended up there. Here is more information on the grave.
While I was reading about John Fenex, I stumbled across another photo from Douglas, Wyoming – a postcard showing a rarely photographed angle of Ayres Natural Bridge, just south of I-25, that shows an abandoned power station in the background. Most photographers avoid showing the building and will photograph the bridge head-on.
This ended up being a close match to one of the photos I ended up not posting, but will share now:
You can view all of the found film in this set from Yellowstone (including a number I haven’t shared here) in this Flickr album.