It was an eventful year – late in the summer of ’88 Fred and I brought Michaela into the world, then a couple of weeks later we evacuated our apartment in Corpus Christi, Texas, to escape hurricane Gilbert. We strapped our newborn baby girl into her car seat in our new red Subaru wagon with Dagwood and Louie (Golden Retriever and Black Lab) watching over her from the back hatch and headed out. Gilbert went south and hit Mexico, we returned and moved a week later to coastal North Carolina by way of southern Colorado to visit family. Meanwhile, much further to the north, Yellowstone was burning.

Entering Yellowstone from the east via Cody on our Grand Wyo Tour brought back memories of ’88 as the fire’s wrath is still very evident. There’s not much replacement tree growth like there is in other parts of the park. Now 27, Michaela commented on how surprised she was to see scorched tree stalks for miles, and how it felt like we were driving through a post-apocalyptic scene. Contributing to the eerie feeling was the haze of smoke from the wildfires burning in Washington and Oregon that had blown into Wyoming.

We stopped at a Yellowstone Lake overlook, and I created a few installations. The stunning view of the Tetons I’d seen just a couple of months before was hidden. We took in the views of the tree stalks, and I’ve since sketched some ideas inspired by them.

We climbed back into our red Subaru wagon (a newer one) and headed on down the road around the lake and on to Jackson Hole.