Truly, a beautiful morning. Even in the bitter cold I had to stand outside and admire the full moon gazing out of a purple sky as it gently shone over Gardiner. I even took my gloves off in order to take a photograph.
The wash of blue—the last remenant of dawn—on Electric Peak also captured my attention. Standing 10,969 ft tall, it’s the highest peak in the Gallatain Range and the sixth highest in Yellowstone. I enjoy being greeted by such a striking neighbor every day from my home.
Given my passion for all things weather, the peak’s name has an appropriate backstory. According to author W. Blevins in his book, A Roadside History of Yellowstone Park, the peak was named in 1872 after a team making a geological survey almost died in a lightning storm. Their leader, Henry Gannett, described the incident:
"A thunder-shower was approaching as we neared the summit of the mountain. I was above the others of the party, and, when about fifty feet below the summit, the electric current began to pass through my body. At first I felt nothing, but heard a crackling noise, similar to a rapid discharge of sparks from a friction machine. Immediately after, I began to feel a tingling or prickling sensation in my head and the ends of my fingers, which, as well as the noise, increased rapidly, until, when I reached the top, the noise, which had not changed its character, was deafening, and my hair stood completely on end, while the tingling, pricking sensation was absolutely painful. Taking off my hat partially relieved it. I started down again, and met the others twenty-five or thirty feet below the summit. They were affected similarly, but in a less degree. One of them attempted to go to the top, but had proceeded but a few feet when he received quite a severe shock, which felled him as if he had stumbled. We then returned down the mountain about three hundred feet, and to this point we still heard and felt the electricity."
Summer thunderstorms are going to be quite delightful from my porch.
I am happy to report that today I walked from my office to the IT department across the street without a coat and I did not freeze to death!
P.S. Forgot to post this photo the other day of a bull elk.