And the winners are ...

A hot spring near Yellowstone's Firehole River

Congratulations to Marc Payne of the blog The Perfect Drift and Steve Zakur who writes the blog Sipping Emergers--these two gentlemen will get the chance to visit Yellowstone National Park this summer as part of TU's annual blogger tour. Their essays were chosen as grand prize winners in the TU/Simms/Yellowstone Park Foundation/Outdoor Blogger Network 2012 Blogger Tour contest.

Congratulations, guys... very well done! I'll be in touch soon with details--until then, make plans to get to Headwaters Lodge by 4 p.m. July 24, when the fun will begin.

And, of course, a very special thanks to:

  • Rebecca Garlock, Joe Wolf and the Outdoor Blogger Network for partnering with TU on this project for the second year in a row
  • Simms, for it's help in sponsoring this endeavor
  • The Yellowstone Park Foundation, for help sponsoring the tour, and for all the great work the foundation does on behalf of Yellowstone National Park
  • All 33 bloggers who participated in the essay contest--the judging was truly very difficult, and I'm grateful to each and every one of them for taking up the pen and taking a swing at this contest. If I would, I'd have every single one of them join us on the tour this summer

Now for the fun part. These two bloggers will get the chance to see the effort to net lake trout from the depths of Yellowstone Lake--lakers are a non-native, invasive fish that is taking a real toll on native Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the lake. Additionally, they'll get to experience all that is Yellowstone--over four days in late July, they'll see the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone Falls, the Lamar Valley (often called the American Serengeti), the Gibbon, Madison, Firehole and Gallatin rivers and, of course, Old Faithful.

The tour through the park will be centered around the National Park Service's efforts to remove lake trout from Yellowstone Lake and to restore the park's dwindling populations of native Yellowstone and west slope cutthroat trout, as well as native grayling that once thrived in the Gibbon River drainage, which is essentially the headwaters of the Missouri River.

Stay tuned to Mark's and Steve's blogs over the next several weeks--I have a feeling they're going to be doing some writing in preparation for this adventure.

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