TRAVEL
TRAVEL

Postcards From the West

In their Postcards From the West series, writer Christopher Reynolds and photographer Mark Boster search for new angles and forgotten history among some of the most iconic views in the American West. (Click here to see a map of all locations.)

  • Yellowstone's steaming, splashing, roaring spectacle is best seen up close

    Yellowstone's steaming, splashing, roaring spectacle is best seen up close

    Most days, in most ways, this park's Upper Geyser Basin is a geothermal outlaw biker beach party — belching and splashing at all hours, with a sulfuric whiff of menace riding the breeze. But in one patch of boiling mud, about 17 times a day, the bubbling becomes something bigger. Heated to 200...

  • At Crater Lake, Ore., sky and water become one, bathed in blue

    At Crater Lake, Ore., sky and water become one, bathed in blue

    The California border was just behind us, and Times photographer Mark Boster and I were roaring up a rain-soaked Oregon highway past fog-shrouded forests and green-stubbled boulders. About an hour outside Ashland, Ore., the road began to climb. Pretty soon we were 7,000 feet above sea level and...

  • The Grand Canyon, just as the Kolb brothers pictured it

    The Grand Canyon, just as the Kolb brothers pictured it

    They were just a couple of greenhorns from Pittsburgh, but the Kolb brothers knew the greatest photo op in the West when they saw it. It was 1902. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway had just begun service to the Grand Canyon. The Kolbs gaped at the South Rim and bought the only photo studio...

  • In Death Valley, a Jeep, back roads and a whole new perspective

    In Death Valley, a Jeep, back roads and a whole new perspective

    It took me several trips here to realize this, but if you know where to look and time it right, Death Valley is one giggle after another. Sure, it's vast, wind-raked, sun-baked and empty-seeming. Yes, it will confirm your puniness in the universe. And it might kill you if you're in the wrong place...

  • In San Antonio, remembering (and rethinking) the Alamo

    In San Antonio, remembering (and rethinking) the Alamo

    The most famous building in Texas is smaller than you expect, and it's about as pretty as your average California mission. In fact, it was once a mission, though these days it stands across the street from an unholy row of Ripley's and Guinness tourist operations. You can cover it in about two...

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