A very memorable event in Yellowtone Loon history

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 07:49:49 05/06/17

In Reply to: From a time... posted by 46er


I know this is not new news, but your post prompts me to make mention of the significance of what this photo represents, for the benefit of those newer to the community or even, those for whom the dust of time has obscured the memory.

This photo was taken on the weekend preceding the Summer Solstice in June of 2004, which occurred on a Monday evening, if I'm not mistaken. Alison's family had traveled to Yellowstone from California to bring Alison back to her favorite place, the place she had spent two joyful summers as a park employee after high school.

These are Loons who had participated in a series of short hikes on this day. One of those hikes resulted in the non-official designation of an unnamed backcountry lake as "Alison Lake". To this day, that name persists within the Loon community, and I know of over 50 individuals who I have personally led to this feature, and educated, regarding the colloquial nomenclature, and its origin.

On a personal level, I met a number of Loons who were new to me that weekend, and who have become fast friends over time, including several who became long term Yellowstone backpacking and day hiking partners. We met Alison's family on that evening of the Summer Solstice, and accompanied them to Alison's final resting place above Mammoth. Some of those family members returned to Yellowstone, and joined us on day hikes in summers since.

One particularly noteworthy physical remnant of Alison's life, and the commemoration of her life by family and friends that extended weekend in 2004 is the Memory Book, filled with printed copies of posts made on the chat page during the 24 hour dedicated Loon Roll Call, along with photos of the memorial, and even a video. Dan M. deserves recognition for his video work and post production labor. Beej merits recognition for the many hours she invested in producing two of the Memory Books, one of which was accessioned into the Yellowstone Archives, the only branch of the National Archives outside of Washington, D.C.

Hopefully, the image of a group of Yellowstone Loons at Alison Lake in 2008 accompanies this post.


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