5 Minutes of time for yours truly on the side of a dirt road.
Ok so this picture isn’t of a little rain cloud; it’s huge. And it’s not necessarily dark, but rather quite bright in the remnants of the setting sun. It warranted pull-off to the side of the road, as it was so interesting. I stopped the SUV and just stared at it for a while to take in every fluff and shadow. My eyes were transfixed and I followed the lines and shadows, watching the rain on one side and the drifting wisps on the other. It was magnificent. Yep, I just called a cloud magnificient.
An Afternoon in the Clouds of Wyoming
Interesting cloudscapes over the plains of Wyoming near a little town called Egbert.
The overcast skies seemed endless and no matter which way I pointed my camera, they were different in every direction. It was such a relaxing and warm day.
Dried yet still fiercely beautiful yucca plants dotted the hills.
I never complain about driving here when my views are always the epic mountains, the vast plains or any number of sweeping storm systems across the skies. No matter the day, the hour or the weather; the drive is never dull or expected. Humbling every time.
Breathing in the peaceful solitude of The Garden of the Gods.
The other weekend marked a local road trip excursion running south to Colorado Springs, CO to The Garden of the Gods.
On entering The Garden of the Gods, a giant plaque came into view on following the sidewalks into the midst of the open space, reminding everyone that this beautiful place was a gift – and that added a layer of appreciation to the entire visit. Truly, some family could have kept this to themselves – but generously gave it to the city for all to get to enjoy.
The Garden of the Gods is otherworldly. It’s calm, and buffered; almost an enormous waiting room to be still, away from the world, just beyond the hills. The high walls and cliffs jutting up to form barriers between the hustle and bustle of Colorado Springs below.
Like many of the public parks and spaces in Colorado, it’s very well-kept and a clean space to enjoy. Paved sidewalks in all directions are plenty; you could spend hours just following them all.
While walking around I noticed that hawks and pigeons quietly held sentry on the ledges above. There was stillness here. Other than the squeal of an excited child or brief laughter, the Garden is quiet. You really don’t want to leave.
Craggy and contrasting peaks rise in all directions.
The landscape is otherworldly.
It’s all fun and games until someone turns on a drone and ruins the peaceful quiet. I’m sure they got great photos, but at the cost of the peace of everyone else there (and the wildlife).
The awe-inspiring views of the Rocky Mountains always pull my attention from the hamster wheel of daily life. Whether I’m running errands, pulling into my subdivision or taking a walk, I can’t help but look westward and get lost in the moment wherever I am.
While driving back to Colorado this afternoon, I caught myself thinking how beautiful and different this day was in contrast all the prior weekends.
Their colors depend on the sky, clouds and light. Their contrast changes with the seasons and the winter snows. Every morning, new mountains, filling the same shape and size, seem to replace the last.
But they still take my breath away, and I hope they always do.
Exploring the banks of the Poudre River on a winter morning.
A little pre-holiday adventuring off Highway 14 on Poudre Canyon Road running towards Roosevelt National Forest, just outside of Fort Collins.
Where it was still shaded from the mid-morning sun, the water was frozen over several inches thick. I was thankful for my wool blend base layers. It was still and silent, as if the river was asleep under an icy blanket.
Where it was sunny, everything seemed normal. I wasn’t struggling so much with aperture settings. And I could feel my fingers on my camera.
It was beautiful country and had countless side-road areas I’d never driven out to before. Off Highway 14, there were several pull-offs that enable you to walk down to the river and enjoy the scenery.
The ice fascinated me more than the views actually. It was quite thick in places, so much so that you could walk out onto the water.
I was taken by river rocks; their coloration and texture paired with the currents frozen around them fascinated me.
While the intent was to actually head out on a hike, one can have just as good of a time wandering the pull-offs that dotted the road and never actually taking a trail.
Just goes to show it’s worth it to leave a little room for changes in plans sometimes.