Autumn 2017

Looking out over the San Andreas Fault, Indio Hills and Little San Bernardino Mountains from Keys View, Joshua Tree National Park, California (2017)

Autumn has historically been one of the best times of year to travel. The crowds of summer have dwindled and children are back in school. But the fall colors are still there. The crisp bite in the air is still tasted. The smells of damp, downed foliage permeates fresh morning air and autumn light is second to none. Skies come alive as storm systems materialize around the fringes of the seasons. Rates in hotels drop significantly the last week of October and first week of November. Gas prices are usually down. Campgrounds are largely still open and far less crowded. In the quiet absence of crowds, one is free to – if only for a short time – experience a little peace, a little solitude, a little quiet joy.

OLYMPIC 2017

Liberty Bell Peak and Washington Pass, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington (2017)

For many years I’ve had a fascination with the Pacific Northwest, and more specifically, Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula. One early memory comes from a American Wilderness TIME-LIFE series book given to me one Christmas about the Cascades. I was a young teenager in the midwest only able to dream of far away places at the […]

Covering Country: 4042N, Year 8

Wind River Mountains, c.1990

I realized something of great importance this past Saturday while traveling Iron Mountain Road in Wyoming: I love Wyoming. I love it the way you love something you didn’t realize you loved at first. The way some things kinda sneak up on you when you’re not looking then bam – there they are and you wonder […]

Boulder, Colorado

Winter light against Boulder, Colorado's Flatirons.

Often times when you head out for the day along Colorado’s Front Range you simply don’t know what the day holds. That’s one of the reasons it’s such fun: that unexpected surprise emerging when you think you’re looking for one thing – and another takes you completely off guard. Such was the case on this […]

Dark Skies in New Mexico

A moonless October night proved an excellent opportunity to view the Milky Way above New Mexico's remote Bisti Wilderness.

Looks like I’m going to have another go at the Bisti this weekend. It’ll be the first real road trip of 2017 and I’m excited. After recently getting the 645 dialed in I’m feeling ready for whatever happens. I’ve been watching the weather and depending on how you see things, it looks great. When we were down […]

2016 Autumn Walkabout: Monument Valley, Utah

Blue Hour, Artist's Point, Monument Valley, Utah

We’ve just returned from the annual fall walkabout, this time to the American Southwest in search of perfect light. We found it in Monument Valley, Utah one morning. This first of a series of entries won’t be a linear description of the trip, but instead snippets surrounding given images, memories or thoughts. After spending a […]

Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

I have had the privilege of living in Colorado since 1981 when I moved to Fort Collins to attend Colorado State University. Having moved from Illinois, I’d literally do anything to get into the mountains. At first a poor college student with no car, I once borrowed a friend’s bike – two sizes too large – to […]

Elk Mountain, Wyoming

Elk Mountain, Wyoming

At first it looked like a dead animal – a brownish, furry lump in the middle of the dirt 320. The wind blew and late morning sun peeked in and out of an active sky. Through a dirty windshield it was tough to make out. As the car slowly rolled closer, the profile of a small […]