Friday, April 12, 2013

2013 Spring Trip - Day 4 - To Farmington, and beyond

Monday, March 25, 2013

I woke up this morning to a beautiful sight outside my motel room.  The sun was shining and there was a clean layer of snow on everything.  No matter how long winter has been I always love the sight of falling snow and sunny mornings after a fresh snowfall.  I decided I needed a real breakfast this morning instead of cereal again and found a local restaurant in the middle of Walsenburg.

When I walked in I was greeted by four men sitting at the table in front.  I imagine they regularly meet at the Alpine Rose Cafe for breakfast.  I sat down at the bar and the lady reading the newspaper a few seats down came over and gave me a menu.  It will be bacon, eggs and hot cakes plus coffee, somewhat similar to my favorite breakfast at South of the Border in Grand Marais.


I suspect the lady was also the cook since she disappeared into the back and eventually came out with my breakfast.  She had given me the local newspaper and as I ate I checked out what was happening around Walsenburg.

Alpine Rose Cafe

After breakfast it was time to head west.  I'd decided to take this route, heading west from Walsenburg on US 160, since it took me to Farmington but also passed by Great Sand Dunes National Park.  My thinking was to spend some time at Great Sand Dunes then head to Bisti Wilderness, outside of Farmington,  for late afternoon and sunset.

I got to the turnoff to the dunes made the right turn heading in north in the direction of the dunes.  I'd stopped here twice before but have never actually been out on the dunes.  The problem today was it was noonish which isn't a good time photographically to shoot the dunes.  It's much better morning and evening when the lines made my the sand stand out and create interesting patterns.  I'd driven about a half mile down the road when I decided to abandon this idea and just head to Bisti and I'm glad I did.

The drive to Bisti was uneventful and I arrived in the parking lot about 3 in the afternoon.  Sunset was around 7:30 so I had a few hours to shoot.  There were a few people in the parking lot but they looked like they were leaving.  My original plan was to get to Farmington Sunday night and spend the day at Bisti but that didn't work out.  Now I had the late afternoon, a great time to be there, and I was going to make the best of it.

This was my second time at Bisti.  At first glance the area looks rather dull and uninteresting but once you get about a mile into the wilderness it changes drastically.  Since my time was limited I decided to go to an area where I'd been during the last trip.  It was just a 1 or 2 mile walk from the car and it had some interesting formations.  I loaded up my gear and was off.

Following is a collection of images I made that afternoon and evening.

It was dark then I got back to the car.  The moon was shining brightly which meant I didn't need, nor use, my flashlight.  I've always love walking at night by the light of the moon.  Had I been more adventurous,  having someone with me would have made it fun, I'd have stayed out and done some shooting by the light of the moon.  There is something about moonlight that adds a different character to the scene.

Tonight was going to be my first night camping out on this trip.  By camping out I mean sleeping in the back of my Forrester.  When I went looking for a travel vehicle a few years ago I wanted one that I could stretch out my 6'4" frame in the back and be comfortable.  It took a little customization and the result is quite comfortable.

Tomorrow I'm meeting up with Travis and Jessica who are on their honeymoon.  I'm looking forward to spending a few days with them exploring Utah and some slot canyons.

Good Night.


BTW, when I first viewed the portrait image above on the computer there was movie figure that popped out of the screen.  Do you see what I see?

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