We did manage to get out of Rapid City today (October 14th). I was a bit worried about the cold temperatures which were topping out around 25º. We left around mid-day in hopes of the sun warming the roads enough to melt the black ice that tends to form on wet pavement. The first part of the day was a little dicy, with some icy/slushy roads in the higher elevations, but by the time we hit I 25, the roads were dry and clear.
One of the disadvantages of traveling in the motorhome manifested itself on this part of the road. The last several days of snow had covered many miles of the plains with a few inches of snow and driving down the highway, we wanted to stop in many places to photograph the spectacular countryside. But in the motorhome, this is nearly and impossible thing to do safely. There is a fairly wide shoulder on I 25, and in an emergency I would have no qualms of stopping. In the Rav4 that we tow with us, I would also not have a problem doing this. I could still get well off the road and feel safe. But in the motorhome, I just could just not get off the road enough to feel safe. This meant we could only shoot when I could pull off at periodic exits and/or turnouts. I did manage a few stops and it was well worth it.
Traveling through a snowy landscape like this was a rather unique experience for us. As native San Franciscans, when we are in snow, it’s usually in the Sierra’s where we drive on either dry or wet roads until we hit the snow. It’s usually not that many miles till we get to our destination. Here in Wyoming, the snowy plains go on for miles and mile and as far as the eye can see. This results in a landscape we have just never experienced before. I could have photographed along the highway all day if not in the motorhome. The snow really changed the entire feel of the plains. Now, forms that were hidden, are revealed, creating a whole new viewpoint. If not for wanting to get to warmer weather, we would have lingered here longer.
We eventually arrived in Fort Collins Colorado for the night. While here, we made time to visit The Center For Fine Art Photography. I am a member there and I recently got one of my prints accepted into the Art of Nature group show slated for exhibit later this year.
Because of the severe weather the past couple of weeks, we’ve had to change some of our plans. We had to cut out most of our time in the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota. Instead, we’ve decided to head south to warmer climes. Our next main stop will be Great Sand Dunes National Park in southeastern Colorado. From there, we plan to pass through Durango CO, on to Canyonlands, perhaps Navajo National Monument, Zion and Coral Pink Sand Dunes Sate Park in Utah.