Never Lost

“The Great Plains in those early days were solitary and desolate beyond the power of description; the Arkansas River sluggishly followed the tortuous windings of its treeless banks with a placidness that was awful in its very silence; and whoso traced the wanderings of that stream with no companion but his own thoughts, realized in all its intensity the depth of solitude from which Robinson Crusoe suffered on his lonely island. Illimitable as the ocean, the weary waste stretched away until lost in the purple of the horizon, and the mirage created weird pictures in the landscape, distorted distances and objects which continually annoyed and deceived. Despite its loneliness, however, there was then, and ever has been for many men, an infatuation for those majestic prairies that once experienced is never lost…”

Henry Inman
The Old Santa Fé Trail
1897

Grain Beats Pixels

Before cell phones were smart, and before I owned a DSLR, I carried one of those crude pocket digital cameras; you remember…the kind with a max resolution of 640 x 480. Found the shot above, featuring my dad’s Stetson hat, in my archive.

Below: same car, different hat. Once I found that old digital image, I remembered this frame in my negative library. Love the grain on this 3200 film. As far as I can tell, this is the first self-portrait I ever shot with the LeMans…probably less than a year after I purchased it. Parked here between Highway 1 and a seaside cliff, the Pacific booming right below me. This spot is just a short walk from my favorite coastal hiking ground, as described in this post.

Kodak T-MAX P3200 film

Marin County, California
1991

 

 

27 Years

Happy to report that the rain paused long enough for me to enjoy an anniversary drive this weekend. As an added bonus, the young crescent moon popped out from behind the clouds just as the ride ended.

By the way, these aren’t lakes…they’re flooded cornfields. Been a rainy, rainy, rainy few months here.

Season Opener

Unusually deep into the calendar for a season-opening drive, but 2017 has delivered the most cloudy and damp spring that I can recall. Driving weather finally arrived this past weekend; it felt great to be out on the road again. Happy to report that the car is running smoothly after several months in hibernation. Stay tuned for more joyriding photos and another long westward drive this September (dates and destinations yet to be determined).

Carl on the Rocks

Waving to you from the rim of this magnificent stone formation in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. I have now shown you all of the images from my September/October road trip. I hope you enjoyed riding along and seeing these pictures from the obscure corners of the US and Canada that I was able to explore on that long drive.

Of course, another long road trip will unwind this fall, though the dates and destinations have yet to be selected…

Free Range

Meanwhile, north of Colorado…
I’ve yet to share any of the photos that I shot in Wyoming back in September. Last autumn’s epic 8448-mile road trip brought me through central Wyoming for the first time; a shame it took me so long to visit the area, as this part of the state is a showcase of natural beauty. I hope to explore this region often in the years ahead.

I was able to spend one sunny day hiking across scenic BLM ground located in the western foothills of the Bighorn Mountains. As is the case with most land held by the BLM, only motorized vehicles must remain on marked trails; hikers and those riding horses may roam freely.

Certainly, more than 99% of the miles that I have hiked to date were logged on established trails. But I have been fortunate enough to walk through a handful of places in the world where off-trail travel is permitted, and those experiences bring a deeper level of satisfaction, as did this trek. It was quite special to be so close to these big, beautiful rock formations, and to be able to immerse myself in the silence and solitude to a degree that I could never attain in a crowded national park. In places like these, far away from the visible reminders of civilization, you can really sense the timelessness of the landscape.

I think I was being followed…