Heading west for a week is one of the great moments in a year. A week. The open road. The big open country of the American west. Nothing quite like it.
It really is something you cannot get in other parts of the country. I've done drives east but they never have the same feeling of adventure of going west. There is something about the big open country of the west that is magical.
I left Fort Worth and took off up US 287. By the time you get close to Amarillo the towns have really started to really be spaced apart. There are more cows than people out here. The sky gets darker at night. You watch your gas gauge.
After staying up at Lake Meredith, I headed for New Mexico and the volcano studded open range in the north east part of the state.
It was cold and clear. I thought about doing an image of Mt Capulin with the stars. Then I passed into a thick cloudbank. So much for that. Right as I neared the mountain, I popped out of the cloud cover and into some cold clear air. My star trail image did not work but as the light came up on the plains low clouds started moving around the mountain. I managed to make an interesting image of the low clouds and morning glow on the mountain (top image).
BTW- I also got a chance to watch ice crystals form on my tripod leg as I was photographing. It was cold behind this front!
After watching the sunrise I headed farther west and by the time I made Raton, I was back under overcast sky.
I followed the road toward Cimarron and passed through ranching country. It was on that lonely road I made the second image of the range land and mesas that lie at the eastern edge of the Sangre de Christo Mountains.
It was the first full day on the road. I was heading to Wyoming. I was on the open range driving west.
What a day!