Sunday, September 30, 2007

Desert Yucca

I could get used to the desert where everything has to adapt to survive. One of the things I enjoyed most about this trip was taking some pictures of desert life. This is a Yucca plant living in Canyonlands National Park. I converted it to black and white to emphasize the little white curly things on its leaves.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Only Place

In the Southwest United States is the only place where four states touch in one place. The area is on the Navajo Indian Reservation so they operate the park that holds this monument. In the center of the monument is this survey marker. This is a truly unique place.

Now, a trivia question. What state has more states bordering it or touching it than any other? The answer in the next edition of Ozark Photos :)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Joy of Moody Skies

I love it when it clouds up. Clouds can add a lot to a picture. This shot was taken on the roadside when I was traveling to Shiprock, NM from Chama, NM. I was looking for a simple picture to capture the mood of the day which was a little on the stormy side.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Most Unusual House

Located near the main street through downtown Silverton I found this unusual house. Each of the square sections could be no more than 12 -14 foot square. That means the porch may be 12 by 12 feet. The downstairs and upstairs would be about the same except there had to be room for a stairway.

I would have loved to seen the inside of this tiny little place.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Colorado Trip - Day 6 The Finale

These pictures were all taken in the morning at Arches National Park in Utah.

Courthouse Rock

Courthouse Rock Closeup

Double Arch

Delicate Arch

Near Double Arch

This will conclude my trip coverage. Of course I have many more pictures that I will share with you along the way as the circumstances warrant.

By the end of Day 6 I was actually pictured out. I wanted to get home so I set out for home and actually arrived home on Day 7. Utah is a long ways from Springfield. I put in a book on tape listening to Stuart Wood's Reckless Abandon and the trip home was a breeze.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Colorado Trip - Back to Day 4

Washing the front windows, Durango, Colorado

Climbing towards Rockwood. Highway 550 overpass north of Durango, Colorado

Rockwood, Colorado

Waiting for the train, Silverton, Colorado

Second Train Arriving, Silverton, Colorado

A small home Silverton, Colorado
I never realized how difficult it was to meter on black steam locomotives. I was continuously over exposing my shots.

The pictures above were taken in the Durango, Colorado and Silverton Colorado. The day would be spent traversing what I call the San Juan Mountains narrow gauge circle. I followed the Silverton Branch of the old Denver and Rio Grande (now known as the Durango & Silverton) from Durango to Silverton and the would cross over the Red Mountain Pass to Ouray, Colorado to follow the path of the Rio Grande Southern from Ouray through Montrose, Telluride, Ophir, Dolores and Mancos back to Durango. Due to heavy road construction the trip was not an easy one and took me much longer than expected.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Colorado Trip - Day 5

Ripples in Time. Canyonlands National Park , Utah

Desert Hunter. Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Turret Arch at Sunset. Arches National Park, Utah.

South Window Arch. Arches National Park, Utah.

German tourist shooting Turret Arch at sunset with her point and shoot.

I have gotten behind and ahead of myself. I have processed day 5 photos prior to day 4 photos. Oh well.

And actually I am now sitting at home doing this. I discovered that distances in the west are even further that you remember them. For that reason I got in late every night and have not been able to visit many blogs.

Day 5 saw a visit to Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park in Utah. I hope you enjoy these shots.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Colorado Trip - Day 3 - A Photo Study of Shiprock New Mexico

I am not going to say a lot about these. Shiprock is one impressive sight. It is a mystery and very sacred to the Navajo people. I hope you enjoy these different views.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Colorado Trip - Day 2

Day two started off with an early morning drive to Old Bent's Fort National Historic Site. Bent's Fort was a major stopping point on the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail. The first five photos were taken here. I love this place. The National Park employees are all in period costume and there is a store here that you can buy authentic items that would have been sold on the trail. Blankets, period clothing and hats, supplies as well as more traditional stuff like books and videos. I won't comment on each shot and just let you imagine life back then.

Stop 2 on day 2 was Great Sand Dunes National Park. These sand dunes are formed due to the peculiar way the Sangre de Christo Mountains block the wind and forces it to drop all the dust and sand it had been carrying. These things are huge. You can see two people walking in the picture below. I have also shown the mountain range that is responsible for these dunes. The final shot in the Great Sand Dunes shots are of a native aster ( I believe). I accidentally took this shot with my polarizing filter on. I kind of like the dark way it turned out.

The final shots of the day are of the two ends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. This line was formed by the States of Colorado and New Mexico when the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad decided to fold its remaining 3 foot narrow gauge lines. The top shot is of an engineer in Antonito, Colorado on the east end of the line. The bottom shot is of the West end of the line in Chama, New Mexico where I spent the night before continuing on my journey.

Those of you who follow me regularly will already realize I am a day behind due to the time it takes me to process my raw shots. Day 2 was huge fun. Day 3 will be interesting to you all as weather played a big role in what I ended up doing. Day 4 will be spent in Durango and on the narrow gauge circle in which I will follow the path of the Denver and Rio Grande branch to Silverton (now known as the Durango and Silverton). From there I will follow the Rio Grande Southern from Ouray back through Telluride to Durango.

Until I can get those raw shots process, I will see you on the road.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Colorado Trip- Day 1

I have a lot of ground to cover so let's get started. I left before dawn this morning from Springfield with the goal to reach Lamar, Colorado by sunset. I detest interstate highways so I planned my trip to cut across the southern part of Kansas on the backroads. When I left Springfield it was about 40 degrees and cloudy. About the time I hit the Kansas border I was in the middle of a line of thunderstorms. The shot below was taken of a windfarm in the storms. The rain was really coming down here and I had to roll the window down to take this shot from the truck.

This next shot of the grain elevator was taken in Cunningham, Kansas. I always seem to get pigeons in my grain elevator shots. (Teresa will get what I mean)

The next four shots were taken in Greensburg, Kansas. This town was hit by a devastating F5 tornado in May of this year. There is not much left of what once was a pleasant and quiet little town. Greensburg is the home of the largest hand dug well in the world. I can't even imagine coming out of my basement after this one. The damage was so severe they are even digging out the foundations of the homes. The prairie seems to be recovering the town.

The first two shots are downtown.

This next shot is taken in the small park by the hand dug well.

What is left of a stop sign.

I love cornfields and this one really got me to stop.

This was something I had never seen before. This camp was an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during the Second World War. What a sad chapter in our history. The camp has largely returned to the wild as you see in the final two pictures. All that remains are the concrete slab foundations of the barracks the Japanese-Americans stayed in. The cactus, yucca and sagebrush are filling in the rest of the camp. I think it has only recently been procured and converted into a historical park

Tomorrow I move on to Old Bent's Fort, Great Sand Dunes National Park and then Chama, New Mexico.

Hope every enjoys following along.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Wanderer

This photo is obviously staged, but it illustrates the part of a trip I enjoy the most. It is fun to dream and research where you are going. I enjoy looking for those little photo spots that most photographers overlook.

The pictures illustrate where I am going. The four corners region of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. Hopefully if the Internet connections are good this blog will become more of a travel blog for the next couple of weeks. I hope to illustrate where I have been and share the stories of the road.

I am lucky to have a wife that supports my need to wander even when she can't go. It has become much harder for her as we both share this love for photography. I dedicate this trip to her.

Pea Ridge will continue after my return. See you on the road.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Front Porch to the Civil War

This is the Elkhorn Tavern. Most of the fighting at Pea Ridge took place at this or near this location. I guess because it was a tavern it didn't get destroyed! And look in one picture I have been able to combine two of my main themes; front porches (double-decker again) and the Civil War.

The Battle of Pea Ridge marked the end of a campaign that began on Christmas Day, 1861, with the appointment of Brigadier General Samuel R. Curtis to head the Federal Southwestern District of Missouri. Curtis acted with more zeal that his predecessors and he began pushing Confederate and pro-Confederate forces out of the state of Missouri. By mid-February 1862, he and his troops had chased their main opponents, Major General Sterling Price and the Missouri State Guard into Arkansas.

The Union's Brig. Gen. Curtis was ambitious, but thoughtful. He was a leader and his men liked him and most of all trusted him. This almost cost him his army, but he also possessed a cool head in the heat of a crisis.....

Curtis knew a counter attack was imminent and he believed any attack would come from the south. Curtis and his men began digging in about two miles south of the Elkhorn Tavern. The work was exhausting in the half frozen, rocky soil of Northern Arkansas. Little did he know that personalities far more extreme than his own were playing a role in his be continued.

A personal note. This week will be a busy one for me as I prepare for a weeks vacation. I was originally scheduled to go with my camera club to the Tetons but that trip fell through on my part not theirs. There is still a large group going. I am now doing a more scaled back trip which I will hopefully be sharing with you toward the end of the week.

I hope everyones' week starts well.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Winter 1862, Pea Ridge, Arkansas

I have discovered another local Civil War Battlefield. This one has an even more interesting history than our own Wilson's Creek which has been covered a lot on this blog.

This picture is of one of the model displays in the visitors center and I love the way it turned out. As you can see from the title this battle occurred during the winter. Taking pictures of the Battlefield in the summer didn't seem to capture the mood of the actual battle very well. So hopefully this will set the mood and perhaps you will remember this shot as you see the others coming up.

The most fascinating thing about Pea Ridge is the personality of the participants. In fact I would say that personality won this battle and even saved Missouri for the Union.

OK, here is the background. Missouri was considered essential for the Union as it would serve as base of operations to secure and control the Mississippi River. Control of this waterway would keep supplies coming to the western front for the Union, it would drive a wedge through the South and it would cut off the Western Southern States of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas as well as the Indian Territory. That was the premise for the Battle of Pea Ridge.

Where is Pea Ridge? Pea Ridge is the name of a low ridge rising out of the White River Valley in Northwest Arkansas. It lies about 10 miles north of Rogers, Arkansas or 25 miles west of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It is actually about 50 miles south of Wilson's Creek on the old Wire Road. You will remember Wilson's Creek as a battle which occurred during August of 1861 and has been covered here before.

Tomorrow or Sunday more on Pea Ridge.... until then take care.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Bicycle Built for Two

I took this shot at Pea Ridge National Battlefield. It was taken about Noon as you can tell from the shadow. This couple was really trucking. They did the 7.9 mile loop twice as I was lollygagging around taking pictures. You could hear him coming from a ways off. He was singing praise hymns and old church songs as he rode. They were very friendly and tolerant of me as I would pass them and then they would pass me as I stopped to take pictures.

Looks like fun...but add into the equation it was sunny and about 90 degrees out.

I hope everyone has a great Thursday. Looks like I have more or less returned to a daily format for a while doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Pair of Double Deckers

These two porches were seen on the way to Pea Ridge, Arkansas. They are on Highway 37 South of Monett, Mo.

I saw more double deck porches this trip than I have ever seen. I am not sure what causes the proliferation of these around the town of Monett.

I hope everyone has a good Wednesday. I have some different pictures for later in the week.