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Hike in Carson National Forest, NM

Well, this is a different photo trip! My wife Stephanie retired after twenty-plus years at Western Washington University, and we are driving with our dog from Bellingham Washington to Austin Texas for a family wedding. A little more than 2,400 miles each way, without stops or side trips. Google will tell you that it is roughly thirty-five hours each way, but towing a trailer slows you way down.

Snow Canyon State Park 2, Sunrise. UT

Since living in the truck is tight for two (and maybe not up to Steph’s expectations -- What!), we rented a small R-Pod and we are taking our home, or at least our family, on the road. The R-Pod is a small 19-foot trailer and this is the first time I have ever towed anything. It is a way different experience, both good and bad, and in my next article I will share some of those adventures.

Boise River Walk at Sunset, ID

Different also in that we are visiting friends along the way, with stops in Boise, Idaho and St. George, Utah. The river walk just outside of Boise at sunset was spectacular, and Snow Canyon State Park near St. George is one of the most beautiful parks anywhere – local, state, or federal.

Snow Canyon State Park, Sunrise. UT

As I write this, we have our first day alone under our belts, with last evening spent under the stars and the Milky Way at Lake Powell, and today’s drive through the Carson and Santa Fe National Forests. Tonight is a reprieve as we are in a wonderful hotel in Santa Fe so I can have a solid internet connection and we can splurge on dinner.

Echo Canyon, Carson National Forest. NM

It is also more complicated to take photographs. I’m not as confident as I am in the truck to just turn up a rough forest road or head for the high passes. I really don’t want to even pull off the road unless there is a visible and wide place to park. And more often than not, I see a great photo but by the time I slow down and find enough room to pull over, that opportunity is gone.

Lake Powell Sunset, AZ

An example is that the cottonwoods along both the Rio Chama and Rio Grande rivers were magnificent in their fall golden colors. These are the Bosque, forests with large, gnarly, and twisted cottonwood trees. They are so bright that your eye can follow the riparian areas, or the river channel, for miles if you are above the valley. But between narrow roads, mountain curves and traffic, I could not find a place to get that fantastic image that I wanted.

Bosque Cottonwoods, Central NM

So, this travel report has a few less photos than some weeks. I hope to correct that as I move forward, and I really hope to be able to share those cottonwoods.


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