Happy 2024!

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Alright… We’re finally at the end of our amazing road trip across the southwest desert.  We spent time at my parent’s cabin in Grand Lake, we learned all about the ancient Puebloans at Mesa Verde, and we swung by Four Corners on our way to Moab.  There, we discovered a hiker’s paradise and endless visual candy for a photographer’s eye.  Canyonlands amazed us with the vast expanses of echoey canyons.  I got to see the arch that started it all, Corona Arch, in person.  And I simply couldn’t get enough of Arches.

It was such an incredible adventure (and yes, I’m one of those weird people who really enjoy vacationing with my parents), so we were sad to see it end.  However, no vacation can last forever.  I at least got my sunrise, and I even managed to get some stars.. even if it wasn’t quite how I planned.  In fact, few things actually went the way we had intended, but that just added to the enjoyment!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

We reluctantly departed Moab, vowing to return soon (we have to hit up Bryce Canyon and the Needles next time!), and hit the long, arduous road home.

It’s a long way from Moab to Portland (about 15.5 hours, actually); that’s a long time to be stuck in a car (don’t worry; I won’t bore you with the driving), so we stopped part way in Twin Falls, Idaho.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

Now, I must mention: Aaron and I have a special relationship with Idaho.  Namely, we loathe Idaho.  I assure you, we have our reasons, and perhaps I’ll regale that story sometime soon.  In short, we weren’t looking forward to spending any time in the potato state.

However, it makes for a good midway point in such a long drive.

We decided to make the most of it and check out some of the falls of Twin Falls, Idaho.  We were actually pleasantly surprised!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

We wound up at Shoshone Falls, and though it was barely a trickle of the roaring torrent it typically is, it was still quite picturesque.  We hadn’t planned for sunset, but we just happened to catch it (after all our work for sunrise, perhaps this was karma paying us back a bit?).  It splendidly painted the falls in a warm, golden light, and the scattered clouds made for some stunning colors.

I didn’t really go all out with my tripod and long exposures; in fact, I only had my little commuter camera out.  It was really almost an afterthought that we went to see the falls at all.  The wind was surprisingly chilly for September, so we didn’t stay long, but I felt I got some decent shots with that perfect lighting.  I even managed an in-camera panorama.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

Idaho was nice to us this time around.. or perhaps it was just kind to my parents.  Either way, the falls weren’t a bad way to sign off on our road trip.

We considered adding Oregon’s Painted Hills to our route back, but that would have added two hours, and we wouldn’t be able to catch it during any sort of reasonable lighting, so we opted out.  Besides, I think our experience quota was well and full for one trip.  We’ll save that for next time.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

Thanks for joining us on this adventure!  (Read the entire journey here.)  We’re always out doing things, so look forward to more excitement next week!

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