One thing I love about being out in the American West are the skies. The enormous skies. The big, big skies. The skies that just seem to go forever. And they cover equally huge panoramas. Vistas that just fill your senses with. Wide. Open. Space. Taking representative photos of the west can be a real challenge, because so many times the resulting images look flat and lack any real sense of scale. But this is one that works that way for me; it’s our rental car, framed in the vast openness of the Gravelly Range in southwestern Montana.
Photo info: Big, big skies Gravelly Range Road Cameron, Montana September 2014 Eastman Double-X 5222 film Voigtländer Heliar 15/4.5 ASPH lens Leica M3 35mm film camera
It doesn’t seem possible that as much time has flown by as it has, but here we are. While exploring Yellowstone National Park, Cindy and I hiked up to the Mount Washburn fire lookout tower back in 2014 (2014!!! Jeez, it seems like yesterday!), and had a marvelous time doing so. As hikes go, it’s not terrible – unless you’re out-of-shape flatlanders, which we were at the time. The views from the trail are beautiful both on the way up and down, there are lot of critters to view both up close and through binoculars, not a lot of fellow hikers on the trail, wonderfully crisp air, and an absolutely spectacular 360° panorama at the top.
However, the Mt. Washburn trail is closed this entire year, due to the following road construction:
Tower-Roosevelt to Canyon Junction
Improvements: This segment of road remains largely unchanged since the last improvements in the 1930s. This construction project will widen the road and provide additional/improved pullouts; create a larger, safer parking area at Tower Fall General Store; and improve the trail and overlook for Tower Fall. To fund this project, the park received a grant through the Nationally Significant Federal Lands Program and will match it with fee dollars collected in the park.
Access: The road between Tower-Roosevelt and Canyon Junction will be completely closed for the 2021 season, which includes Tower Fall Campground and Tower Fall General Store. There will be no access to hiking trails in the closure, including Mount Washburn, Calcite Springs Overlook, and Tower Fall. From early November through March, Tower Fall and trails in the vicinity will be open for skis and snowshoes, snow-permitting (follow all closure signage posted at Tower-Roosevelt). The anticipated completion date for this project is May 2022.
From one of my many visits to Baltimore. Prior to the pandemic, I would typically visit the various sights in Baltimore once or twice per year. I think that this is the longest period I’ve gone without having dropped by at some point – approaching nearly two years or more now. For those interested, this is the lightship Chesapeake (LV-116) and you can read about it here.
Photo info: The lightship Chesapeake (LV-116) The Inner Harbor Baltimore, Maryland March 2015 Eastman Double-X 5222 film Voigtländer Heliar 15/4.5 ASPH lens Leica M3 35mm film camera