Storm watching

Posted: August 18, 2020 in Personal, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Ever since we got married (36 years ago next month), we’ve been driving the same route to Wyoming, whether from Cleveland’s east side or Chicago’s southwest side. This year, except for the last 30 miles or so, it was new territory. I’d planned to get up at 4 am, but woke earlier, heading out in the dark to cover just under 700 miles, a trip that would take over 10 hours. I don’t stop much with a goal of gas/bathroom stops coinciding. I had food packed, tea in my Contigo thermal cups, plenty of snacks, and the wonderful BBC radio “Lord of the Rings” production for the CD player. Incidentally, that recording has made the trip with us for almost all those years, first on tape, now on CD.

I didn’t see much scenery the first several hours, the sky only lightening around 5:30 am. I saw where a wildfire had devastated acres and acres and then it was through the White Mountains, onto I-40 (paralleling or overlapping with historic Rt. 66 in many place, and to Albuquerque, where my route turned north towards Raton, New Mexico just south of the Colorado border where I’d stay overnight.

Rain in this part of the country and at this time of year is scarce. We’ve been in Arizona since the end of March and have experienced only a couple “showers”, in quotes because there often not enough to measure. But past Santa Fe near Wagon Mound, there was more than the promise of rain, although most of it was to the west of me. It looked wonderful!

I could see the rain coming down in the distance. All these shots were taken with my iPhone while driving BUT with one hand firmly on the wheel and eyes on the road. It gives point-and-shoot a whole new meaning and also means lots of deleted shots when I finally stop, but I often get some good ones, too.

You can see for many miles out here!

This isn’t exactly the stairway to heaven Led Zeppelin mentioned, but it does look as if you could get into the clouds if you had a head for climbing. Of course in a storm, climbing a metal structure is probably NOT the best idea. Anyone else visualizing a modern-day Jack and the Beanstalk here?

It was a good first day with only two stops, but I was happy to get to Raton. Gas for the van, then back to the motel where I plunked down on the bed to watch some first season “NCIS” reruns. Man, did everyone look young!!

P.S. In the way of all things, tonight after I wrote this, we had a thunderstorm with high winds,spectacular lightning, lot of thunder, and yes, even rain. 🙂

  1. peggyjoan42 says:

    Great shots from your phone. Loved that first photo and the tower to Heaven. We use to always say as we traveled in the West – you can see for a hundred miles. We own a couple of acres of land near Albuquerque, but will probably never live there.So glad you got to see some new areas on your drive. Stay safe out there. Today is my husband and my 58th wedding anniversary – so I am far ahead of you. Have traveled Route 66 – when it was really route 66.

  2. Tish Farrell says:

    These are great weather shots, Janet, especially the first one.

  3. scr4pl80 says:

    What stunning pictures! Nature has been doing its thing all over the place lately. I got some shots of the lightning show we had the other morning. Cool to see the rain coming down in the distance.

  4. marianallen says:

    Fabulous shots! I live in the woods, so I don’t get to see sights like that often. My treat is standing on dry grass, hearing a growing hiss, and knowing rain is coming my way. It’s by the road. It’s in the gully. It’s at the edge of the drive. DOWNPOUR!

    • 🙂 I understand that, Marian. I remember once when I was a child and we were driving somewhere, we drove from dry road into a huge rain storm. It was just a line: dry on one side, pouring on the other. Out in this part of the country, you can see for many, many miles in quite a few places. Very different from the woods, but both with their own charm.

  5. Great cloud shots, and of course it rained after you said it hadn’t. Maybe that’s the plan for next time. 🙂

  6. Dan Antion says:

    Summer storms can be fascinating to watch.

  7. Ingrid says:

    We left IL in the ’90s and called Colorado home for 25 years. When our son moved to Phoenix in 2010, we found ourselves driving that very route … I-40 to I-25 many a time. Once we bought the RV, we would take weeks to make that same drive that might only take a long day and discovered so many great sights along the way. Enjoy!

  8. de Wets Wild says:

    Nothing like the sight and smell of rain falling on parched earth, is there Janet?

  9. Debbie Smyth says:

    Wow! I love those photos, Janet. Stunning open space and sky, so different to our countryside. A great start to your trip

  10. Rupali says:

    Amazing series.

  11. You did get some good shots! Yay iPhone and a steady hand. Happy 36th anniversary!