Week 110 — Storm on the Plains

Storm on Colorado's Eastern Plains
Fuji X-T2; Fuji 56mm f/1.2 R; 1/340s; f/8; ISO 200

I took this shot while I was driving back to Fort Collins for my sister’s wedding. The drive between Nebraska and Colorado doesn’t exactly wow you with dramatic scenery. It’s flat, straight, and there’s a lot of corn. Eastern Colorado is arguably the most boring stretch of this drive to the untrained eye. But I’ve made this drive at least 30 times over the last 8 years, and my eye is beginning to get trained.

I’ve come to treasure the stretch of road between Sterling and Fort Collins. The distance from when I turn onto CO–14 in Sterling and when I turn off it on the east side of Fort Collins is exactly 100 miles. There are roughly five times I need to turn the steering while during this time, and I usually have the road to myself for as far as I can see (which is why I was able to stand in the middle of the road for this image). So there’s a lot of time to think and observe the world around you without feeling rushed or distracted. In that relaxed mindset I’ve come to appreciate things like the red garage doors on Prairie Cafe in Stoneham (population: 224).

I also spend a great deal of my time on these drives observing the clouds and the weather. Colorado’s Eastern Plains produce some harsh weather, including severe afternoon thunderstorms in the summer months. On this drive, I was fortunate enough to witness one of these storms form overhead at a time when the horizon was clear and bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun over the Rockies. It’s not an evening I’ll forget any time soon, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else this stretch of land has in store for me in the future.

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