I’d left Ely (pronounced Eee-lee), Nevada, around 6:30 a.m. for an hour’s drive to Great Basin National Park. I was about 30-ish miles south of Ely when I rounded a corner and started heading down into this wide, flat valley. The wind turbines, ribbon of road that looks like it goes way up into the mountains on the other side of the valley, and the sunlight highlighting the veil of haze captured my photographer’s eye and I just had to pull over and get a few photos.
In reality, that long road going up into the mountains is actually a dirt road on someone’s private property (lucky them). This paved road takes an almost sharp turn to the left and parallels the mountains before rounding the corner to the right.
And those wind turbines made a great geographic marker for me on the way from the park back toward Ely on the day I headed back home to Washington state. I’d left the Baker area at 2 a.m. so it was dark heading toward Ely. Distances are difficult to discern in the dark because you can’t see the landscape. However, when I saw the synchronous blinking red lights, I knew I was driving toward and past that small wind turbine farm and that Ely was closer than I thought.
Nevada has some amazing landscape and geology, and the roads are very good, but the stretches of road through the state are long and out in the middle of nowhere, seemingly far away from civilization (and gas stations).
Or maybe I should have titled this post “The Lure Of The Trail.” Both are appropriate and actually meld into one another. I love leading lines – they are my favorite theme – and my favorite type of leading line is a trail. That trail leads the viewer’s eye deeper into the composition and onward to whatever adventure awaits. And trails within forests are my favorite, if for no other reason than the forest’s interior glow surrounded by green and brown shadows.
All of the images above were captured with my Sony Alpha 7riv and a 16-35mm lens during my 2020 October visit to Redwood National and State Parks. And all of these images were captured along one of the many trails in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in northern California. The tops of the trees are veiled a little bit in mist, as this trip was during the height of all the wildfires in California. Smoke drifted in from everywhere.
Good morning! Where is the road going to take you, today? To work? To home? To a national park? To adventure and places unknown? Where ever the road takes you, please drive safely.
The road, in two weeks, will take me to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon. I’m looking forward to that as it will be my first long trip of the year. I don’t know if any part of the road will be as misty and mysterious as this road leading through the Quinault Rain Forest in Olympic National Park, but I do believe there will be some interesting scenery along the way.
I haven’t been to Oregon in probably 30 years, give or take, so it will be nice to see that beautiful state again. My father’s mother lived for many years along the Oregon coast. It was her favorite place – her happy place, just like living near the mountains is for me. When she died, my parents poured her ashes on a beach along the Oregon coast, then put moss agates around the ashes in a circle, since Granny was an avid “rockhound.”
As for this image, well, you know I like photographing leading lines. And leading lines don’t have to be straight. They can be curvy, too. A leading line is whatever takes your eye from one part of the photo to another, like a fence, a treeline, a line of buildings, a trail, or a boardwalk.
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
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