2-14-19: Several Strikeouts and a Home Run

Was headed for Stanley, ID, since that was a scenic location in 2013, but changed my mind. I realized it was a very long way to drive: still 6 hours from my turn-around point, for scenes that may not be so good: I was seeing a shortage of snow where I was, and had no reason to think it would be better there. I also knew I wanted to come back up North, and it made more sense to hit that area once I had left WA for good.

Was driving down the mountain on a long, steep run with several runaway truck emergency pull-outs. Did not see anyone use those, but did pass a truck with smoke billowing from under the rear of his trailer. Heard another trucker on CB tell him he thought his brakes were on fire – I did not get a good look (was too busy driving) but I’m sure they were.

So I decided to head for Missoula, MT, but changed my mind at Kooskia. I realized that what I want right now is more minimalist photos taken in the Palouse.

As it turned out, one of my favorite photos from the trip so far was found enroute to Stanley. It is a farm: barn, house and all. I had a perfect vantage point (pulled out the 200 – 400mm lens for the first time on this trip.  Framed this one at 232mm.), the sky was completely clear between us, and there was a cloud on the ground immediately south of the farm, hiding all roads, other buildings, etc. that would have detracted from the photo.

N 46 8.2970 W 116 9.4212

Drove back toward Pullman: raining all the way. If I found a scene I was going to set a waypoint and return: the rain had washed the snow off the trees for now. I found no scenes to return to.

Want to visit the lookout at Steptoe Bluff State Pk in the morning: it’s the spot where all the best Palouse shots are taken. The road to the top is supposed to be closed, but I want to see how far I can go, and want to see more of the area on the way. I hope to return to the area on Mon when skies are partly cloudy: the only such day in the forecast for the next 10 days.
I still want to get another shot at Copper Creek: should be running heavy, and I hope plenty of snow will still be on the rocks – I could get the best of both worlds. And I would like to drive to Paradise (on Mt Rainier) with heavy snow on trees and some blue sky.

I called and found out that Mt Rainier NP is open and that the Nisqaully Lodge never closed. They were without power several days, and the road opened this morning. It looks like Snoqualmie Pass opened, but I saw on the news where some cars got caught in an avalanche on I-90: don’t know whether it was in the Pass or not.

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