Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving road trip in photos

Our four-day Thanksgiving trip to Phoenix came and went in the blink of an eye, and we are now back home.

On our drive down, the winter storm that went through the region blessed us with some amazing skies and thankfully no precipitation.  I'm looking forward to getting back to studio work tomorrow, but in the meantime, I thought I'd share some photos of the dramatic and varying clouds from drive to Phoenix and a few others taken during the trip

It had been about 22 years since I'd been on Rt 491 [formerly Rt 666] between Farmington, NM to Gallup, NM.  I don't remember much of it from that trip, aside from going past Shiprock, so I felt like I was seeing it for the first time.

Stormcloud undercarriage

Tattered accessory clouds to this large stratocumulus cloud give an ominous feel along the highway just south of Shiprock, NM.
 Snow to the east

The higher mountain/mesa to the west received blowing snow flurries from what looks like a huge tsunami.

Ford Butte and clouds

One of the dozens of volcanic diatremes in the region, this one was on the east side of the highway.

Sweeping shadows

A band of clouds forms dramatic light and shadows on this stretch of the highway looking west.  The AZ border is about 20 miles as the crow flies.

Cliffs, wash and clouds

Having left Gallup, we are now heading west on I-40, and some shallow cliffs form as we approach the AZ border.

 Altocumulus over Winslow

This striking cloud covered the western sky for a good portion of our drive into AZ.  The sun forms the bright spot in the left 1/3.
 Clouds and cinder cones

About 20 miles east of Flagstaff, these rounded hills make up part of the San Francisco volcanic field.
 Ruins with a view

On Thanksgiving day, we went on a short hike (no trail) to some prehistoric ruins (Hohokam, I am assuming) atop a mesa right near I-17.  The view was tremendous, and afforded a strategic advantage for whomever built this multi-roomed dwelling several centuries ago.
 Safe keeping

This well-preserved bird's nest, built within the imposing arms of a teddy bear cholla, is an excellent deterrent from many predators.

Seen on the way back down from the ruins.
Grand finale       

A stop for gas near Sleeping Ute Mtn., south of Cortez, CO, offered an incredible sunset view as our trip drew to a close.


  1. those are the post incredible shots of the sky I have ever seen. I can see why people are drawn to the desert!

  2. Hi Helen - spending last winter in southern AZ, I found that winter storms produce the most incredible and varied skies I've ever seen, including sunsets.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the photos!

  3. Great photos as always. Can't wait to see some clean-air skies again soon.

  4. Hi Jala,
    During our drive, I thought to myself: "Jala would love these skies as well!", especially being where you are now.

    I hope you have a safe trip back home, and your animolecules will be so happy to see you again :).


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