Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sandhills of Nebraska at Sunrise

Shadow Shot Sunday
September 25, 2011

Every Sunday, folks from all over the world join in and post their shadowy photographic delights. Some with stories. To see more and find out how you can participate, see Hey Harriet's Photography blog.

Sunrise over the Nebraska Sandhills in the Valentine Wildlife Refuge

I recently traveled across the Western USA from New Mexico to Wisconsin. My business was finished on the Southwest and it was time to travel home. I'll return to New Mexico in a month or so.

We made our way into the Sandhills of Nebraska and caught a beautiful September morning sunrise. I couldn't resist stopping for a few shots of Ole Sol creeping up over the crest of a hill. Then, back on the road, it happened. The crisp shadow of my truck against the grassy hills along the roadside.

Always at the ready while traveling, I grabbed my camera and snapped off some Shadow Shots. 
I like to find new and different routes to make this trek as I do make this run often. A rather new friend of mine didn't quite understand why I would undertake driving back and forth the 1500 odd miles one-way from River Falls, WI to Truth or Consequences, NM. He just doesn't understand. I do this because I want to. I have family in the way of Grand children in Wisconsin, and I also love the Southwest. Besides, the Winter can be a long drawn out cold dreary affair up North. I like to warm my bones in the Southwestern sun, especially in January. An after all, I'm retired!

This particular route is not new to me. In fact, in years past, I used this road many times. It is US Highway 83 and runs from the Canadian border near Westhope, North Dakota to Brownsville, Texas along the Mexican border. I use the section from Murdo, South Dakota to North Platte, Nebraska on this trip. I always say I am going to take a trip and traverse the entire 1885 miles of US 83, drive it end to end. Maybe it's time to accomplish some of these road excursions that I dream of.

The road crosses through the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge and the beautiful Sandhills of Central Nebraska. The town of Valentine, just nine miles from the Nebraska/South Dakota border, anchors the Northern edge of this area with the Niobrara River coursing through the countryside.

We spent the night in a Howard Johnson's motel in North Platte, NE. We were up early, so Mrs. Spadoman and I decided to get on the road and make the last portion of our journey home, over 650 miles, in one day. It was dark when we left North Platte. The early morning light was just starting to light up the Eastern sky.

We arrived home safe and sound before 7:00 PM that same evening. A mere 12 hours on the road. We both retired early and got a good nights rest. It feels good to sleep in our own bed after so many nights away. I'm planning the next trip, but have some chores to accomplish before I can head back to New Mexico. I think I'll be right in the middle of the Winter Sandhill Crane migration.

I hope your travels are safe and plentiful.

Peace to all


robin. said...

great shot of your truck. safe travels to you.

Sylvia K said...

What a terrific shadow shot for the day! And a gorgeous sunrise!! Perfect way to begin any day! Hope your weekend is going well! Enjoy!


Marilyn & Jeff said...

Wonderful photos, both of them.
I am trying to get my head around the distance you travel and with help from Google Earth I see that it is more or less the same as travelling the length of the North Island, NZ. Now I know ;-)

Mel said...

Well--welcome back, sir!

Oh, what a lovely sunrise. And what a cool shadow shot.
No--I won't comment about both hands on the wheel. :-/


Welcome back!!

MY how time flies when you're in the SW, ya lucky people!

Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio said...

Beautiful shot! Nice, warm colors and the could pass for one of those oldies but goodies. Glad you got home safe and sound!

Catherine said...

love that truck shadow - great shot

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Joe you are up so early to leave a comment ! LOL
I love your shadow shot .. and something else I love even more is the dedication you have to that amazing Day of the Dead .. my Halloween sneaks in the night before but I feel an odd connection to the whole celebration .. I can't explain it .. and that feeling the South West has .. it just isn't natural for a long line of Scottish blooded Canadian .. all the same, I hope to see many wonderful post connecting to my favourite time of year : ).
PS .. it is a foggy sunrise here on the edge of Lake Ontario .. rather a spooky atmosphere ? LOL

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Very nice photos.

Regards and best wishes

muchlove said...

that's an excellent shot! As if the truck shape was traced perfectly on the ground.

many thanks for your comment on my blog post :)

Dianne said...

I love the car on the fields!!
there's nothing better than a good road trip


Anonymous said...

Love the shadow of the truck shot.
Now you will have a beautiful autumn and can then travel back and have a great winter. Makes sense to me!

Anonymous said...

I was amused by your saying that 650 miles was the last part of your journey home .... if we drove fro 650 miles in any direction from here, we would end up in the sea!! I love the shadow of your truck - an excellent capture. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos of the quilts - if younare ever near Hoston end Oct/begiining Nov, you should check out the quilt show there (the biggest and best innthe world) .... don't worry, lots of men go! As for fat quarters, it doesn't mean that we quilters have fat butts ......

susan said...

The pictures are wonderful, especially the shadow truck one. I'm glad you made it home safely and well.

Sue said...

Weirdly, the shot of your ute reminds me of crop circles - why I don't know. It's cool. (you don't call them utes do you? - pick up truck?) Keep safe. Sue

Hootin Anni said...

Good ol' Nebraska!!! That's the state I was born in y'know. It's been decades since I've been there too. LOL

Great shadow shot.

And I must stop to send along my thanks for being such a loyal visitor while I was absent in blog hopping. Much appreciated. Oh, and thanks for the book publishing ideas!!!

My link: Baltimore Orioles

This is an open invitation to stop by and view, if you can find time.

Happy Wednesday.