Thirsty Thursday: Arroyo Seco

Rambler: Beth Drink at Hand: 2008 Ventana Pinot Noir

Last Friday morning I got up super early to make the 50-minute drive to Pinnacles National Monument. I wanted to be there for sunrise, just to see what the early morning light was like in the west side of the park. Its never hard for me to pop out of bed when I'm headed out to shoot a sunrise, especially when I program the coffee pot to grind a fresh cup for me as I wake up. Out the door, down the 101 and right on time for arrival at the west entrance about 20 minutes before the 5:58 am sunrise. As I'm making the final turn toward the park, a waiting CHP car in the intersection flashes its lights. The officer tells me there's a wildfire up the road and the route to the park is closed. Grrr!

After getting up that early and driving all the way down there, I wasn't about to just turn around and go home. I needed a Plan B. I knew I wasn't too far from Arroyo Seco Road, and from my 6-hour bike rides out there, I vaguely remembered some pretty trees in some pretty fields. So off I went, racing to find something interesting as the sky continued to brighten.

I found this spot along Arroyo Seco Road. The trees and the open pasture looked interesting. I paced up and down the side of the road looking for a good composition, but it wasn't easy. I couldn't get the tree completely isolated from the busy scrub brush-covered hills in the background. I enjoyed the challenge though...there is something therapeutic about being out in the chilly morning air, peering through a viewfinder, searching for something inspiring. I love mornings with my camera.

Of course my attention always turns from the wide landscapes to the little details close-by.

The cloudless sky continued to brighten so I headed back down the road toward home...but not before I spotted this old barn in a field down below the road.

I knew I had to make one last stop on the way home. Several times a week I ride my bike out River Road, and recently there has been a beautiful display of yellow and purple wildflowers in a pasture beside the road.

So the morning didn't work out the way I expected, but I still found some nice scenes. More importantly, I still got to explore with my camera. And that makes me happy.

Get out there and explore this weekend!