Ozark Caravan is winding down

The month long Ozark Airstream Caravan is winding down.  It’s been interesting - none more so than today when we traveled to a Presbyterian Church to be served lunch by an Amish group!  Can’t even get my head around that.  We then heard a high school choir sing in the sanctuary.  A Ozarkan historian summed up the area well :  She said that they are clannish, conservative in politics and religion and resist being told what to do.

What will follow are some photos of the trip and discussion.

Grist Mill

The Topaz grist mill is still functioning mill though they only run a few times a year - mostly at time of festivals.  They grind corn and wheat.  It is not easy to find on the map though at one time it had a thriving business and a country store in what was then Topaz, MO

Monument Rock, Kansas

Tonite we’re camped at Scott Lake State Park - which is such a gem - I hope the folks of Western Kansas know this.  It bears no resemblance to the rest of this part of Kansas.  It is down in a valley next to a neat lake.  From here we went to Monument Rock which is a local attraction that I’ve been to many times.  It rises out of the flatland and is just an amazing rock formation.  We met a nice coupe from Philadelphia who were on a trip to celebrate their 30th anniversary.

Ozark Caravan Started today

The Caravan doesn’t actually start for several more days but we have to get ourselves to the jumping off point in Missouri.  Tonite we are staying in LaJunta, Colorado in SE Colorado.  It is near Rocky Ford which is known for it’s wonderful watermelons and cantelopes. LaJunta itself is known as a jumping off point to see the annual Tarantula Migration.  Male Texas/Oklahoma Brown Back T’s migrate over the short grass prairie looking for mates who burrow into the ground.  The Males mate only when they turn 8 because when they turn 8 they grow a special appendage the their front legs that prevents the females from eating them.  The successful mating results in more T’s but the male then wonders off into the plains from whence it came only to die a few months later because of the cold.  The females live 20-25 years because they have ownership of the burrow.  

This year we saw 4 T’s and a tarantula wasp who is the only known predator of the tarantula.  A couple of years ago we only saw one so this year was a big success.

Cars and Coffee

I went to the Lafayette, Colorado Cars and Coffee get together.  This is really the only one I go to - it is so excellent that I think the others in town would disappoint - although to be sure I have not been to them.  Every time I go I see something new.

Technical Note:  I shot two rolls of different black and white film with different ISO ratings.  I could have developed them separately but I was feeling lazy so I put them both together and did Stand Development for 60 min in Rodinal 1:100.  Basically you let the films sit in the developer for an hour, agitating only once at the 30 min mark.  It worked fine and in some ways is a much more relaxed way to do things if you don’t mind sparing 60 min.  

Other Peoples Pictures @ DAM

Finally the Denver Art Museum is hosting some interesting photography exhibits.  Last month I went to the Georgia O’keefe exhibit and this month it’s some of the collected photography of other photographers by Robert Adams.  The pictures seen here are followed in the next frame by the description.  I would have like to have some background as why Robert Adams picked certain pictures to be in his collection.  Some of the photographers included : Richard Benson, Judith Joy Ross, Lois Connor, Edward Ramey, AJ Meek,  Dorothy Norman and William Wylie.

Digital InfraRed

Wanted to show a few of my Digital InfraRed shots from this last week’s trip to Granby, Colorado.  These were shot with an old school Canon point and shoot that has been converted to pick up IR.  Depending on what filter you put on you will get different effects.

Fire Burn Area

The first image is with the 520 filter on but no post processing.  The second one has some post processing to bring out the purple

Things Seen in the Wild - 1st Time

Today I went back up the Trail Ridge Road - long story short is that I had mechanical problems with my film camera and ruined a whole roll of fill from yesterday’s trip.  Not happy because I had some pictures taken in the fog and there was no fog today !  I was however not gonna be defeated.

This time I saw a moose cross the road but that will have to wait for the film to be developed.  Then once at the Homestead site I saw a caravan of Earth Roamers - super high end truck campers going from $1/2 million to $2million.  They are manufactured just up the road from us in Dacono, Colorado but I’ve never seen one in person.  Then on up to 11,800 ft ASL to the gift shop/cafe and was confronted with a panhandler- I’ve never encountered a panhandler at this altitude!

Granby Rally

While the rest of the group when on a bike ride I decided to explore Trail Ridge Road = I had intended to take it all the way to Estes Park but stopped short of it.  What a fantastic mountain road.  It is the highest continuously paved road in America toping out at 12,000 ft ASL.  I stoped at the ticket and snack shack at 11,756 ft ASL.

Today, Wednesday 8/24/22 we went on the guided Continental Divide Trail with side by side Can Am off road vehicles.  These machines are designed to go off road , over boulders etc.  We saw people with new Ford F-150 going up and we both thought that was a big mistake.  Never take your only vehicle on one of these trails - far better renting.

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