Drive-By America: Day 9 – Goodbye Denver, Hello Snow
Goodbye Denver, Hello Rocky Mountains. The American West is probably my favorite landscape in the world. It explodes with diversity and beauty in landscapes and wildlife, and this is the first time I’ve ever had the chance to witness so much of it in the winter. The snow adds an extra layer of magic and depth to everything. White streaks race down from the summits of mountaintops, branches and pine needles sparkle like a million tiny mirrors in the sunlight, and soft, dreamy powder washes away footsteps and worries, blanketing the trails and rock formations like a warm down comforter, the wind softly singing them to sleep.
Except, of course, sometimes the wind sings more loudly. Sometimes it screams like the lead singer of a hardcore band playing to a sold out arena audience of bloodthirsty New Jersey rockers. With those screams, it whips biting frost into your face, rips off your gloves and hat to send them flying off down the road and into the unforgiving night, and all this while you’re trying to photograph the stars spinning above a lone white mountain peak on the back roads of Colorado. But it is this experience, this rush, this excitement upon capturing the shot you’ve risked life and limb for, and the sprint back to the car to warm your fingertips just enough to run back out into the cold….it is in these moments that you remember why you are a photographer, and in which you are reminded you that you MUST love it, every second of it, with all your being. Because if you don’t love it, then you’re just some crazy fool on your knees in the snow, risking frostbite for no reason at all.