Nov. 28, 2004

There didn't seem to be much reason to hurry around the Saturday after Thanksgiving, as the morning was cloudy and windy, although it was forecast to clear off later in the day. One thing I wanted to do was go to a favorite overlook on the Talimena Scenic Byway to see where along the mountains the sun was going down these days. There's this spot I'd like to catch it at sometime, but my best estimate right now is that it'll be there sometime in March and September.

On the way down, although the conditions weren't ideal, I thought it might be interesting to stop along the way to see what things might be looking like from some overlooks I know of along West Fly Gap Road.

The way from the road down to the first overlook is steep but short, and this morning the wind was blowing enough that I was wishing I had worn warmer clothing. But the views were spectacular, with the occasional hole in the cloud cover sending a shaft of light down out of the clouds and rushing across Cove Creek valley and the surrounding hills, too fast and unpredictably for me to do a good job of photographing, but beautiful nonetheless. The woods had for the most part lost their leaf cover, but still, here at the end of November, there were a few places I could point the camera to get some nice color.

The way down to the second overlook is a little longer, but not nearly as steep. Shortly after we arrived and I started taking photos, the sky started to clear, and in no time I found myself having to spend most of the time waiting for those few minutes when the sun was behind a cloud, and in no time after that the sky was almost completely devoid of clouds, making photography a losing propostion. That was just as well, as it was high time to head on down to the Ouachitas, and in fact a little past time, and we had to hustle to make it by sunset.
I confess to having had a faint hope that a fraction of the gorgeous fall color that had been present down in the Ouachitas the week before might still be there, but it wasn't, no doubt pounded and blown and washed away by the heavy winds and rains of the intervening days.

I told Junie to wish for a little color for the sunset, and there turned out to be a bit of a cloud bank on the horizon where the sun went down and the light show turned pretty spectacular a bit later, which was a nice bonus to the day's activities. An unusual feature of this sunset was the set of shadows radiating like spokes along the underside of the cloud bank. That wheel's on fire, you might say.

Junie, you done good.