Big Circle Drive One

Six-hundred-thirty-two days . . . that’s how long these photos have waited before taking center stage.

The day was Saturday, May 25, 2013. I was young back then, and not the grizzled, wrinkled, graying, and bitter man I am now. A shell of a man, what remains of the once-proud being who undertook the Big Circle Drive One now recalls, as best he can, the sights and experiences of that glorious day.

The semi-trusty Tahoe loaded with snacks and coffee, the intrepid duo (Melisa and me) headed North on Hwy. 105, the beginning of the Big Circle Drive One. Here’s a map of the path we’d follow. Click for larger view.

Big Circle 1

We’d then head West on 67, and hit the S. Platte River road. Along the way we saw things like this . . . Wait!

Before I go on, this was the last time I carried two camera bodies with me. The D7000 loaded with my 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens, and my D200 loaded with the 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens. The idea was avoid wasting time switching lenses.

I could then snap zooms . . .

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

(By the way, if you click on the above photo—or go to the SmugMug Gallery HERE to see the full-size photo—you might notice a line across those snow-capped mountains. That be a road, one I would gladly travel. But not this day.)

. . . or a wider shot . . .

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,
D200

I should mention the photos are post-processed the same . . . any differences between the D7000 and D200 versions are due to the differences in the in-camera processing.

This is also a great time to do a mini-photo-lesson . . . composition. This next photo shows the view I had in front of me:

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,
D200

Not awful, but the other two show better. Or so I think.

Now, these next shots may look familiar . . . if so, it’s because of THIS POST documenting a smaller circle drive from 2012.

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

I spent a fair amount of time attempting to capture me some silk-water shots. I wasted a whole lot of digital non-film, with many shots too dark, and others blown out. But, I also took a number of bracketed shots that got me this HDR shot:

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

The above is straight out of the HDR Express (I think; it could also be HDR EFex Pro 2; my memory fails me) . . . of course, I can always put it through my personally modified Holla Color filter . . .

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

I was pleased with a number of regular shots, but there weren’t many.

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive, 25MAY2013, Platte River Drive, 25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

This next shot is a tad blurry, but I like the scene, so . . .

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

Also . . .

That’s right . . . video!

I have a couple of more HDR shots. The first and last photos of the bracketed series of photos are presented below:

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive, 25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

The sequence was put through both HDR Express and HDR EFex Pro 2 . . . these are the two results. Know that there was a breeze, and some of the bushes were moving in said breeze.

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive, 25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

I don’t play around with HDR a whole lot, so these are with minimum tweaking by me; pretty much the default settings.

Photoshop has its own HDR processor, and I’m sure there are experts who can make it dance to their will . . . I am not one of them.

Anyway, we had a long way ahead of us (a total of 194 miles for this drive), but because of the overcast sky and the fact this was not our first Big Circle Drive One, I did not snap all that many photos . . . until I saw the truck.

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

The next photo opportunity came when we came off the hills/mountains, and descended into a small valley. It looks big, but if you look at the map, you see it’s relatively small.

The photos can, however, fool you into thinking otherwise.

This next panorama is probably best viewed in the SmugMug Gallery (again, HERE), but you can click on it for a slightly larger view.

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,
D200 photos

Here is a closer look at the mountains in the background . . .

D200 photos
D200 photos

The above panorama is composed of photos shot in landscape orientation . . . this next one is composed of photos shot in portrait orientation and stitched together.

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,
D200 photos

There is an interesting thing with that panorama . . . another teaching moment, if you will.

This is what the above looks like when the stitching is completed in Photoshop . . .

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,
D200 photos

Notice the jagged edges . . . frustrating, that. The data for the blank areas is there but for some reason Photoshop decides it can’t use portions of the data. I assume there is a way I can manually go in there and bring it back in, but I’ve not found it.

However, Photoshop has something called “content-aware fill”. In most cases, as it did here, and for a later panorama, it does a good job. You can find the areas it filled if you know what you are looking for, but otherwise, kudos to Photoshop.

The return trip included, as it often does, the road that goes by Tarryall Reservoir. Along the way, one has the opportunity to see remnants of lives past.

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

Here’s another comparison to the D200 shots.

D200 Photo
D200 Photo
D200 Photo
D200 Photo
D200 Photo
D200 Photo

The SmugMug Gallery has more photos, but I’ll add a few more here for them who refuse to go visit them.

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

D200 Photos
D200 Photos

Understand . . . these are all shot in the middle of the day. From what I hear, the worst time to snap photos.

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

D200 Photos
D200 Photos
D200 Photos
D200 Photos

As nice as these modern ruins were . . . 

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

. . . the view from their location was something else.

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

I don’t know why these sites have not been repurposed with newer and inhabited structures.

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

Down yonder from the first cabin, there is another . . .

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

I’m not sure what’s so attractive about abandoned dwellings . . . perhaps the idea that if we could glimpse into the past we might see a couple working together to keep the place in repair, their children safe, and carve out a life for themselves. 

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

I come to wonder if the road had something to do with them moving on. It seems unlikely; lots of people live next to roads far busier than this one.

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

As I listen to this piece of music . . . 

 . . . our journey must continue, and I capture one last photo . . . 

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

This next series of photos has me baffled . . . because of their position in the sequence and the time they were taken, this site must be on Tarryall Road, between the cabins and the reservoir. Except I don’t remember it there.

I thought these were on another road . . . yet more proof memories are not like recorded movies, but a loose jumble of fragmented images one sometimes assembles out of order. 

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

Regardless, I like the photos, I like the memory I have of the place, and I like the place.

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

These next photos do match my memory of the drive . . . this first photo reminded me a bit of seeing Devil’s Tower (read about it HERE).

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

Not quite as tall, but give it time . . . a few eons ought to do it.

And, on this next photo, the reservoir in the distance . . . 

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

Here’s the spillway . . . 

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

. . . and here’s the dam holding the water back . . . 

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

. . . a few shots of the water making its escape . . . 

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

. . . and something I found strange . . . I’m no fisherman, but it seemed a weird place to fish. Perhaps there’s a pool of water I can’t see, but he looks very close to the spillway . . . 

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

These two were walking toward his position . . . 

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

. . . and he gave them a dirty look . . . dirty as in “don’t come near and scare the fish!” and not as in “come hither”.

25MAY2013, Platte River Drive,

I’ll leave you, gentle readers, with this . . . 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

High Noise
High Noise

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

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