As a postscript to the Tail of the Dragon Road from my first post, it turns out that experience prepared me for yesterday’s harrowing drive on Hwy. 49 trying to get to East Glacier! I was still scared out of my wits driving that horrible, poorly maintained road with drops in the pavement, broken pavement and some of the scariest curves combined with rain, snow, fog and fear…but I did it! Probably got more gray hair but I did it!

As for today, I didn’t know the focus was going to be clouds and light. I thought it was going to be back roads of Idaho toward Twin Falls from Missoula, MT. However, when I plugged in the back road route I wanted to take, TomTom said it would take me TWELVE hours to get there! Map in hand, I searched for an alternative to see what results I got that way. It turned out that the only viable route to get close to my original destination was to head back South on I-15 through Montana…the way I’d traveled a few days ago to get to Kalispell.

This experience of traversing the same road in the opposite direction was magnified today as I kept checking to make sure I was on the right road because it looked so different. It may have been my fascination with all the cloud formations.

As soon as I headed South on Hwy. 93 out of Kalispell, the first inkling of today’s focus came to light…so to speak. My sister and I were just discussing the critical relevance of light and how its affect on our perceptions of color. Think on that while you look below.

It was a 350 mile stretch of I-15 which started about 10:00AM and I stopped taking photos as I crossed the Idaho State line around 4:00 PM.

It’s probably hard for you to see but the “white” on top of the mountain range isn’t snow…it’s a cloud sitting firmly on top of the mountain!



Then the dark clouds seem to magically break up and hug the mountains.


Are the white areas behind the mountain clouds or snow?


Left shows the clouds better sitting firmly on the mountains.



The farther South we travel, the more interesting the sun light and the clouds get.


Here the clouds are sitting firmly on top of this range as well.


Now add snow to this range & rain clouds.



And BRIGHT light coming through the clouds to the left.






So many cloud changes in a 350 mile stretch of I-15 South in a relatively short period of time.





Again brilliant light!


This photo inspired me to paint again! The mixture of browns, greens, charcoal grays countered with bright whites of just the mountains would look great on a shirt!



And the best part? This one!


Tomorrow? I’m headed toward Auburn, CA via Utah and Nevada…two of my favorite states to drive through. I’m excited to see what the focus will be for tomorrow’s drive!