Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Clouds Parted

Clearing fog at sunrise, Mancos Valley Overlook, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado.
Sunrise clouds clearing over the Mancos Valley
A March morning and Mesa Verde was locked in fog. Some fresh snow on the ground, but the road into the park was merely wet, not icy.

As I drove up the first set of switchbacks, I was thinking: no photos from any of the overlooks this morning. Not in this gray soup.

Then, as I approached the Mancos Valley Overlook, the clouds began to part. So I pulled in to the parking lot and walked quickly to the stone wall at the edge.

The fog was moving fast. Opening for a few moments, then closing, as the sun tried to burn through. Below was the Mancos Valley and the historic town of Mancos, on US 160.

Then the cloud slammed back shut. Fine with me, because I had to continue to the south end of the park to go to work.

After work I drove out the Mesa Top Loop road to enjoy a sunny evening. It's a great time of year to visit Mesa Verde National Park, even though it's too early for the ranger-led tours down to several of the major sites that had been occupied by the ancestral puebloan people until about 800 years ago. Crowds and traffic are still light, the weather is comfortable, and the leaves on the shrubs are coming out. Soon Mesa Verde (Spanish for "green table") will indeed be its greenest of the year.

Square Tower House ruin, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado.
Square Tower House, March evening.
 Photo location: Mesa Verde National Park, southwest Colorado.

See more of my photography at www.NaturalMoment.com.

© 2017 Stephen J. Krieg / Stephen Krieg Photographics.