Valles Caldera features a group of grassy valleys nestled with the ginormous crater of a long-ago volcano. I can pretty much count on getting caught in some kind of precipitation — often accompanied by thunder and lightning — whenever I’m there during the summer.
Long, long ago, a friend and I found a way to get to the East Fork of the Jemez from Valles Caldera, but for years, I had no idea how we’d actually gotten there. I finally found the way again about a year ago and have gone back several times this summer.
I would say this is a particularly beautiful part of the East Fork … except for the fact that there’s no place along the East Fork that isn’t absolutely gorgeous.
Coming home through Shiprock about a week and a half ago, the weather looked so threatening to the south that I abandoned my plan to take the easy, good-weather way home. Instead, I took the longer way — down Highway 491, through the Navajo Nation to Gallup — so I could capture a few photos of the weather drama. I realize most folks would try to avoid the bad weather … but I’m a photographer, and therefore not entirely normal.