The Unnatural Bridge Trip

The drive on I-90 west out of Billings takes you through Laurel, Park City, Columbus, Reed Point, Quebec, and Greycliff, and despite it being an interstate corridor the scenery is beautiful. This is especially true as the leaves on the trees are changing with the fall season. The bright yellows are eye-popping as they give clues to where the water bodies are hiding amongst them in juxtaposition to the evergreens throughout the area in the rocky terrain. Exiting I-90 at Big Timber to drive the lesser-traveled path is where the day began.

Insert screeching tire sound here.

This blog entry is not coming together as I had hoped it would, so instead, I am going to allow my stream of consciousness to flow such that it is.

The purpose of the road trip was to visit The Natural Bridge Falls located in the Gallatin National Forest south of Big Timber, Montana. North of Big Timber the yellow leaves on the trees along State Highway 371 between Melville and Two Dot were stunning. Fall is in full swing and winter is close behind. I intended to write about the Big Elk School and the Melville Lutheran Church and their histories but after three days of trying my focus is just not there. The Natural Bridge Falls is the site of the former Natural Bridge that collapsed in 1988. I enjoyed hiking around the gorgeous surroundings on a picture-perfect day. The sounds of the water flowing above and below ground were calming and serene.

It has been a long time since I had been out with my camera gear and it showed. The gear didn’t feel part of me anymore. I felt unprepared and awkward. Camera equipment that normally felt like an extension of my own body now felt heavy and difficult to manage. To lighten the packing I chose only one lens to bring and as such I did not have all that I needed. Typically I would grab the entire case and go but I did not and quickly regretted it. The hidden blessing was that even with what I did bring I stumbled. Gone was the quick reaction and ability to have the settings done perfectly and in its place was frustration. It was like the first day with the training wheels off and that has to change.

Many things led to me not taking photographs over the last two years none of which is an excuse, but alas here I am. Two years out and I need to jump back in and get to it. My writing was derailed just as I was getting into full swing in May and overcoming that is proving to also be a challenge. There is nothing more frustrating to me than to have so much to say and feel like I just cannot get those thoughts out of my head and put them into something worth reading.

So here I am dropping these words onto paper so I can move on. I wanted to share what few decent photos I took but without something to say I did not want to post them. If you are still reading I want you to know how much I appreciate it and I make this promise to spend more time working on these challenges in the coming winter months.

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