100 Days of National Parks: Day 63 – Storm Shadow – Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Storm Shadow

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Rising up above the valley floor outside of Cortez Colorado onto the towering bluff of Mesa Verde, it’s easy to get distracted by the view of the southern Rockies to the northeast.  The towering snow-covered peaks beckon, trying to pull wanderers like myself deeper into their midst.  Climbing up the winding road into Mesa Verde at sunrise, I found my gaze continuously drawn to the amazing sunrise, and the looming shadow of a late spring storm descending on the mountains.  It was one of the most spectacular vistas I’ve ever come across, and as a result, I arrived at my intended destination far later than I’d planned.

While the sights of Mesa Verde are impressive in their own right, there’s something special about this view of the Rockies to me.  In a way it signals the boundaries of my explorations, the unexplored reaches of my wanderings thus far.  As I look and plan my adventures for this summer and beyond, the Rockies are at the top of my list, and images like this just drive that desire within me, pulling me toward the distant mountains, and all the secrets they have waiting for me to discover and photograph.


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