It's hard to describe the feeling I get when returning to my hometown, but I look forward to it each visit. I don't get the opportunity to visit as much as I'd like, so I try to take advantage of it as much as possible. This year I've challenged myself with taking the time to get out and take some meaningful photos. It's tougher than it sounds because my primary reason for visiting is family and it's hard to sacrifice time with my grandparents, aunts, and uncles - who I only see once a year - to go out shooting photos.
Nonetheless, my wife, kids, and I spent most of the day exploring the wonderful landscape surrounding Green River, Wyoming scouting for good photo opportunities. This day, we concentrated on the area east of town where the Green River winds it's way south leaving the town behind it. My plan was to file away some spots that I would later return to during more ideal shooting hours. In fact, most of my shots early in the day were with my iPhone just trying to put together ideas.
It was pretty hot during our midday excursion, so we decided to give the kids a break, but agreed that we'd come back in the evening after it cooled off. Returning to the river around 7:00, we walked along the bank looking for wildlife. I wasn't fully in photographer mode, instead trying to help my kids enjoy being able to explore an area they're unfamiliar with. It turned out to be an absolute gorgeous night. I snapped a few pics here and there, but wasn't completely satisfied with most of them. After some time, we decided to call it a night, but at least I had a few more ideas to return to.
As we started back toward my Grandma's house, my wife asked about an area I mentioned earlier in the day. I told her we were very close and asked if she wanted to cruise that way for a bit and she agreed. I knew we couldn't get to the exact spot I wanted before sunset and didn't really want to attempt it because it would've made for an interesting drive back to town in the dark. Had it just been me and my wife, then maybe. But with the 3 kids with us, I didn't want to take any unnecessary risks.
The dirt rode was horribly rutted from someone else's poor decision to tear up the road sometime earlier in the year when it must've been sloppy with mud. So, it was very slow going as I navigated to keep everyone from bouncing out of their seats (the kids were enjoying it!). I finally mentioned that we couldn't make it to where I wanted and that I'd turn around. But my wife told me to at least go down around a bend she could see explaining that we could possibly catch the last of the sunlight over the town. I continued on and have to give her credit because the view back toward the west was spectacular. Actually, the views in all directions were pretty impressive. I stepped out of the car, crouched down, and snapped the picture you see here. Not bad considering I was still in "scouting" mode and we'd taken an unplanned detour.