Some Slow Road!


Quite frankly, I’m a little overwhelmed this morning. Some of that is jet lag. Yes, I know it’s only two time zones difference between Goose Creek and South Dakota, but for us home bodies habituated to the cycles in our little valley and regimented strictly by its rhythms, it doesn’t take more than two time zones to throw us off balance.

And of course, there’s the inevitable catching up, confronting the cost of one’s time away from home measured in calls to make, bills to pay, deadlines to meet and impending calendar events. What WILL I do for the paper this time? I had hoped to bring back something from the trip, but started following a line of thought down a rabbit trail and couldn’t bring him back around for a shot. I thought I’d discover the point of what I was writing after I got into it, but it didn’t happen. Doh.

And I have 150 shots from the trip to sort through (deleting 3/4 I expect) but I really shouldn’t work on that (or be typing a blog post for that matter) until I work my way down through the piles all the way to the actual surface of my desk and get some of these to-dos checked off.

But I allowed myself a few Photoshop moments over my third cup of coffee to merge the very first four images from our brief Badlands visit. What you can’t tell from this picture (click to enlarge) is that the wind was blowing at 35-40 mph. My daughter has one in her camera of me leaning 45 degrees attempting to walk back to the car where everybody but the idiot photographer was sheltering from the wind chill factor!

I’ll hope to get up a little gallery of Dakota pix, but it won’t be today. I’m too frantic in my semi-retired slow-lane task-oriented hyper-responsible state of mind to do much more fun stuff. Unless, of course, I reward myself late morning with just one more peek at the badlands pix. There is one panorama I’m really looking forward to working on, and may pay my buddy Doug to print out on his MegaMammoth Epson Billboard-capable printer.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I guess it’s a good thing then that rock doesn’t sway in the wind…As a old rock hound, I just love the layering visible in this shot.