Seeing the forecast calling for three days of clouds and rain, I headed into Rapid City on Friday. I spent a couple of days with my longtime friend, Jeff Volk, whom I have known since sixth grade. I did some of my early exploring with Jeff, hiking around Rapid City and the hills, canvassing construction sites for fossills. Each day was cloudy and snowy, and I knew it was a good time to get caught up with an old friend rather than waiting for the weather to improve out here.
But, today was supposed to be the day when the weather started to break up. While most of the day was the same flat cloudy it has been, by later in the afternoon the clouds started to develop texture. So, I drove over to the Conata Basin area and parked in the backcountry entry point for Deer Haven. I headed generally to the west for about a mile, then found a nice formation to climb up and set up for good evening views. There was a small opening growing to the west, and I hoped the sun would get to shine through just before setting. It would have made for a spectacular sunset, as the texture of the clouds would have provided a great surface for the warm, pinkish hues of a setting sun.
Unfortunately, that glimmer of hope did not rise to the level of reality. But, I found what would be a great spot for first light. I hope to head into the backcountry this Friday for a three-day backpack through Deer Haven and along Sage Creek. If that pans out, then I can start my day photographing first light here before I head out.