October 26 Winter isn’t sneaky — it’s slammin’

Winter’s first blow

Wow. Winter didn’t pull any punches with its introduction. It hit us hard, and it’s still two months until the first calendar of winter.

The blizzard rolled all day and tonight it’s slow going on Highway 83 at Wilton.  Trucks are still doing their thing, but a few have decided it’s not worth it. So, they pulled in to the Wilton Cenex truck stop.

I wasn’t sure what I’d find to photograph when I went out, but had hoped to catch some snow plows working Highway 83.  I gave up after about 10 seconds. I’m not used to this cold, yet.  So, I captured these images to show what we are in for until spring.

In a way, I find it a bit exciting to be challenged like this by winter, but it’s also groan-worthy because I know it’s going to be a long winter ahead.

And just as conflicted as I am about winter, I’m conflicted about the Wilton City street crew.  Yes, they do a great job of clearing the streets,but dang, a full 6 months of this is gonna be hard on my back — cleaning out the end of my driveway every time the snow plow goes by.

The morning after the night before

(Actually, this shot belongs with tomorrow’s entry, but I thought it was fitting to put it here to give a glimpse of the “aftermath” of this Intro to Winter 101 course.)

September 15


Waiting for morning trucking


Off to the edge of the Wilton Cenex gas station a lineup of trucks waits for morning’s shipments of hot mix for the road crew working between Bismarck and Wilton on Highway 83.  The Wilton Cenex has become a rendezvous point for trucks, not quite a truck stop, but more than a gas station.  The sleeper cabs keep the drivers overnight, and if they want to wander in for a cuppa jo or a pizza, they don’t have far to go.

I like this shot because of the lighting, and if you look closely you can see a moon trying to peak out. I was trying to get in position for the shot while the full moon was in full splendor. But alas, the clouds covered my model.  So, I shot the props, the trucks beneath the moon.

March 19

I’ve got a thing for shots at night.  The camera catches light and illumination differently than does our eyes.  It can direct your eyes to go where you may have looked elsewhere. Take this shot for example. Think of where your eyes traveled as you looked at it. How quickly did your eyes run down the length of the truck? At what point did you focus on the fuel pumps?  Did you try to read the label?  These are things you may have missed in the daylight when there is so much to distract.

The Wilton Cenex Convenience Store is an amazing little place. If you browse the aisles back toward the hardware store and shop, you’ll be impressed with the things you find.  Heck, you might even see a rack with some of my postcards for sale there!  Anyway, the south end of the lot often has a few semi’s parked overnight, like a truck stop. Yet the primary target audience of the Farmers Union Cenex Convenience Store is as the name suggests, farmers.

March 8

It’s surely spring with all this fog. Temperatures are reasonable for this time of year, but the fog is getting wearisome.  Truckers on I-94 like this cattle hauler drive in a shroud of gray that prevents them from seeing much of where they are.    For me as a photographer, it is a bit of a challenge to find new and different ways to shoot the same gray scenery.  Then, I drove by the Oasis Truck Stop in Bismarck and saw a new way to look at the parking lot.