Rewards and Traditions

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, to which I arrived early, and – would you believe this? – they  took me straight back! Everything went well, and then I was outta there. For my doctor’s speediness, I rewarded myself with a cuppa joe (decaf maple cinnamon latte, please) and a photo drive up the peninsula.

When the leaves have blown away from the inland trees, the vineyards on the Old Mission Peninsula can be counted on for some cheerful last vestiges of color. Alas, the peninsula’s late-to-change-color leaves seem to have suffered this year – probably related to the recent snow. The drive was still beautiful, but ochers dominate where ambers normally do.

I hadn’t really intended to drive all the way to the tippy-top of the peninsula, but by the time I reached my destination vineyard, I was close. And I had finished that latte and needed a place to rest, if you catch my drift. A few visitors ambled around, enjoying the quiet repose. The lightest breeze breathed, barely stirring leaf litter and bay. I could have stayed much longer, but I remembered that I did have a job to return to.

But on such a pretty day (okay, the haze and clouds weren’t that great, but don’t tell Yesterday Me that), I couldn’t go straight home.
leaves hugging a barn
I had previously tried to photograph this barn, but wasn’t happy with the images. Try, try again, though. Yesterday, as I passed it on the way to the lighthouse park, I noticed a couple of bright red maple saplings – possible barn frames – and made a mental not to pull over on the way back by. I’m glad I tried again 🙂

Nearing Rapid City, instead of taking the usual way home, I took the back way in, over an almost unmaintained rutted sand road. A terrific decision – look at this county road splendor!
country road

And it doesn’t stop there. A logging operation has created this giant, reflection-filled puddle. Looking both up and down is advisable as well.

I did eventually return home and to work. Then, because it is going to rain all day today through Saturday, we left (after work) for what is becoming a traditional post-peak color hike at the Sand Lakes Quiet Area. I’m not sure what draws us there each year, but it always seems like a good place to go once the fall fireworks have petered out. Perhaps it’s just a tradition? Do you have places like that? Those that seem to draw you back, year after year?

PS – Happy Halloween!
PPS – I finally created a Facebook page just for photos. If you want to check it out, please do. 🙂

sand lakes
sand lakes-2