I left my parents' later than I had originally intended after I stayed to watch the end of a college basketball game. As a result, I did not make it to the Blue Mountains in Oregon until after dark. To begin with it was snowing, but that was not so bad. Things got interesting a short time later where the clouds had cleared away revealing starry skies and a full moon. The clear skies allowed for cooling which caused the melted snow which was on the freeway to freeze into black ice. I ended up sliding all over the road and then off the road at one point (along with the car that was not too far behind me). Fortunately I did not hit anything and was able to get back on the road without any trouble.

Once I came out of the mountains down into the south end of the Palouse, I saw that there were many large billowing cloud formations which were illuminated by the light of the full moon. For as long as I can remember, I have found the way moonlight illuminates clouds to be quite interesting. As I was driving back to Pullman, I was keeping my eye for a good place to stop and take pictures of large cloud formations lit by the full moon.

I had been told that there was something of a "short cut" to be had by taking Highway 12 towards Pomeroy for a while and then getting on a side road which connected back with State Road 127. While that may be the case, I missed the short cut. Fortunately the road I did end up taking also connected up with SR 127 as well (even though it was longer to have gone this way). The nice thing about this side route on this particular evening was that I came to a place where I thought I could get a picture that I was hoping for. Both of the moonlight pictures were taken here (and in fact, they are very similar images).

It was a good thing that I got the pictures when I did since after I got out from the large cloud which darkens the sky at the top of the images, there were few clouds to be seen, and certainly none of the larger billowing formations which had been common earlier in the drive. It had been cloudy and snowing earlier in the evening where it was now clear and, like in the Blue Mountains, the roads were exteremely icy. It took well over an hour to drive the last 30 miles into Pullman and there were numerous vehicles stuck where they had slid off the side of the road.

Images: Moonlit Clouds I | Moonlit Clouds II
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