Over the last couple of years, my lovely wife has begun taking a "girls" trip with some of her friends to Cancun, Mexico in mid-November. So while she's basking in the sun on the beach, I'm stuck here in dreary stick season in East Central Indiana. What's a poor temporary-bachelor photographer to do? Uh-huh. Road Trip.

Since the landscape around here is in that dead time between fall colors and winter's snows, I thought perhaps I could find a little fall color left a little further south, so I first headed for the Red River Gorge in Kentucky and the Natural Bridge State Resort Park. I visited there last year in mid-October and felt like I should have waited about another week or two to catch the fall peak colors. So it seemed like mid-November might be a little late, but there should still be some fall color, right? Not really.

[caption id="attachment_38" align="alignnone" width="590" caption="Late fall color from Lookout Point in the Natural Bridge State Resort Park"]Late fall color in the Natural Bridge State Resort Park[/caption]

Yeah, there were some oranges and reds left in the trees, along with a little green, but it sure wasn't what I was looking for. Many of the trees had no leaves left at all, reminding me of the sticks I had left behind in Indiana.

Now what?

Well, another of the park's features are the sandstone cliffs and rock faces carved by the Red River over the last several hundred thousand years. I took the Laurel Ridge Trail from Lookout Point to the Needle's Eye Stairway, which was built in 1934 by the CCC. Climbing down the Stairway, I noticed the interplay of light and shadow in the clefts and ridges of the sandstone and found one in particular that caught my eye.

[caption id="attachment_39" align="alignnone" width="590" caption="Sandstone and Light: Rock Formations Along the Needle's Eye Stairway"]Sandstone and Light: Rock Formations Along the Needle's Eye Stairway[/caption]

Not bad. At this point, however, I felt like I was ready to move on. I could have — and perhaps, should have — stayed and worked these massive rock walls and ravines more, but something else was tugging at me.

After all, it was a road trip.