While road tripping through Oregon, I had one day set aside to visit and photograph Smith Rock State Park and the surrounding area. Just before sunset, the sky darkened with storm clouds rolling in from the west. At first I thought I was wasting my time heading out with the rain and overcast skies, but that quickly changed as the sky cleared to the west just before the sun dropped below the horizon. The break in the clouds gave the last rays of sunlight a chance to ignite the overhead storm clouds for a brief moment before torrential rain and hail hit. At the time of taking this photo, everyone else in the area had already cleared out from the trails and sought shelter. I am so glad I made the choice to show up and even happier that I chose to stick it out. The best part is that I made it back to the truck just before the hail came down. This is a prime example of how it pays to get out and stay out.
The Kofa mountain range marks the northern edge of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. Cholla cactus and the iconic giant saguaro cactus dominate the landscape in this harsh desert. With weather conditions that rarely change, dramatic sunsets like this are the norm.
A typical sunset view along the Oregon Coast.