The weather turned deeply cold along the Wasatch range on Thursday, after the big snow storm, and all the peaks were forming lenticular clouds, this one being the most spectacular. It got colder as I headed south, down to 5 deg F in Richfield UT at 11 in the morning. When I stopped for gas in Panguitch, the fuel pumped strangely slowly. A woman pumping next to me said it was because the temperature had dropped to -10F the night before.
We gas pumpers witnessed a peculiar display of human emotion: an older man in his Porsche Cayenne screaming at the woman inside to unlock the doors, with liberal use of foul language. Not something you hear on the streets in Panguitch very often. The woman next to me said something like “I’d never put up with that!” as the fellow shouted that he wasn’t going to let his passenger get what she wanted out of the convenience store and roared away. Even more oddly, they were back a few minutes later (gas still slowly pumping) and the woman made her purchase while he stayed in the car. Just goes to show you can’t buy style from a car dealer, and you have no idea what someone else’s troubles might be.
I remembered on the road somewhere around Kanab about the first lenticular cloud I saw and photographed. It was in Mt Rainier, probably in 1988. I was getting interested in photography, and I had splurged on one roll of black and white film along with my regular snapshot film. I used it on moonlight exposures on the peak and cloud in the rising full moon. I didn’t have access to a darkroom, or know what to do in one, so I took it to my neighborhood film lab in Houston. This wasn’t a drugstore, but a place that should know the drill. They processed that film, printed a contact sheet, and lost the negative. The contact sheet about broke my heart. For a beginner, the exposures were right on, the concepts worked and the cloud/mountain/moonlight/star combination was amazing. It hurt. I still wonder if someone stole that film. Never found, and for some strange reason, I let the loss discourage me for a long time. It took me a long time to learn how to get back in the saddle and shoot again.