A drive to Swan Lake, Idaho

August 28, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

This past Monday I finally had some free time mid-morning to take another Cache Valley Views drive. The air in Logan was still quite hazy from wildfires burning in California, Oregon, and Washington so I decided to drive north on Highway 91 where the sky appeared to be clearer. I also took the opportunity to bring along my new Sony 18mm – 105mm G zoom lens on my Sony A6000 camera. It is the sharpest lens I own now and I'm still getting used to it.


Driving into Preston, Idaho the first scene that caught my eye was an antique store just off the highway that's decorated with the store's name creatively painted on the building wall. The shot was a bit out of reach across the highway for me to use the 18-105mm lens so I switched to the Sony 55mm – 210mm telephoto zoom. This lens, with the A6000's crop factor, is the equivalent of 80mm – 320mm giving it quite a reach.


Preston, Idaho


Driving just a block further down the highway I spotted a huge mound of wheat piled up on a black asphalt pad. The shapes and strong bold colors created a very graphic image. Putting back on the 18mm – 105mm lens I knew the best images would come by putting the sun behind me and shooting into the clear blue sky.


Preston, Idaho


Leaving Preston via Highway 91 if you keep driving north you'll eventually reach Interstate 15 and then Pocatello, Idaho. You find along this stretch of road many abandoned gas stations, motels, and other businesses that closed up once the Interstate bypassed them. This one time filling station in Winder, Idaho caught my eye with its clean lines and white-washed walls. A perfect subject for a black and white photograph.


Winder, Idaho


Driving further north I reached Swan Lake, Idaho. Located here is a gas station and convenience store, Thomas Merc that's still in business. Whether or not the name is really Thomas Mercantile or just “Merc” I'm unsure. It's amazing to me that in such a sparsely settled area along such a lightly traveled highway this store remains open. Good for them. I love the classic one-of-a-kind look of these stations built before today's gas stations which have the same corporate mandated design no matter where you are in the country.


Swan Lake, Idaho


Across the highway from the gas station in Swan Lake is a grain silo apparently no longer in use. The shape reminded me of a rocket ship poised for launch into the blue sky. The rectangular grain elevator the spacecraft and the surrounding cylindrical silos the booster rockets.


Swan Lake, Idaho


Finishing taking pictures in Swan Lake it was time for me to head back home to pick up my daughter from school. But I need to return again to finish my drive further north along Highway 91 until it connects with I-15. I want to visit the still operating Downata Hot Springs resort, and the small towns of Downey and Virginia, Idaho. I'm sure along the road I'll be able to find even more amazing photo opportunities.


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