The sun was fully set when I took this photo, but just barely. It was my last night in my home state of Vermont, and I was on my way to fish in the dark. I was exhausted from fishing multiple very long days, from hiking so many miles, and sleeping so few hours. I remember barreling down a steep hill and rounding a sharp corner, and being stunned by the view that unfolded below me.
I didn’t react quickly enough, or was stunned into paralysis, and before I knew it I was beyond the best view of the mountain, Mt. Mansfield, the highest peak in the state.
Once I dropped out of view, reality came back and I slammed on the brakes, and the anti-locks coming on, stuttering the pedal. I came to a careening stop in the dead center of the road, and my jaw was- to use the oft overused expression- literally hanging open, even though I could now barely see the mountain.
I had rarely seen a more stunning scene, even in all my years growing up in the state.
I threw the car in reverse and backed up the hill a little- no risk of traffic on this night- and then was able to pull off the road; or, at least, not block the lane entirely.
I then climbed up onto the roof of my car, stood on it as it depressed jarringly. I set up my tripod quickly, and took photos until the rich twilight had faded.
One of my favorite photos to date.