Living along the Front Range in Colorado, one gets used to spectacular mountain scenery.  Everyday the 13,000 and 14,000 foot peaks loom to the west defining the horizon and giving a sense of boundary, and wonder.

But during the summer months, a new mountain range pops up on occasion.  This one appears to the east and can make Colorado’s 14ers look trifling by comparison.  In fact, these “peaks” could make the mighty Himalayas seem like insignificant bumps.  They rise to heights greater than 35,000 feet and can be hundreds of cubic miles in volume.

I’m referring of course to (and here’s a link to one spectacular photo) the great cumulonimbus clouds that bang their thunderstorms across the plains.  From here, they shine brightly in late afternoon light and tower above the otherwise flat horizon to the east.

I have often said, that at least in the summer months, the Rocky Mountains must compete with these impressive clouds for attention.  Often it is no contest.  The clouds can be more dramatic by far.  Tis the season for these storms on the plains.  It’s part of what makes this landscape so forbidding and yet enticing at the same time.


About greatplainstrail

Building the Great Plains Trail.
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