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It's 63° F this afternoon with a clear blue skies. All around the house the snow is melting rapidly. The last of this year's winter? I doubt it, despite a week's forecast of warm days ahead. Still, this fall is on its way out.

So, yesterday, I headed out along Missouri Route 94 into the wine country around the Missouri River to catch it before it went.

Just beyond Defiance, I found this beautiful landscape (above). A young man in a pickup truck was watercoloring it, and it's not hard to see why. It just oozes rural charm.

I headed south and west to Dutzow and took a lonely road to find a good spot to photograph the snow-covered Katy Trail.

I pulled off the road onto what I thought was a flat spot to take these two shots of the path criss-crossed by the late-afternoon shadows.However, on returning to the car, I found I had driven onto a slushy snowdrift. The wheels spun and snow flew, but I did not move. A bit of a predicament on an isolated rural road.

Most fortunately, and purely by accident, I had a couple of wire mesh strips designed to provide traction to wheels in precisely these circumstances in the trunk of the car. Given to us by Ruth's father and forgotten until now. I wedged them under the front driving wheels and, foot by foot, got the car out of the snow. It took maybe a half hour with occasional back slips (I was working against a slight slope as well as the snow) but I succeeded. After that, I wasn't in too much of a mood to continue so I headed home missing a rather beautiful sunset. Never mind, there will be others.

I did, at least, catch this extraordinary sky in Klondike Park before my adventure with the snow drift. Amazing clouds!

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