Later in college I had a crazy experience in an old company store in the Colorado mountains. The place was supposed to be haunted and a man supposedly died there and his bloody handprint on the wall. That has become the basis for my Dead Man series.
Sitting in the quiet shade on a hot afternoon, I was taken by the thoughts of the old wagons that might have come rolling through the gates. After reading a couple of stories about some of the people who came to Fort Bent, I found myself wanting to write my own short story about the promise, the fears and the dangers that some of those people faced. I am currently working on that.
Next week I'll be boarding an Amtrak train for a trip through the Colorado mountains. I've never done that in the winter, but I bet I meet someone who will have a story idea for me. The first time I took the trip I came up with a good mystery idea when the lights all went out as we went through the Moffatt Tunnel. That story still isn't written, but it's out there in my TBW file. (To Be Written) Who knows, I may write it as I sit aboard the train next week.
Look for those ideas. They're all around you, even on a silent afternoon or in a dark tunnel.