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Schwabacher’s Landing in Grand Teton National Park

I’m back after a week in Yellowstone and Grand Teton. The weather was a bit less than ideal – even some snow! – but it was a fantastic trip with lots of sights and of course pictures to share.

This image was taken a few days ago as the family and I visited this spot we had not been to before. It was gorgeous with a little creek stemming off of the Snake River moving through, the forest and of course the Tetons in the background.

We took a nice little three mile hike through the area enjoying one of the few periods of sun we had during our time up there. Next time I am up there I must visit this same spot at sunrise and / or sunset as I know it would be amazing.

A beautiful scene at Schwabacher's Landing in Grand Teton National Park.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A beautiful scene at Schwabacher’s Landing in Grand Teton National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Lots of snow in the Colorado high country

This view is taken looking down on the Moraine Park area of Rocky Mountain National Park. Longs Peak is the dominating mountain to the left of center. While the lower altitudes were dry, up high, especially above timberline, there is still a lot of snow up there. Much of that is thanks to a late season snowstorm that hit a week and a half ago.

A panoramic view looking toward Longs Peak and the Moraine Park area. (© Tony’s Takes)

A panoramic view looking toward Longs Peak and the Moraine Park area. (© Tony’s Takes)

Honoring a local hero

I visit a few gravesites at Fort Logan National Cemetery when I go. Some people I knew, some are friends and family of people I knew. Yesterday, I stopped by and said hello to a shipmate, one you may have heard of.

Petty Officer Danny Dietz was a man that stood above others. Raised in Littleton, Colorado, he would go on to become a Navy SEAL and serve with distinction and honor. It was in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan on June 28, 2005 that Danny’s journey would come to an end.

In a battle immortalized in the movie, Lone Survivor, he was shot in the neck and yet he kept fighting – fighting for his teammates.  He would fall back with them, leap off a precipice and continue the fight, providing covering fire until he received a fatal shot.

A truly extraordinary man, one who fought and died for something greater than himself.  My visit was humbling and shook me. I thank God for men and women like him. For his valiant action, Gunner’s Mate Second Class Dietz received the Navy Cross.

The honored resting place of Petty Officer Danny Dietz, U.S. Navy SEAL. (© Tony’s Takes)

The honored resting place of Petty Officer Danny Dietz, U.S. Navy SEAL. (© Tony’s Takes)

Remembering the real reason for the Memorial Day holiday

As I do a few times a year, I paid a visit to Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver this weekend. My father is buried there, along with thousands of others of our nation’s heroes. Brave men and women who answered the call of the nation, some in peacetime, some in war.

Today, however, is not for all of them. It is for those that made the ultimate sacrifice – a price paid out of love for country, for God and for their countrymen. Those of us left behind are charged with carrying forward and ensuring that they are never forgotten, that their sacrifices shall not have been in vain.

We would do well to remember the words of Abraham Lincoln when he said, “Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure.”

Were it not for those heroes, we and our nation would not be here. Let us remember.

Honoring our nation's heroes on Memorial Day 2017.  Fort Logan National Cemetery in black and white. (© Tony’s Takes)

Honoring our nation’s heroes on Memorial Day 2017. Fort Logan National Cemetery in black and white. (© Tony’s Takes)

Hot air balloon above the Rocky Mountains

What a difference a couple of days make in Colorado. Just two days before this image was taken we received a late season snowstorm that shocked the residents of the Front Range. It definitely had us wondering what happened to our spring.

As is typical here though, it didn’t last long and soon we were returned to our typically beautiful weather. The morning temperatures were still crisp when I took this image but the gorgeous view of the snow-capped peaks to the west were more than enough to warm my heart.

It was a bonus that this balloon rose high in the sky, seeming to sail above those massive mountains in the background. The scene certainly served as a reminder why I love this state.

Image available for purchase here.

A hot air balloon rises above the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A hot air balloon rises above the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

The Mile High City capped with clouds

While it does look kind of cool, thankfully this isn’t typical for Denver. Those of us that live here are used to seeing far more sun and warmth this time of year.

A late season storm brought cold, a lot of rain and a bit of snow to the Colorado Front Range this past week. Just to the west in the mountains they were measuring the snowfall in feet. It was a bit of a shock to the system of residents.

In reality, snow in May is not that unusual although this system was stronger that normal for this late in the season. Certainly I hope we are done with the white stuff for the season but Denver’s latest snowfall in history occurred on June 12, 1947 so you just never know.

Denver, Colorado sits under a layer of clouds after a late season snowstorm blanketed the area and the nearby Rocky Mountains in snow.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Denver, Colorado sits under a layer of clouds after a late season snowstorm blanketed the area and the nearby Rocky Mountains in snow. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sunrise in suburbia

Lacking motivation to go far for photos one day last week, I made a last minute decision to stick close to home. That turned out to be a good thing as I was able to capture a gorgeous sunrise just a few miles from home. At the lower elevations of Colorado, stunning sunrises and sunsets are more common than not and it is easy to take them for granted.

Sunrise in the suburbs north of Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sunrise in the suburbs north of Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Fresh snow on the Colorado Front Range

Fresh snow on the Colorado Front Range. Our weather here can go from one extreme to the next. One week ago my photo excursion started quite chilly in the wake of a late spring snowfall. The white stuff blanketed the nearby Rocky Mountains and left smaller amounts down here at lower elevations. Here you see the Great Plains in the foreground and Mount Meeker and Longs Peak towering in the background. Today, one week later, we will see high temperatures reach well into the 80s and push toward record-setting territory.

Fresh snow blankets the Colorado Front Range mountains and adjacent plains.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Fresh snow blankets the Colorado Front Range mountains and adjacent plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

A snow-covered Mount Meeker

Sometimes wildlife watching can get a bit boring but, one good thing about Colorado, when you are waiting for the critters to do something there are other things to look at. In this case, the 13,911 foot high Mount Meeker. From this angle, it does a good job of blocking its more famous and taller neighbor, Longs Peak. For climbers, Mount Meeker is actually considered a more difficult summit to attain than Longs.

Mount Meeker dominates the horizon to the west from the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mount Meeker dominates the horizon to the west from the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

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