Just a random picture from one of my hikes this past weekend. The clouds were just crazy cool, seeming to emanate from a single point on the distant horizon. Throw in those beautiful, blue Colorado skies behind them and it was a very pleasant, fall scene.
Just a gorgeous, fall scene in the Rocky Mountains. I spent a morning a few weeks ago in the Upper Beaver Meadows area of Rocky Mountain National Park watching the elk.
The action was pretty light and a bit further away than I would have preferred but that allowed me to capture this cool scene. Below, a massive elk bull bugles and the sound echoes throughout the valley. Behind him, the indomitable, 14,259-foot high Longs Peak with some light, wispy clouds circling its rocky face.
I just sat on a rock, soaking it all in.
Kind of a fun, random shot from this past summer.
Taken from near the top of Mount Evans, looking across at Mount Bierstadt. I had taken the easier route to 14,000 feet, driving to the top of Mount Evans. These folks had hiked from the opposite side of Mount Bierstadt to summit that 14,065 foot peak.
The two mountain peaks are a bit over a mile away from each other and with the naked eye, you probably would not have seen the people on the opposite peak.
As you start the climb up the east side of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, there is a little turn off to this spot. As it is at a higher elevation than the Estes Park valley, this area serves as a bit of a harbinger of the change in colors to come to lower spots in the weeks that follow.
This past Saturday I headed up that way in search of some Colorado gold and while it wasn’t abundant, there was enough yellow aspen to drive home the point that autumn is here. Throw in those crazy, deep blue skies and the moon and there were some nice scenes to capture.
For those on the Colorado Front Range or, particularly if you ever visit Rocky Mountain National Park, this is a mountain you are well familiar with.
The 14,259-foot high peak dominates the view from virtually every direction. This past Sunday morning, I had pulled up a nice, quiet spot in the park to just sit and watch the sunrise and listen to the elk bugle.
As the sun peeked over the horizon, it lit up “The Diamond,” a 1,000 foot sheer cliff on the east side of Longs Peak. The low clouds and soft light provided some nice accents to what was a beautiful view on a chilly late summer morning.
For some reason, lately my mind has been wandering back to 2019 and our two week RV excursion there. It was an absolute amazing time with sights, sounds and creatures that I pray I will someday be able to see again.
During our time near Seward, we camped north of town between there and Exit Glacier. Out the back of our campsite, this was the view that greeted us. After the trip I shared a more fog-shrouded image of the mountain in black and white but in looking back, I came across this gem.
Early morning I would walk to the edge of the Resurrection River and just sit, coffee cup in hand, taking in the view and the sounds of the river’s waters. Sigh. The green of the foliage and the blue above were so brilliant. Throw in some snow and, if you look close, waterfalls, and it was pretty darned awesome.
A bit of a day off from photo taking yesterday as my brothers and son went for a “boys ride” in my UTV and ATVs. Our destination was Kingston Peak which tops out at 12,153 feet.
At the top, we were greeted with amazing views from well-above timberline and, perhaps appropriately for September 11, Old Glory flapping in the wind. Certainly I had hopped to see some critters but was quite pleased just to have seen the view from the top.
During our visit in July to this amazing place, smoke from wildfires to the west made capturing the majesty and color of the Teton range nearly impossible. The haze was overwhelming, obscuring much of the detail of the jagged peaks and rendering everything “gray.”
What was I to do with some not-so-great pics?
Well, I took some artistic liberty. This image is actually three shots stitched together to create a wide panorama. I then converted it to black and white and increased the grain considerably, giving it an “old time” feel.
You can almost imagine the first settlers coming to the area in their covered wagons as they headed west and hoping they would not have to cross those imposing peaks.
Now this is some true Colorado gold and blue! Goodness.
As I ventured out from our campsite Sunday morning, I could tell sunrise was going to be a good one. Finding the right spot to capture it though caused a bit of stress. I could see the show unfolding and just was not finding a location that I felt would do it justice.
I feverishly rushed on, hoping “the spot” would reveal itself to me. Finally, with hardly any time to spare, I found it. After a short hike out into the forest, I got what I was looking for – the sun bursting over the mountains with a beautiful, golden meadow below. I’ll happily take that!
Hundreds of thousands of acres of beautiful forest burned across Colorado last summer and fall. The devastation has altered the landscape for decades (centuries?) to come.
In less than a year, however, the forest has begun the process of being born again. In an area of Arapaho National Forest where few trees were left standing and those that are still upright are only blackened stalks, the floor of the forest has come alive.
Here, fireweed signifies the first of the new growth. We saw vast swaths of this beautiful flower, far more than what would normally grow had the tree canopy shaded everything. The purple / pink provided a nice contrast to the charcoal black.