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The Journey

A landscape photographer's tour

Keith's travels in the Colorado Rockies - September-October 2008

To Estes Park

Travelling from Denver to Estes Park, the entrance to the Rocky Mountains National Park.

A reasonable night's rest, although it usually takes a day or so for me to adjust my internal clock and not to feel like getting up at 3am :-)

First of all, here's the GX200 I'm trying out. Its base ISO setting is 64, so I'm hoping that those extra megapixels are not going to require so much noise reduction to lose detail. I'm going to try making some large prints when I get back, so we'll see...


This is what it's up against. A Canon 1Ds3 with 14, 15, 16-35, 24-70, and 70-200 lenses.

Oh, and the 24mm tilt/shift lens too.

Canon camera and lenses

Why so many lenses? - well, it's the first time I've used the 21MP 1Ds3 over here and I wanted to do a few experiments and see what worked well.

It's quite a pleasant journey through the mountains to get to Estes Park from Denver (Hwy. 36)

Two entrances to the Rocky Mountain National Park are just to the west of Estes Park, so I'm planning to cross the park tomorrow.

Its the first time I've seen the mountains in the distance below, not draped with snow, since I've only previously been here in April.

hwy 36, entrance to estes park

One of the things I'm hoping to catch is a bit of Autumn colour (aka 'Fall Colors' )

There are not so many aspen trees this side of the mountains (more in a few days hopefully), but the shot below gives an idea of what I'd like to see.

hwy 34 estes park

It turns out that the best looking tree I saw today was in the town itself

golden aspen, estes park

It also turned out to be extremely busy, with crowds of people everywhere, and huge great queues of traffic building up after lunch, all making their way to the park (should be less busy tomorrow)

Notice all the people standing, dutifully waiting the light to change. In the UK, pedestrian lights are treated as more advisory, and I've seen American visitors to the UK standing at the roadside, looking slightly confused as we just walk over the road, ignoring the signs :-)

crowds, estes park

From watching a bit of US TV last night, both Karen and I were struck by how many more adverts were mentioning 'green' or 'eco' issues.

What has happened? Have rising gas prices finally hit home?

Fortunately, still plenty of my favourite 'worst view in the rear mirror' vehicles about.

side of car, estes park

Yes, my favourite ugly US vehicle - created for the terminally devoid of good taste :-)

ugly dodge - estes park

Meanwhile, time to visit a Safeway and stock up on a few essentials, such as tea bags and some fruit.

Pictured below, Karen, trying to ignore all the vast sacks of snacks behind her.

snack isle, safeway, estes park

You really can buy all kinds of useful stuff in Estes park.

An entire store devoted to 'mountain style' for example.

I saw this lamp in their window and immediately thought how much my friend Al would like it (he lives over here now and I haven't seen his latest house, so I expect he's got lots of stuff like this already ;-)

mountain tat, estes park

An entire store devoted to scissors

scisor emporium, estes park

and another one where you can get crosses, jewellery -and- snacks

christian tat shop

Note that the shop itself is for sale too...

There is also that slightly bizarre passtime of scrapbooking has managed to explain to me what it's all about, or even more why anyone would want to do it in the first place.

happy scrapper, estes park

But seriously, we did have a very nice day in the area ;-)

Tomorrow it's up into the mountains.

>> Next Day >> Across the Rocky Mountain National Park to Grand Lake

27th September >>28th September >>29th September >>30th September>>1st October>>2nd October>>3rd October>>4th October>>5th October>>6th October>>7th October>>8th October>>9th October>>10th October>>11th October>>12th October>>13th October>>14th October

Other travel blogs

Sunset at Long Beach, Washington, USA autumn colours in the cascades
Fall 2010 - Visit to the USA, Pacific Northwest 'Cascade Colours' from Keith's
Autumn 2007 visit to Oregon/Washington
Aspen on the Grand Mesa, Colorado
The North Californian coast - part of Keith's April 2007 tour
The photo above is a sample from Keith's photo-diary of his 2006 visit to Colorado
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