Colorado mountain travels Sept-Oct 2008
Colorado in the fall. A landscape photographer’s tour
Keith’s travels in the Colorado Rockies – September-October 2008
Fall Colors / Autumn leaves
...Get our Newsletter for new articles/reviews and why not subscribe to Keith's YouTube Channel
...Keith's book about how to use tilt/shift lenses is now available.
Our site contains affiliate links - these help support the site. See our Advertising policies for more
This photo-diary covers a driving tour around the Colorado Rockies in the Fall (September/October 2008).
Although my third visit to the state, it’s actually the first time I’ve been in Colorado at this time of the year. A good year for the Fall colours.
This time I’m travelling with Karen and we’re leaving the UK via Manchester, which is a new route for me.
Since I’m not on my own, it’s a bit more of a road trip and not quite so heavily phototgraphy oriented as before. That said, I’m getting some excellent photos and look forward to creating some great new prints, black and white as well as colour.
- 27th Sept.: to Denver
- 28th Sept.: Estes Park
- 29th Sept.: Rocky Mountain National Park
- 30th Sept.: Grand lake to Steamboat Springs
- 1st Oct: Steamboat Lake
- 2nd Oct: Steamboat to Leadville
- 3rd Oct: Leadville to Aspen
- 4th Oct: Aspen and Castle Creek
- 5th Oct: Aspen to Ouray
- 6th Oct: Telluride
- 7th Oct: Durango via Silverton
- 8th Oct: Durango to Gunnison
- 9th Oct: Ohio Pass
- 10th Oct: Gunnison to Salida
- 11th Oct: Salida to Frisco
- 12th Oct: Loveland Pass
- 13th Oct: Via Mt Evans (almost)
- 14th Oct: Flying home
As ever a coffee before leaving…
It’s only a couple of hours from home to this airport so no need to get up at 3am this time!
Now it just happens that I’ve got two cameras with me on this trip.
My normal Canon 1Ds mk3 and the new Ricoh GX200.
The GX200 is on loan from Ricoh for a review I’ll be writing when I get back (I reviewed the very nice GX100 last year)
The pics on this page are from the GX200. Below is some of my reading matter for the trip, the GX200 manual. For once I read most of the manual for a camera I’m using :-)
Meanwhile Karen was reading bridal and wedding magazines – to get inspiration for her bridal jewellery business.
Anyway, not a terribly good trip (from a view out of the window point of view)
…but here’s Chicago O’Hare airport, just before we landed.
Below, some detail. Both images have been stretched in contrast quite a bit, since it was hazy, and the shot is through a less than optically perfect plane window.
No interesting views on the way to Denver, but we’re here, with a suitably large car for driving round the mountains…
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.
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.
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.
It turns out that the best looking tree I saw today was in the town itself
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 :-)
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.
Yes, my favourite ugly US vehicle – created for the terminally devoid of good taste :-)
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.
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 ;-)
An entire store devoted to scissors
and another one where you can get crosses, jewellery -and- snacks
Note that the shop itself is for sale too…
There is also that slightly bizarre passtime of scrapbooking …no-one 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.
But seriously, we did have a very nice day in the area ;-)
Tomorrow it’s up into the mountains.
Estes Park to Grand Lake over the 12,000 feet Trail Ridge road.
Leaving our Motel and heading in to Estes Park, it looks to be a good day to drive over the top of the mountains ahead.
As someone who likes black and white landscape photography, the site of clear blue skies is not always welcome, but this time I’m thinking colour (or ‘color’ I suppose for the next couple of weeks)
The road (Hwy 34) goes over 12,000 feet, a climb of nearly 5000 feet from where we are.
I’ve been to the Rocky Mountain National Park twice before in 2004, but both times the road over the top was blocked by snow (it was in May 2004)
Heading up to the park shows some of the bright yellow aspen trees. (in car shots by Karen with the GX200 – colour corrected for the tinted windscreen)
The colour is very intense when the sun catches them.
Particularly against a clear blue sky (14mm 2.8L)
The two shots above were taken not far from the Hwy34 entrance to the park.
It’s Elk time, so there were also hoards of photographers standing around some areas, with big long lenses atop tripods.
A momentary diversion on the part of my assistant means we don’t have any photos of them, but if I said 98% male, most wearing hats, many with beards, you can create your own picture…
The view from just above the tree line shows how far we’ve come. (GX200 DNG file with colours corrected in ACR)
As I said, photographers everywhere… :-)
Here (since I know my Mum likes to see at least one picture of me on each trip) I am, driving along at 12,000 feet
Note the graduated filter windscreen – continually reminding me why I find them seriously over used in a lot of people’s landscape photography ;-)
Below, we see that Karen has indeed learned well from the ‘Keith Cooper School of Landscape Photography’ – Why get out of the car if it’s too cold/wet/windy and you can get a good shot?
At the visitor centre, the snow poles give an idea of just how much snow can fall here (presumably they take in the flag when it snows)
The picture below was taken when I was here last time (May 2004)
Less snow this tim…
The road then descends quite steeply and you are back in the forests
We’re staying at Grand Lake, which has one wide main street, with boardwalks and lots of shops, many closing down for the end of the season at the end of this month.
Although there’s lots of trinkets you can buy here, the general feeling is that you get a better class of trinket in Grand Lake than you do in Estes Park.
An excellent range of ice cream too
After dropping off our stuff, we had a bit more of a drive around
Where I did get out of the car to take a few more pictures…
It’s a Nisan Xterra (or Nee-san as I believe it’s pronounced over here)
In this case, the trees are cottonwoods.
In Grand Lake, we stayed at the Rapids lodge, which has a rather good restaurant too.
We headed off along Hwy 34 past Lake Granby, towards the junction of Hwy 40 at Granby.
Another nice day – not normally my favourite for black and white photography…
This is from a large collection of shots that I’ll probably have a go at stiching together when I get back.
The Wagon Wheel diner at the 34/40 junction
Time for a big US style breakfast
Quite a nice drive – colours turning everywhere (Cottonwoods along the Colorado river)
On the way up Muddy Pass you get some great views of the changing colours
In Steamboat Springs I noticed that all is not well with the Space Station (much like US access to the real one when the shuttle is retired)
This is what it was like back in 2006 when it was a mere $2.96.9 a gallon and the hills had a light dusting of snow. It’s now getting up to $4 (still relatively cheap compared with back in the UK)
Since it’s not far, we went up to Fish Creek falls.
Note the much smaller flow of water compared with May 2004 below
Whilst I’ve had a good look at many of the photos I’ve taken (on my laptop), it’s often not until I see them in detail, or test prints that I know whether an image will ‘work’. Some images work well at web size and as a 20″x30″ print, while others don’t.
I’ve a lot of new prints (160+) to add to the site gallery when I get back – I’d got it sorted out before coming over to the US, but hadn’t quite finished updating all the database that drives the gallery.
The two pictures below were taken along the walk back from the falls
We’re staying in Steamboat for a couple of days, so I’ve a few places to have a look at…
The weather forecast is still looking good (it was in the high 70’s today)
A quick drive up to Steamboat lake and the Hahn’s Peak area – no shortage of fall colours.
This morning we took a short drive North of Steamboat Springs, up to Steamboat lake and Hahn’s Peak
The cottonwoods give an idea of the colours to expect.
Lines of them along rivers and creeks
With Aspens on the hillsides
Not much further on I was pleased to that one of the more enlightened local residents was still around.
This photo is actually from my last visit – this time there was someone in a checked shirt and wearing a hat standing nearby, so I decided not to pass the time of the day or photograph them…
Further on we had to slow down for a car having difficulty with an incline.
The pic is with the GX200 through the windscreen, the larger one below is a (sharpened) 100% crop
One to keep for all those that say I should wash my car more often (it rains frequently enough for my liking)
How to build a log cabin…
When pulling off the road to take photos, I do have to remember to give Karen advance warning – particularly if it’s not going to be a good idea for her to try and get out of that side of the car ;-)
The colours really are quite impressive.
When I’m looking at making prints of any of these pictures, I’m going to be very careful with the colour management. There are colours in the image below that are out of gamut for the A98 colour space and my monitor, but can be printed.
And some more…
Just to remind people, this is what it looks like in the Spring
but today, the sun is out…
The two images above are taken with the GX200 (64ISO RAW)
The Eye patterns on the Aspen trunks vary across the State, with differing types of Aspen
…and some more
It’s a bit more cloud today.
After getting back to Steamboat, we went up to the Ski Village in Steamboat, where there appears to be considerable reconstruction going on.
There are also some ‘traffic circles’ (or roundabouts as we call them)
These should always be approached with caution in the US, since they are uncommon enough that you can expect a significant number of people not to yeild (give way) when approaching them.
The building style in parts of the ‘Ski Village’ is somewhat reminiscent of 1970’s Eastern European ‘Concrete’. No statues of Lenin hailing a cab here though.
Presumably a dusting of snow helps alleviate some of the drabness?
Guess I won’t be staying here for the skiing
Tomorrow it’s heading south…
Down CO131, I70 and US24
We headed off down CO131 south of Steamboat. I’ve been this way before (see the last Colorado blog) and was keen to see how different some aspects look.
The shed below (near Yampa) is in several of my photos, but never in such strong colour…
Just a bit further south comes the aptly named ‘Finger Rock’
The plains get higher and flatter as you head south
There was a great sky though
As the road descends, there’s plenty more colour (this blog is getting a bit yellow isn’t it? :-)
The road goes down sharply as we head for the Colorado River
Not all trees have changed yet.
Minor genetic variations in different related groups of trees affect the precise timing of leaf drop. Trees tend to be related to those near to them. Of course, rock type and drainage have an effect too.
After reaching I70 and driving along (East) for a while, we turned south at Minturn, towards Leadville on US24
The weather was definitely looking worse as we carried on
Eventually we reached Leadville
A reminder for vistors finding it a bit bleak at 10,000 feet :-)
After stopping of at a motel, I went for a quick ride to turquoise lake.
This is the road at the top of the dam that creates the lake
The following shots just show some of the ‘interesting’ weather :-)
Meanwhile, back in Leadville, it’s lost none of its unique charm ;-)
As you can see, the weather wasn’t looking to improve any time soon…
Time for an excellent coffee at the “Provin’ grounds”
A quick walk round the town afterwards – but not too far, I’m used to living at 150 feet above sea level, not 10,000.
I saw this lorry and remembered that some product names just wouldn’t transfer across the Atlantic :-)
Don’t know what/who you’d expect at the Bimbo USA web site, but it probably wasn’t cute, white and furry…
After a day at altitude I think a couple of days at somewhere a bit more upmarket…
Independence Pass has always been closed when I’ve been in Colorado before…
We drove down to Buena Vista from Leadville for breakfast.
No shortage of hot sauces…
After a solid breakfast at 7900 feet, it’s back to climbing the mountain pass to Aspen.
Turning on to CO82, you can see the gap in the mountains where we are headed.
Twin lakes – heading to Independence Pass on CO82.
You can see the road on the way up. At 12,000 feet you are above the tree line.
The weather was a bit hazy to see really long distances. Once before in Colorado I’ve seen mountain peaks that I know are over 100 miles away.
Most people stop to admire the view.
Karen decides that going for a walk at 12,000 feet is not a good idea, after feeling a bit ill at 10,000 in Leadville (altitude sickness can affect -anyone- over about 9,000 feet). It’s one of the reasons we drove to Buena Vista (7900) for breakfast – you feel better that quickly.
Back down to Aspen and its shops
Just to show that because something is in a Gucci shop window doesn’t make it look any better
As I said – lots of expensive stuff in Aspen.
Karen makes bridal jewellery, but is looking confused at a new range of invisible items in this display.
This gas station doesn’t even advertise it’s prices – well, it is Aspen
The weather is about to change, so snow blowers are up for sale.
Excellent machine – don’t think I’ll need one for use in Leicester.
We’re staying in Aspen for a couple of days…
A drive up Castle Creek road and Saturday in Aspen
I drove up Castle Creek road last time I was in Aspen, where there had been a light overnight snowfall and lots more up in the mountains.
It’s quite a dull day, so I wasn’t expecting quite such brilliant colours as earlier in the trip.
Note to Vicky … yes more tree pictures ahead :-)
This is the view just entering the creek road (I’ll be going to the left of the mountain in the middle of the shot)
There are far more stands of aspens that have lost all their leaves already – one good storm and much of the colour will be gone.
Further along the valley you can see the road heading towards Castle Mountain
More trees and a bit of colour
Eventually (after about 14 miles) the road runs out and it’s only walkers and cyclists can continue.
Oh, and one more tree picture :-)
The water below is from a beaver dam.
You can see the lodge where I’m assuming the beavers are getting ready for the lake to freeze :-)
Not many leaves left in some areas
Anyway, back to Aspen, where it’s the Saturday market
As you’d expect for Aspen, this is a slightly more up-market affair.
None of the cheap sets of tools, dodgy DVDs or vegetables with a shelf life of hours, that I might in some UK markets.
I also noticed that getting a camera out did not elicit the looks of suspicion you will find at UK markets – presumably the people here are not worried about people checking if they are claiming unemployment benefit ;-)
Chillis and pumpkins
And of course, a stall from the Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy…
Lots of interesting stalls (including a particularly good pasta seller – that’s presents taken care of)
Nearby, the usual mode of transport
I settled down to a cup of coffee at Zele (opposite the Dior shop)
Even the back alleys are not allowed to look untidy here
Yet another shop with lots of branches…
Although sadly not open right now…
All kinds of shops, including tacky fur shops, that seem to think fur looks good on rich people.
Meanwhile, walking past the park, we noticed a couple getting married in the park band stand
Oh, and that gas station I mentioned yesterday that doesn’t advertise its prices.
If you have to ask the price, then you can’t afford it – only in Aspen… :-)
The weather is definitely getting worse, so tomorrow we’re heading south west…
Not so many pics, since the weather has deteriorated a bit and it was mostly travelling today.
Cloudy at Aspen, but no snow yet :-( the weather forecast predicts it for tomorrow though :-)
We’re heading off west towards Carbondale and then turning down CO133 towards Hotchkiss.
You can see that the snow line has descended. The mountain is Mt. Sophris and is over 12,000 feet.
It’s a nice drive along CO133 up towards McClure pass. The road in the picture below is where we’ve just driven along.
The other side of the pass is a more gentle descent. Including the odd coal mine where half mile long coal trains are loaded.
I had thought of going across the Grand Mesa, but since it was solid cloud, the view might not be that great.
This is the view from the top, taken last time I was in the area (it’s an 8 foot wide print)
At Delta, we turned south on US50, and then along US550 towards Ouray.
More mountains appear in the cloud…
We’re heading towards that gap in the mountains.
We’re stopping in Ouray for a couple of days, so tomorrow it’s off to take some more photos :-)
Ouray is a nice little town, with big mountains very close by.
A round trip to Telluride from Ouray, with lots of trees and mountains.
Although it’s not far in a direct line from Ouray to Telluride, there are some quite high mountains in the way, so you drive north to Ridgway, and turn west to travel up over the Dallas Divide pass. and back round to Telluride.
Not a big place – Ridgway.
Driving along CO62, you get a glimpse of the Mt. Sneffels range of peaks – nicely dusted with fresh snow.
A bit further on.
I thought with all the bright yellow trees I’d best do at least one B/W shot.
The long rise from Ridgway to the Dallas Divide pass has some great overlooks of the Mt. Sneffels range of mountains.
This is a Google Earth map that shows the relationship of the towns, roads and mountains.
I took quite a few sets of photos in order to stitch together – there’s no quick way to try this on my laptop, so I’ve included a range of pictures to give an impression of the views…
Karen took this one of me checking a camera setting or something (while she sat in the car reading ;-)
A bit further along I came across a collection of photographers, including a big 4×5 view camera.
This is what they were looking at.
No autofocus on a 5×4 view camera
Note the interesting lens flare (this was with the GX200)
If you’re curious about such cameras, I’ve written an article about making an adapter to use a DSLR on a 5×4 camera(or 4×5 as they are known in the US)
A bit further up the road.
The road towards Telluride.
The high mountains you can see are the other side of those in the photograph above.
Telluride is right at the end of the valley. There are back roads that go up over the top to Ouray and other places, but not with last night’s snowfall.
We stopped for coffee at the ‘Steaming Bean Coffee Co.’
Telluride has a somewhat more ‘laid back’ feel than the likes of Aspen – here’s someone sitting outside of the ‘Steaming Bean’, reading the Telluride ‘Daily Planet’
It even has its own film academy
On the way back to Ouray I turned up a back road, and guess what?
More nice aspens and mountains…
I also had a chat with another pro photographer, Todd Caudle, who was out getting some more landscape shots.
Thanks to all the photographers I chatted with today – always nice to hear of other’s work. I did discover that this years colours are reckoned to be some of the best in the last 15 years :-)
Along the million dollar highway
The road (US 550) rises sharply out of Ouray
You can see it’s in a quite steep valley
After a few miles of this it flattens out, but not before Karen likened it more to a rollercoaster ride (and I was driving carefully ;-) I guess sometimes it’s better to actually be at the wheel of the car
A stream further up shows one of the big problems in this mineral rich area.
Pollution from mine workings has stained the river brown. There are lots of special ponds and filtering beds to improve this, but over a hundred years of mineral extraction has left problems.
This small lake, is I believe, part of the clean-up scheme (and water storage too)
The wider view below was taken with the Canon 15mm fisheye lens. Note its resistance to flare and the fact that by keeping the horizon through the centre of the (original) frame, there is little obvious distortion
On to Silverton, which had a distinctly empty feel when we first got there
In a nearby hillside, you can see evidence of mining
Then the train from Durango arrives.
It’s a narrow gauge steam railway that takes a few hours to wind its way up through the mountains from Durango. It then turns round, waits a while and goes back.
A very scenic ride I’m told
Today also happened to be the paricular day that children from Silverton Kindergarten welcome the arrival of the train (note minder/handler in dark shades to the right :-)
A few more shots of the train for several folks back home :-)
As the train emptied, the local shops readied themselves to supply gifts and trinkets for the journey back down from the mountains.
With all kinds of enticements to get shoppers inside
No pies though…
The journey down towards Durango had lots of views of nicely coloured trees…
Durango itself is rather a nice looking town.
Karen is checking that I’ve put enough money into the parking meter, since there is a bead shop over the other side of the road.
A pleasant main street
With some relatively old buildings
Tommorow it’s off again… I’ve now got to think of places to go on the way back towards Denver (where we may stay a couple of days)
Travelling East along US160 and then up CO149 through Creede and Lake City to Gunnison.
Clear blue skies are not usually my favourite photographic conditions, but they made for a a nice journey today.
Heading east out of Durango along US160 is a nice journey. The picture below is along Wolf Creek, heading towards the pass.
The rocks are volcanic in this area, giving this distinctive weathering style.
The map shows the area we covered today.
In fact, the lump of rock to the right of the picture above is right in the middle of the one below.
Still many aspens holding on to their leaves
There is no shortage of helpful road signs in the US – we were wondering why the road vanished into the dark hole in the rocks.
We stopped off in Creede for lunch.
I can certainly recommend the Cafe Ole – best BLT sandwich I’ve had for a long while :-|)
Afterwards we headed off towards Gunnison
Whilst I like the colours, I’d prefer to see lots of interesting cloud for black and white shots
This was a similar view last time I was going along this road
The Gunnison Sonic is being rebuilt
This is what it looked like last time I was here (note more interesting clouds too!)
Anyway, I just fancied a good cup of tea, and was able to get one at a local coffee shop.
And in a bit of experimentation, it seems that the GX200 really does focus down to 1cm (top is from Karen’s fizzy drink :-)
We’re staying in Gunnison for a couple of days
Up over one of the mountain passes that was closed when I was last here.
Crested Butte in the distance
and the view in 2006 (much colder)
A local attorney and property shop.
A large delivery of tea is underway from Xing Tea
Off up towards Kebler Pass.
Last time I was here (2006), this was as far as I could get, because of the snow.
No problem this time. The road carries on towards the McClure pass area, where we were at, the other day
We turned off towards Ohio Pass (also closed when I was here about 4 years ago)
This is the view back towards Gunnison as you cross the pass.
As you’d expect, lots of trees
yes, lots of them…
A really nice day to spend in the mountains
This is the road ahead
And another view
A popular pass-time, at least the marks will last for years…
The mountain below is entirely natural, it’s called Castle Mountain – looks just like some ruins.
A distinctly LOTR look according to Karen :-)
Of course you don’t have to drive miles up a mountain pass – you could always cycle it ;-)
Back in Gunnison we went out for some food, noticing that the flag had been lowered at the liquor store
This from last time – note the USMC flag. Karen wondered if there was any ceremony at sunset?
Motels often have notices up to entice passing visitors… ??
And the Sonic is deserted
Tomorrow – further East
Stopping off at the Great Sand Dunes National Park.
We travelled east from Gunnison and turned dow CO114 towards Saguache
The Volcanic rocks give a distinct type of landscape.
A Map of where we were – click the ‘TER’ buttton to get a feel for where the hilly bits are :-)
More shots from my assistant :-)
At lower levels the Cottonwoods are still brightly coloured, although many aspens have now lost their leaves
So, on to US285 heading south
A big wide flat plain, with not much rain – the San Luis valley is a good place for solar energy
There was a distinct haze from dust in the air, and getting nearer to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, you could clearly see it being blown along.
The wind was gusting to 50mph, more than enough to move the sand at dune crests (picture is a crop of a shot from about a mile away)
The dunes are huge – note people for scale.
Very windy, this was a flowing creek last time I was here. I do normally teach people to keep their shadow out of the picture…
With the blowing sand (look at the tips of the dunes) it was somewhat hazy, but the clouds make interesting patterns on the dunes.
This was in April 2004, when the Medano Creek was in full spate
After leaving, we had to stop for Karen to retrieve some important items from the back of the car.
We’ve stopped off in Salida
A conveniently placed kerbside flag helps locate the car
And a pleasant coffee shop (Karen not shown due to bead shop next door ;-)
We’re now in Salida and heading north on Saturday.
This probably marks the end of the daily blog, since it takes a while to do each day and we’re going to have a few days ‘holiday’ before coming back on the 14th ;-)
Depending on the weather and where we go, there will be a few more pages, but they may be delayed a day or so.
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions – hope you’ve found the pages of some interest :-)
A big change in the weather – it’s starting to snow.
A short blog today since it rained/snowed for a lot of the journey – I’ve added additional pictures, that Karen took whilst we were driving.
This is the hill with a big ‘S’ on it, near to Salida and its charming gravel works.
It’s a common site, letters on hillsides in the US – something to do with colleges mostly :-)
We headed north out of Salida.
The peaks in the first picture are part of the Collegiate range (Yale, Princeton etc)
The second shot is looking more to the west.
From a photography point of view, I’ll take a sky like this in preference to a clear blue one, most days :-)
The picture below was taken through the car window with the GX200.
By the time we got to Fairplay, it was time for a snack at the Brown Burro.
The people in camouflage gear (except the hat) are just off hunting… (far be it for me to take picture of groups of people in the US, just because they conform to our UK stereotypes ;-) )
Afterwards, the weather got worse :-)
Lots of snow was forecast…
A quick trip up Loveland Pass from Frisco.
We’re having a bit of a break from travelling long distances, before coming back home. Although the weather forecast predicted several inches of snow last night, there was only a light fall higher up the mountains.
On the way to Loveland Pass we passed the Arapahoe ski area, where they are using snow machines to get a ski run open.
A contrast enhanced 100% crop from the image above, showing one of the snow machines and footsteps of someone who had to go up and fire them up.
Loveland pass is just over 12,000 feet – very cold and windy (although nowhere near as bad as in winter)
Here’s Karen, wearing two coats and a hat.
And here I am…
Coming back along I-70, we came through the Eisenhower Tunnel.
40 years ago, you’d have had to go over Loveland Pass to head west.
Back in Frisco I went out for a cup of coffee, and spotted this butterfly making the most of the sunshine.
I looked round and for a moment thought Karen’s sister had joined us… (standing on the tree trunk :-)
In a small park in Frisco, there are loads of these things hanging from trees – some Halloween related activity…
And in other news, I was interviewed by a local TV station when up at Loveland Pass and I was pulled over by the police for running a stop sign at a shopping centre :-)
Unfortunately, my TV interview was trumped by a lady who had never seen snow before :-)
OK, up to the bottom of the Mt. Evans road, since it was closed by the snow.
Just a quick blog to finish things off :-)
Rather than just drive back to Denver along I-70, we turned off towards the Mt Evans road
Still a few Fall colours, despite the snow.
Up at 11,000 feet there was a bit more snow
This is echo Lake at the entrance to the Mt Evans Road. Unfortunately closed
A bit further on (Juniper Pass) there was quite a bit of snow
You can clearly see the level of the snow in this view of the mountains to the East
I’ll tidy up the blog and maybe add a few missing pictures when I’m back in the UK
I’m hoping to have a review of the GX200 in a few weeks, in fact over the next couple of months you should be seeing a lot of pictures from this trip appearing in new reviews.
The end of the trip – Hope you’ve enjoyed some of the pics.
Just 3 pics taken through the window (with the GX200) , when leaving Chicago O’Hare airport flying back to Manchester, UK.
It was of course raining when we got back to Manchester, UK :-)
Now to sort through all the photos I’ve taken :-)
Enjoyed this article?
All travel related articles or photo-diaries are listed in the 'Travel' category, and collected together on the 'Keith's Travels' page.
If you want any more information about locations or photos, please do let us know.
We're an Amazon.com affiliate, so receive payment if you buy via Amazon US