2200 Miles, 3 States, 3 Parks

Rick and Barbara had a dream trip and are sharing it with us.  The covered 2,200 miles, three states and visited three National Parks.  Their goal was Denver via the 'scenic' route.  Their first night was in Cortez, but before chowing down on Mexican food they had already stopped at the Cameron Trading Post and then spent three hours at  the Mesa Verde National Park.

Cameron Trading Post

The Little Colorado Wash behind the Cameron Trading Post hotel.

Drive to Cortez

Drive to Cortez

Drive to Cortez

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings.

Before leaving Durango they stopped by the Durango-Silverton Railroad to capture the steam locomotives.

From Durango they headed up Wolf Creek Pass which tops out at 11,000 feet.

Fall Creek Falls at the base of Wolf Creek Pass.

Rick and Barbara then spent time in Winter Park with some very close friends.  A walk around the neighborhood gave them some nice photo opportunities, including hot-air balloons near the local lake.

Drive to Winter Park

Drive to Winter Park

Drive to Winter Park

Drive to Winter Park

Lupines everywhere!

Rick wrote that there was a hummingbirds frenzy at this feeder.  Lucky one sat still just long enough for a good shot.

From Winter Park they headed on to Denver via Rocky Mountain National  Park and the Trail Ridge Road.  The road is the highest maintained automobile road in the US.  Patches of snow and lots of elk most assuredly reminded them they were not at home.

20-Trail Ridge Road.jpg

Well, they did reach Denver.  The second part of their trip is up tomorrow.  A very special thanks to two exceptional and generous photographers.

Among Giants

It started off calmly at Crescent City's marina.

Then we continued our day with the giant redwoods.  I have seen them in photos. Impressive.  But, to be among them and REALLY see how magnificent they are, to smell the earth around them, to appreciate the environment that they create. . . there is just no way to describe, or as it turns out, photograph them easily.

We want to go back today and see if we can better capture what is there. Not to whine too much, however, the dynamic range in the forest is so wide that even HDR does not compensate.  We tried everything!!  Here are some of our photos from our day.



Tom, my BIG man looked a bit small among these giants. I know the tree looks blue and it was a very blue gray color.  

Uh, are we sure we want to drive under this.  Sure, we are photographers and there are more photos ahead. Tom's take is that the car would survive the log sliding down! I held my breath.

There are some fall colors showing up in other trees in the forest.

The photo below is of the BIG TREE.  It has its own wayside, is 1,500 years old and 60 feet in diameter.  Talk about a tough photograph subject!  The image just does not do this tree justice.

Tom mentioned that everyone around the big tree was whispering or speaking very softly.  "Like in a cathedral." He said.  That is a good description of how it felt.

Just imagine a walk down this path, with ever changing light, the smell of damp and fertile earth, quiet . . .

You might come across this.

Or this!

Or these.

It was hard to leave the redwoods.  On our way to Eureka we spotted elk. This young buck is such a show off. The big bull was out of our lens' reach and since he was agitated we did not foolishly pursue him.  This buck smartly stayed just outside the herd of 20 or so cows that were near the bull.

An old school house became our golden hour shot.

Today we are returning to the redwoods. Then, southbound we will be.

Have a great day. Get out and shoot, even if in your back yard. Plus, in Phoenix you may have some fun weather to shoot.