Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Yesterday I headed to the Spanish Peaks Wilderness in the hope of getting some nice sunset photos of West Spanish Peak. It's a fairly simple matter when the weather cooperates — just find your way to Cordova Pass, and about 100 yards from the trailhead you're looking through the trees at the peak. I planned on making it only slightly more difficult by walking a little farther up the trail, where the trees give way to rolling meadows where I once saw a black bear amble across the trail right in front of me in broad daylight. No bear sightings on this trip, but not really much in the way of sunset light either. The photo above shows why. [click to enlarge] Rain clouds and the occasional clap of thunder kept me on my toes while I waited to see if the sun would sneak out from under the gray mass over Trinchera Peak to the west. No go. Oh well, it was a day in the mountains. And like I often say, a bad day in the mountains is better than a good day most anyplace else.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
This morning I peeked outside before sunrise and noticed some lingering fog in the area, so I grabbed my camera gear and headed to Garden of the Gods. I almost T-boned an S.U.V. on the way there when the driver apparently was still asleep and ran a red light. But that's not the close call I'm writing about.
A week ago an experienced climber fell to his death near Pyramid Peak, on a sub-peak called Thunder Pyramid. My thoughts go out to his family and friends who are mourning the loss. (I'll refrain from naming him, since I didn't know him, and only read of the incident in the Aspen Times a few days ago.)
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
A few times a year there's an interesting shadow play that takes place in Monument Valley (that familiar place on the Utah/Arizona border where John Ford made all those great John Wayne westerns). The sun sets in such a position that it casts the shadow of one of the Mitten Buttes on the other. It's a scene I've long wanted to photograph, and happens around my birthday each year. (And again roughly six months later.) Well, I decided that the possibility of combining the Monument Valley Mitten Butte shadow with this year's perfectly timed moonrise was just too good to pass up, so I made a banzai drive down there Sunday. I totally misjudged the time it would take to get there from Colorado Springs, and even leaving at 10am, I got to Monument Valley at 6:40pm, only 20 minutes before moonrise. Phew! Close call! It was killing me going through the San Juans in southwest Colorado with clouds hanging all over the place and lots of stormy weather all around, but I was so determined to get to MV in time that even if Elvis riding a unicorn had crossed Highway 145 right in front of me, I would've kept on truckin'. Didn't really matter, since the moon was a little farther right than I had thought it would be, just left of Merrick Butte, and there were thick, lightning-spitting clouds all around that prevented the infamous shadow scene from appearing. Oh well. I tried to get some lightning shots, because it was popping off all over the place, but failed in that attempt. This is just about the only scene I came away with for my 500 miles of trouble. As always, click the image to see a larger version.