Winter in the Rockies are magical – yes any time of season can be defined as magical so what makes the winter different? For me it is the dead silence that envelopes one of our nations most populated/visited national parks. In the summer I’d probably encounter one, if not two other people, on the trails pre-dawn but in the winter….not a single soul. It is just me and the watchful eyes of the elk wondering what the hell it is that I’m doing that early when it is this damn cold!?!
Dream Lake in the dead of Winter (Rocky Mountain National Park)
Regardless of the temperatures there is nothing that makes me happier than seeing the light hit the peaks as daybreaks on the Rockies. I only wish that during these trips I knew better how to use my GoPro because I would have taped it to a tree and captured the movement of the sun over the mountains as the day announces itself.
Four more days until I get to spend a weekend in Banff following a work trip to Calgary on Thursday. It was almost exactly a year ago that I took this picture of the late afternoon light on Mount Rundle while I was exploring the Lake Vermillion area of the park. Without a doubt Lake Vermillion is my favorite spot in Banff for photographs – especially in the winter since the lakes often have spots of open water to allow for reflections when the rest of Alberta is still covered in snow. The weather in Banff doesn’t look promising for good pictures but I’ll certainly enjoy my time in the mountains even if I don’t come home with anything worthy of publishing on the website.
Afternoon Light on Mount Rundle – Banff National Park
The Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado about an hour south of Denver but a world away when it comes to the red rock formations scattered throughout the area. There are a number of relatively easy hikes (all one to three miles round trip) that I was able to knock out in half-a-day or so since they are also relatively close to one another. I’m sure there are more challenging hikes but the park is set up to really be family friendly and this would make a nice stop for someone visiting Denver and looking to get a quick day trip done (of course Estes Park – the home of Rocky Mountain National Park – is also only about 90 minutes away and I’d favor that over Garden of the Gods if I had to choose just one).
Photo of the Day – The Window of the Gods
Pikes Peak in the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountain Range is visible through a rock window on the Siamese Twin trail in Garden of the Gods. A quick, well-marked trail takes you to this spot with duel rock formations with views onto the Continental Divide in the distance. Positioning yourself perfectly allows you to clearly see Pikes Peak in the distance. This was a terrific fall day in Colorado – one could really get used to living out amongst all this beauty. Each time I visit I’m really jealous of those lucky enough to live in the Denver area.
An early morning look at the Continental Divide at Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. This was the first time I’ve ever been to this lake for sunrise that I didn’t run into any other photographers – most of the time there are five or ten other people walking around and trying to find a shot but for whatever reason on this particular Saturday the lake was all mine. I spent the majority of the morning on the Continental Divide side of the lake shooting back at the rising sun but worked my way over to this spot just prior to the light getting too harsh to get any decent shots of the mountain.
Photo of the Day – Sprague Lake Stream
A few winters ago I tried to take a picture of this bridge – it was winter so the stream wasn’t running nearly as fast – and the snow made the image a little too bright. I’ve shot it a few other times since then and have never been happy with the results. However, I kept coming back and kept trying different angles figuring I’d eventually get one that I liked.
I spent a morning in one of Rome’s most historical city squares (i.e. Piazza) watching the sun come up and the city come alive. Normally, this area is jammed full of people hanging out and checking out the fountains – mainly the one in the middle of the square that was designed by Bernini. I took this picture from the north end of the square looking south and this particular fountain is named the ‘Fountain of Neptune’ (you are looking at Neptune’s backside in this shot).
Photo of the Day – Fountain of Neptune
Hope everyone had a relaxing Labor Day Weekend. I’m back on the road tomorrow (Dallas) with an early morning flight and Wednesday (Minnesota) for some work travel. Already looking forward to being home.
Until the start the college football season. Shortly after that the NFL will kickoff. I’m still going to be rooting on my Tigers well into the playoffs of the MLB season but on Saturdays and Sundays I may be a little preoccupied.
Photo of the Day – The Golden Dome
Last year during ND’s improbable run to the national championship we took in a game in the fall at Notre Dame. It is one of the most hallowed places in all of college football to see a game. The campus is pristine and everywhere you look you find items of historical significance.
Long day in the office today so I’m going to keep it short because I have to get back early in the AM. Only 1 1/2 more days in the office this week before taking off for Denver – meetings – followed by hiking in the Rockies.
Seeing as I’m staying at the Coyote Inn in Estes Park (Rocky Mountain National Park) right now I figured a picture I took of a Coyote in Joshua Tree National Park last summer was appropriate. This coyote seemed to be stalking me for a few minutes until I caught on to it and started to walk back in its direction. Once I started doing that the coyote turned and scuttled off in the other direction but not before I took a few pictures of him.
Photo of the Day – Stalker
Almost didn’t get this one in because the wifi here isn’t too solid but after multiple upload attempts it seems to have finally worked. I had a long day today that started with a 3:15 wakeup and then hiking up to Dream Lake to take sunrise pictures. I hiked a few other places before coming back to the hotel at noon for a brief nap before going back out this afternoon and evening for pictures. I get to sleep in tomorrow (4:15) though as Sprague Lake is much easier to get to since it is right at the trailhead so I won’t need to hike too far to be in position to catch the morning light.