Thursday, July 27, 2017

Painting - Teton Milky Way

Teton Milky Way - Prints available

There's something about starry skies that can bring about a sense of awe and inspiration for me.  The same goes for mountains.  The infinite space and giant rock forms make us seem small...or make God seem big.

This acrylic painting was taken from multiple images of midnight photo shoots of the Milky Way and predawn images of the Grand Teton Mountain Range from northwestern Wyoming.  In my opinion, the Tetons from near Jackson Hole are the most majestic and jagged peaks in the lower 48 states.  I've wanted to paint them for a while, but have been focusing on summer trips and photography.  A couple of rainy days in the mountains have kept us home giving me the opportunity to paint.

This time-lapse video is approximately 6 hours of painting time condensed into about 4 minutes:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Backpacking Missouri Lakes Basin - July 2017

missouri lakes in the Holy Cross Wilderness, Colorado
Missouri Lakes - Prints available

I'm getting backed up on processing photos so this one will have no story.  Just some pictures from our recent backpacking trip to a really cool place, the Holy Cross Wilderness:

Pool and Marigolds - Prints Available

Missouri Lakes Sunrise - Prints available

Treasure Vault Lake - Prints Available

Friday, July 14, 2017

Medicine Bow Peak - July, 2017

James had 3 consecutive days off this week so we made plans to go do a backpacking trip in the Elks or Sangre de Cristos.  However, the weather forecast for most of Colorado called for rain and thunderstorms in the mornings for Wednesday and Thursday.  We didn't like the idea of sitting in our tents while it rained so we looked for a second option.  We considered Canyonlands, but that wasn't practical.  We'd spend as much time driving as we would hiking.  Just a few hours north of us in Wyoming, the weather in the snowy range looked clearer.  Bingo!

We drove up with the intention of hiking Browns peak the first day if the weather held, then Medicine Bow Peak the following day.  We arrived in the afternoon and started along the trail from Lewis Lake toward South Gap Lake.  From there we could reach the saddle and walk up the south flank of Browns.  As we hiked the thunder started rolling in.  Each time the thunder cracked, James and I would look at each other thinking the same thing.  We decided it unwise to travel too far past tree line.  We headed back to find a place to camp near Lake Marie.

Lewis lake medicine bow national forest Wyoming with wildflowers
Medicine Bow and Sugarloaf from Lewis Lake

South Gap Lake in the Medicine Bow National Forest of Wyoming
South Gap Lake

We scoped out a spot at Lake Marie to shoot sunrise.  As we arrived, we saw a fish and game truck at the shoreline.  They were stocking 2,500 rainbow trout into the lake.  It was pretty cool to see how they transfer the fish through a long tube.  Most of the fish just kind of sit there after they enter their new habitat.  The guy said that most of them are kind of in shock because of the long truck ride and the difference in temperature between the lake and the fish tank they were transferred from.  He also said about 30% of them wouldn't survive.  We were tempted to just grab a couple with our bare hands to eat for dinner, but we figured that wouldn't go over well.

Stocking fish in Lake Marie of the Medicine Bow National Forest, Snowy Range, Wyoming

Rainbow trout in Lake Marie of the Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming

Molly was interested too.

We woke early the next morning to bluebird skies and a perfect reflection of Medicine Bow on the lake.

Sunrise reflection of Medicine Bow Peak in Lake Marie in the Snowy Range, Wyoming
Medicine Bow at sunrise - Prints available

waterfall flowing from Lake Marie with Medicine Bow Peak

Our hike was a loop that started at the Mirror Lake trailhead and headed through the valley below the cliffs of the long Medicine Bow ridge past Lookout Lake.  It then gained the steep southeast ridge route to the summit.  From there we took the more popular trail over the ridge and back down to Lake Marie.  The route was easy hiking on an excellent trail.  There was one short sketchy snow crossing we wished we had brought our ice axes for.  When will I learn?  If there's even a slight chance of snow, just bring the snow gear!

view of the Medicine Bow ridges and Lookout Lake in the Snowy Range, Wyoming

All white colored albino columbine alpine wildflowers
All white columbines

Medicine Bow wildflowers - Prints Available

Looking north at Browns Peak

Snow crossing

view from the summit of Medicine Bow Peak in the Snowy Range of southern Wyoming
Looking back down at the lakes from the summit.  You can see a small group of hikers to the right.

Summit selfie...THAT BEARD!!!

Gentle terrain on the return route to Lake Marie

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Mt. Ida - July, 2017

Cami with the Gore Range in the distance

Mt. Ida (12,880 ft.) is a fun, gentle mountain along the continental divide in Rocky Mountain National Park with great views all around.  There are many areas in RMNP that we have yet to explore.  This one was up on the western side of Trail Ridge Road starting at the Milner Pass trailhead. 

Mt. Ida and friends from Trail Ridge Road
Mt. Ida (I think the one on the right) from Trail Ridge Road

Rock Cut photography location along Trail Ridge Road with Longs Peak
The famous Rock Cut photography location

There was very little snow on the trail making this our first hike of the season with true summer conditions.

Our quick path to treeline was interrupted by a huge bull elk guarding the trail.  We tried to yell at him and spook him away, but he had no intention of leaving.  We decided it wise to leave the trail and hike around him through the trees.

Bull elk stand off

The entire hike above treeline follows a straight line along a long ridge to the summit.  The alpine wildflowers were beginning to bloom.

Alpine sunflowers

Looking north toward the Mummy Range on a hike of Mt. Ida
Looking north toward the Mummy Range

Cami hiking toward one of the false summits.  Cami loves false summits!

The Neversummer mountain range in Rocky Mountain National Park panorama
The Never Summer Range - Prints available

a marmot along our hike on the continental divide to Mt. Ida

Nearing the summit

Mt. Ida with wildflowers in Rocky Mountain national Park Colorado

Longs and friends to the south

summit view of Mt. Ida with Mt. Julian and Azure Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park
Mt. Julian and Azure Lake from the summit - Prints available