Saturday, October 8, 2022

Fall Colors Photography Trip 2022

Photography of Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

This year our church family celebrated the opening of our new auditorium during the prime fall colors season.  We decided to be a part of that instead of taking a fall colors photography trip.  We did, however get out for one clear morning.  I took off a day of school (and pulled KD out as well) mid-week to head up to Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park to shoot the sunrise.  A good friend Janice joined us too.  The colors lit up the scene and then the clouds lifted and the wind calmed to make a crystal clear mirrored image.  We later took a quick hike up to a little hidden gem then had breakfast at a local diner.  We had a great time!


Sunrise over Sprague Lake RMNP Autumn Fall Mountains Landscape
Sunrise over Sprague Lake Panorama

 Here are a few shots that my daughter took.  She's getting pretty good with her Nikon!

Mirrored Sprague


 Little did we know that our best shot of the day would come on the drive home.  We looked out the window along the road and had to pull over as a scene was developing right before our eyes. The clouds rolled in and it began to snow directly over Longs Peak while the sun came out and lit up the foreground of aspen trees. WOW! 

Longs Peak Aspens fall autumn Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado landscape 14ers  snow
Longs Peak drama


Friday, August 12, 2022

New Paintings - Summer 2022

 This was the first summer we've had that Cami has been working while I stay home and play Mr. Mom.  It's been an adjustment, but we found our groove.  We all spent a few hours in the mornings painting and jamming out to Skillet in the studio before we went on to chores and the rest of our day.  I was able to finish a couple paintings during these sessions with the kids.  The first one features an awesome sunset I shot a couple summers ago from up high on the rock cut formation along Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park:

Blocking in color

Finishied acrylic painting - Prints Available

The second is of a peaceful waterfall inspired by an off the path discovery in the Bighorn Mountains of Northeasterrn Wyoming.  This one took a bit longer with all the flower details.  I've learned that I enjoy rocks.  I could paint rocks for days.  Grass?  Not so much!

Flowing - Prints Available

Monday, July 25, 2022

Family Backpack to Mohawk Lakes - July, 2022

 We took the kids on what is becoming our yearly backpacking adventure to what I thought would be an easy hike up to Mohawk Lakes near Breckenridge.  They both brought their new children's cameras and had a great time taking pictures of all the mountains, wildflowers, ruins and waterfalls along the way. 


Part way up, we had to take shelter from a rainstorm in the trees.  As the rain was dying down and the sun peaking through, KD guessed that there might be a rainbow nearby.  Sure enough, we looked behind us to see an awesome full rainbow below us in the valley.  I only had a few moments to grab a cell phone shot.

It took us a while to actually reach our camp at mayflower lake as we hiked up some steep switchbacks for a while.  This wore the kids out pretty well and they both had about nothing left by the time we reached the lake. We set up camp quickly and made dinner.  There were trout everywhere in this lake.  I tried to catch something, but they were not interested in lures.  A few people were catching them on flies.  I'm 100% positive I would have caught dozens of fish with a handheld net.  I tried to sneak up on a few to see if I could grab them with my bare hands, but Tootsie kept scaring them away.  I think she wanted to try it too!  After sleeping very little due to a dog that wanted to play fetch at 1am, I rose before dawn to hike up to the upper Mohawk Lakes to catch a bright and beautiful sunrise.


Mohawk Lakes Sunrise - Prints Available

Pacific Peak Reflection - Prints Available


Sunday, July 3, 2022

Taylor Peak B - July 2022

Taylor Peak B viewed from Sky Pond

 July 4th weekend usually gets pretty crowded in Estes.  So, to avoid the crowds, Brad and I started dark and early to do a hike of 13er Taylor Peak B.  I lay in bed all night trying to sleep unsuccessfully before a 2:50 wake up.  This is only the 3rd all nighter I've ever done, and I wasn't happy to be hiking my first mountain of the year on no sleep.  Even when we arrived at the trailhead at 4:30 am, the Glacier Gorge parking lot was half full.  It was good to catch up with Brad who I've probably hiked more mountains with than anyone else, but haven't seen for a couple years.  The hike in was beautiful with a sunrise near the Loch.  


The Loch

One of the coolest parts of this hike was an ascent up Andrew's Glacier.  The snow angle was just steep enough to make it exciting, but not too dangerous. 


Andrew's Glacier

Once at the top, the remaining route to the summit of Taylor is straightforward, but tedious on tundra and talus.  The unique views of Longs from the top were awesome!  It was cool to peer down to Sky Pond and the cool Sharks Tooth rock formations from above.  We hung out on the summit for a while, then Brad continued on to bag Powell Peak while I tried my best to take a nap while bugs tried their best to eat my legs.  We had a great glissade down the glacier and long trek back to Estes for a good ole man handler at Smokin' Daves and some much needed sleep!

Sky Pond and Lake of Glass

From left to right: Longs, Pagoda, McHenrys, Powell, Chiefs Head, Alice

All photos credit to Brad