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Friday, June 25, 2010

Black Bear Pass, Not as Easy as it Looks

Telluride is located in a canyon and this is the east end of town. The falls on the right is Bridal Veil Falls.The path you see crossing the center is the Black Bear Jeep trail that starts down into Telluride from just above the falls on the far upper left. From the top it looks much steeper but it's is the most fun way into Teluride. The best way out is a trail to the left on this photo, Imogene Pass. This pass is still closed by snow, it goes to Ouray and is the highest drivable jeep trail. Later this summer we will come into Telluride by Black Bear Pass and return be Imogene but today will leave Telluride by Last Dollar Road.

View from Last Dollar Road

Flowers, Last Dollar Road

Flowers, Last Dollar Road

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summit, Ophir Pass

Ophir Pass is now open so today we are driving to Telluride by going over Ophir Pass. Several places had snow as high or higher than the car and there were a lot of rocks making the going slow but the view was great.

Crystal Lake

Starting Up, looking East

Starting Up, Looking West

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Beaver Pond

Every time I drive by this small pond It looks like there would be a great reflection if it was perfectly smooth. It is near town and I always went past it on the way to somewhere else and a breeze always kept the surface anything but smooth so yesterday I drove there a half hour before sunrise. For a few minutes before a breeze come up I had it smooth. The red color comes from all the iron in the soil and rocks.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Train Yard, Silverton

The Silverton train yard is a short walk from camp so sometimes I wander down and photograph anything interesting. Today I put a number of these shots together.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Slow Road Home

There is a good dirt road to Howardsville but this jeep trail along the river is more fun but a bit of a problem if you meet another vehicle.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Million Dollar Highway

The Million Dollar Highway goes to Ouray from silverton over Red Mountain Pass. Actually the part on the Ouray side of the pass is considered the Million Dollar Highway but the road on both sides of the pass terrify many drivers. This is the road where the white line can be considered the guard rail as there is nothing beyond it and in some places even the white line has broken away and fallen hundreds of feet. Couldn't get a photo in the really bad spots as very few places are wide enough to stop but it is a spectacular drive with great views.
The road was started as a toll road from Ouray to Ironton in 1883. It cost $3.75 for a wagon and 75 cents for a horse and rider. The train come as far as Ironton. In 1916 two switchbacks were cut into the mountainside to reduce the 18% grade. The current Million Dollar Highway was built in 1922. Many legends exist for the name but the real answer was that when the bids for the 12 miles were added up they came to exactly a million dollars.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wall, miners hut

No, it's not a miners shirt that was hung up a hundred years ago, it's some of the wall covering. Apparently the walls and ceiling of many of the old houses and huts in the old mining towns were covered in fabric. In some of them you can see remnants of insulation that was stuffed behind the fabric and sometimes paperboard walls.

Building in Ironton

Ironton is at 10,000 ft and still has a number of buildings including three two story houses. It,s a short jeep trail off the highway but not on a trail that goes over any passes so I never saw it until last year even though I have been driving all, almost all, the 4wd trails up here for 35 years. There are a few ruins along the highway to Ouray that have an Ironton sign on them so I always thought that was the town site. The railroad went through Ironton and a short hike, if any hike can be short at 10,000 ft, up from there is the remains of a turntable for the trains. The trains were turned around one car at a time and the turntable was balanced well enough so one man could turn it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Silverton, Colorado

A couple photographs from a walk around town.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Frost on Plants

Was going to leave at 5am to drive to Little Molas Lake but car was covered with heavy frost. Living in the desert, I had nothing to scrape off frost, took awhile to get the windows clear enough to drive. Up at the lake all the vegetation was covered with frost making for some interesting photos.

More Frost

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Animas River

The Animas River enters a canyon a short walk upstream from camp. This point is at the junction with Arrastra Gulch.

Flowing into Animas River

Monday, June 14, 2010

Good morning Silverton

It rained during the night and I got up at 5am to go out to photograph but we were in total fog, couldn't see across the road. Did the only smart thing, went back to bed. An hour or so later looked out the window to see new snow on the mountains, almost down to town. A couple blocks away the trail goes up the mountain so I drove up high enough to get above the power lines to make these photos. Did two of them in black and white with some split toning.

First Light, Silverton

June Snow

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Morning, Aproaching Storm

Evening, Clearing Storm with New Snow

This evening the storm really hit with rain and sleet but before dark it cleared enough to see the peaks with new snow.

More New Snow

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Boards of Old Mine Building

I'm often asked by people who know I travel and photograph what kind of photography I do. It's assumed that anyone who travels must do a lot of landscapes or photographs of people. There are many amazing places in the world, such as these mountains in Colorado, where I'm always compelled to photograph some of the large landscapes. There are also many places such as Cuba or Africa where I have done a lot of people photography as there are so many great subjects, however, neither people or the grand landscape are my first interest.
The subjects that interests me most are pieces of the landscape, both the natural landscape or the work of man in the landscape. Ruins have especially interested me, where man and the natural landscape have intersected. Some of my favorite places have been in the ruins of the Yucatan, Cambodia, Cuba, and Roman Ruins from North Africa through the Middle East to Turkey. These are subjects which would normally be missed or ignored, such as these boards on an old mine building stained by water that sometimes flows from the mine, but they have seen a lot of history and have a beauty of there own.

Piece of Drain Pipe

Behind the highway maintenance yard there is a grave yard for drain pipes.

Mill Ruins, Eureka

Kendall Mountain

Friday, June 11, 2010

On the Road to Ouray

This unnamed waterfall is just across the canyon from Bear Creek Falls near Ouray. Normally I do only minor processing on the raw files from my camera for the blog but decided to have some fun with this image by combining three files.

Champion Mine

This mine is just down the river from camp.

Storm Peak

For this image I combined two files taken with camera on tripod. One was exposed for the clouds and sky and one for the mountain.

Silverton, Colorado

Sharon's Place

This would be ideal for a friend of mine. Only open for 4 or 5 months a year, in the center of great scenery, and it's not in California. All it needs is a rowdy pub connected to it.

Animas River

The Animas River flows past our camp.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Red Mountain

There are three Red Mountains, no.1, no.2, and no.3 all in the same area along the road to Ouray. The road from Silverton to Ouray is known as the "million dollar highway" and goes over Red Mountain Pass at over 11,000 ft. It is probably the best drive anywhere and the scariest in this country. The road is narrow and the drop offs are long and steep. You should think of the white line as your only guardrail as there is nothing beyond it. In some places even part of it has fallen away.
One time while camping in Silverton with the grandkids we were snowed in the first week in September,the passes were closed in both directions. We waited to the next day but had to spend several hours near the top of Red Mountain Pass for the sun to melt the ice, you don't want to be sliding on this road. There are, however, some who live up here year round.

Molas Lake

Molas Lake is at 10,500 ft along the highway coming into town. It's a good lake for trout fishing. Molas Lake is a lot larger than Little Molas Lake which is nearby but not on the highway.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Trail up Kendall Peak

Looking south from camp, the trail goes up the 13500 ft Kendall Peak. Several times each summer there is a running race up the peak and back. I think I'd rather drive.

Old Hundred Boarding House

In the center upper of this photo is the Old Hundred Mine Boarding House where the miners lived year round at 12,000 ft. To get there they rode ore buckets 2000 ft up to the tram building next door. The boarding backs up to the cliff and and the front porch hangs over the cliff.
If you google "old hundred boarding house", there are pictures from there. These were pre OSHA days.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Morning, Little Molas Lake

Flower with Frost

Frost on the Grass

Drove up to Little Molas Lake, the trail just opened this week, to check reflection on lake. All the plants and grass still had frost on them at 6 am.

Train, Downtown Silverton

Two trains a day come into Silverton. No, after seeing the bear with her three cubs I didn't walk into the canyon to photograph the train crossing over the waterfall. She was walking the train tracks I would have to walk with the river on one side and wetlands on the other side.

Train Schedule

Original train schedule at the Silverton train station.

Waterfall, Mill creek

Several waterfalls in the Mill Creek area with easy access.