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Monday, August 30, 2010

Colors in Nature

Instead of working in black and white as I normally do, this summer I have been working with a full frame digital camera and only in color. It makes for an entirely different way of looking at subjects such as these rocks and their colors.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


The rains have brought out a large crop of mushrooms.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Eureka & Palisade #4

One of the stars of Railfest is this wood fired locomotive from 1875. This locomotive has had a total restoration and got a lot of rail time during Railfest

Friday, August 27, 2010

Galloping Goose #5

There were a number of these rail vehicles in the mining towns. They were made from buses or trucks. In there day some were powered by model T engines and used to haul mail and freight on routes where the big steam locomotives weren't used.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Presidential Train

The Presidential Train is one of the many steam trains traveling between Durango and Silverton during Railfest 2010

Train to Durango

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mill and Mountainside, Eureka

Eureka was a mining town with a mill and railroad that a hundred years ago had a population of hundreds. On foggy mornings its one on the first places I head for to see the red walls and mill ruins in fog.

Foggy Morning, Eureka

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Color in the Ruins

Years of weathering and rust makes for some interesting abstracts in the mine ruins.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


This rainbow, after a thunderstorm the other evening, seems to come right out of the Silverton cemetery. A lot of the tombstones here have dates from the eighteen hundreds. There are books written about this cemetery and those buried there.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Upstairs room in a Victorian house in the abandoned mining town of Ironton.

Miners Cabin, Ironton

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ore Crusher

These ore crushers have been silent for the over one hundred years in a mill in Placer Gulch

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rain brings Mushrooms

Lots of rain the last three weeks and mushrooms are growing everywhere. Today we have three thunder storms with lots of rain but between storms we have had clear skies and lots of sunshine. Now its back to rain so hard you can't see the mountain behind the camp.

Spring Flowers

There's a lot more frost in the mornings and the Spring flowers are starting to fade. There are still a lot of flowers around such as these at Clear Lake.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Crystal Lake on Ophir Pass

Crystal Lake Has a great blue-green color on clear days. The last time I was there it was not only cloudy but you could see heavy rain on the West side of the pass which can easily wash out the trail so didn't even attempt to hike in to the lake. It was clear the other day so we tried it again, for the first time in a couple weeks we had a day without rain. The trail in the background is the 4wd trail down the west side of Ophir Pass.
Years ago you could drive in to the lake with 4wd, now it is blocked off and requires hiking in but it is a worthwhile hike. The lake looks shallow with the logs at the bottom close enough to touch. It's actually deep but very clear. I was there a few years ago with a crazy friend, yea Jeff that's you, who went swimming found out it was really deep.

Crystal Lake

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Morning in Silverton

Woke up to low clouds a couple days ago. Headed up the trail to get a view of the town and wait for some sunlight.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Steam Engine

There are a lot of 4wd trails in the Red Mountain area that I have never been on so now that I have time been trying to explore them all. Found this mine the other day, a vertical shaft mine with a steam engine still in place. The engine was a Ingersoll-Rand with two pistons and connecting rods about four feet long turning a large flywheel.

Mine With Steam Engine

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shortest Route to Telluride

Headed to Telluride today so took Ophir Pass, may not save much time but is a lot shorter in miles and has great views. Wanted to hike into a high mountain lake that takes on a electric blue color under a clear sky. It was clear when we left but on top of the pass you could see heavy rain ahead.

West Side Ophir Pass

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mayflower Mill

A while back I got to photograph inside this mill just outside of town. The local historical is in the middle of a large restoration project in order to open it to the public. All the equipment is still in place including the tram cables going thousands of feet up the mountains with the tram buckets in place. The miners, in pre OSHA days, rode in the tram buckets up to the mines.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Trunk and Branches

Two Trees

These two trees have always caught my eye when I drive past but one day the light just seemed right. It was well off the road down a steep bank but these two trees once stood alone in the meadow now only one was left. The downed tree seemed to need to be in black and white.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Waterfall on Coalbank Pass

There are two 11,000 ft passes on the way to Durango, Molas and Coalbank. This waterfall is on the east side of Coalbank Pass.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

Flash Flood

From the summit of Engineers Pass it is thousands of feet down to the highway to Ouray. After stopping at a mine we ran into a thunderstorm, maybe the mother of all thunderstorms, as the lightning flashed the rain turned the trail into a river in places. This part of the trail is steep, rocky, and narrow. Narrow as in fold your mirrors back or lose them and large rocks and rock ledges that require a spotter to guide the drivers as the tires must be placed exactly to avoid damage or sliding off the narrow ledge. A ledge with numerous switchbacks which the miners had blasted into the cliff to get up to the mines over a hundred years ago. We soon came to a washout were, with the help of a couple jeeps already there, we repaired by throwing in rocks. The washout was about six foot deep but with our repair you could ease in then power out and when the front wheels came down turn left and hope. While working on this washout someone came walking up the trail to see if anybody had a winch as a vehicle had gone off at the next washout. They also said there were at least two more washouts but they had contacted county rescue to try and come in with a bulldozer. We were able to get through the next two washouts after making repairs and found county rescue with a large winch at the bottom, he had seen us coming down and pulled over at a wide spot to let us through. He was heading up to see if any one was left on the mountain or needed help and to see what was needed to repair the trail but said he would never get a bulldozer in that night. He commented that it must be ok as everyone he saw coming down had a big smile. It took five and a half hours to go the last two miles but everyone in our six vehicles made it down ok just as darkness fell. There were a few dings and a couple damaged exhaust systems but we all made it to the ice cream parlor in Ouray before it closed.
The photo is not a waterfall but a flash flood that caused one of the washouts. Even on the highway rocks and boulders had fallen and our neighbor had one of his new rental jeeps destroyed by a boulder that landed on it's hood, luckily it missed the driver.

Miners House, Engineers Pass

Boilers, Engineers Pass

Mine, Engineers Pass

This is a cam with large steel lobes that activate the steel bars that crush the oar.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Summit of Corkscrew Pass

The view of red mountains from the summit of Corkscrew Pass. There are three Red Mountains, #1, #2, and #3. Could you guess they were named by a committee? If you travel this pass it will be obvious why it is named Corkscrew, lots of tight, steep and narrow switchbacks where you hope you don't meet any one.

Rocks, Corkscrew Summit

This is all that grows at this elevation.