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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Camping on the Delores River

The first night after leaving Silverton I camped at Priest Gulch on The Delores River in order to photograph the Aspens in the Trout and Priest lake area. I also wanted to check the Aspens on the west side of Ophir Pass as the last time I was there was when I still had the 4wd vehicle and they had not turned color yet.

Reflections, Priest Lake

Shack on Priest Lake

Road to Trout Lake

Red Aspen, Trout Lake

Aspens, Ophir Pass

Another view of the Aspens on Ophir Pass. This was taken just after sunset an they had finally started to turn color.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Emergency Exit" or "Other Door"

Left Silverton a couple days ago, the snow was getting heavier on the peaks surrounding camp and I had a couple of 11,000 ft passes to pull the trailer over. Then the local dog sled groups started training sled dogs using sleds with wheels on them on the road past camp. Maybe they know something. Camped one night in the Dolores Valley and one night in Cortez so I could get to Shiprock to photo at sunrise then headed west.
Have not been able to find a wi-fi spot the last couple days so stopped at a McDonalds for a coke as they always have wi-fi. It was a small store with a big room with lots of windows attached. I was able to check my emails so went to leave. There were two doors going to the parking lot right in front of my van. Tossed the cup in the trash right by the door then noticed the door had a sign "emergency exit please use other door". turned to the other door and it had the same sign. At that point figured that I was in the sequel to the "Truman Show" or on some desert "Candid Camera" after all the name of the town was Tuba City, who names a real town Tuba City. So which door was the "emergency exit" and which was the "other door". Tried the first one and the alarm went off. Dam, wrong door. Tried the next door and another alarm went off. It seems you must go back into the other room and exit by the counter. You pay for your drink before you get it so there is no danger of someone skipping out without paying, I guess they are having a problem with theft of trays or something. Later I realized neither of the doors opened, they were both locked, so how do you get out in an emergency.

Miners House, Animas Forks

There are still several buildings standing in the mining town of Animas Forks. The historical society has stabilized several of them. This house had fabric covering on the walls that now hangs in shreds.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beaver Pond

This beaver pond is on Ophir Pass a short distance from the site of the dancing Aspens.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Miners Cabins

These old mine buildings are in the area of the Red Mountains. There were many mines in the area but most buildings are no longer standing.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fence and Red Door

This old stone building on Red Mountain Pass has looked like this for years. Every time I have driven by it I wanted to stop and take a photo but was always on my way somewhere but last month I did stop to make this photo. A couple days ago on my over the pass there was a group of workers tearing down this fence and putting a new modern one. Why, I don't know, a short fence for a big mountain. A short walk around it goes into a great Aspen grove seen in the blog a few days ago.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Reflections, Red Mountain

Early morning reflections on Red Mountain Pass from last Sunday. Since then I drove the 4wd vehicle home to Lake Havasu and brought back the van to pull the trailer out of here before getting snowed in. While I was gone there was a lot of new snow here, down to within a few hundred feet of town. Some is gone now but the mountains all have snow on the peaks and I'll be out of here Sunday.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall Colors

More fall colors from last week on the road north of town.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall Aspens in Silverton

Mineral Creek flows into the Animas River just east of town. This is a view across the creek to the ruins of of an old mill.


Just east of camp the river goes through a canyon, this view is to the south across the canyon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall in Colorado

Here the Aspens have really changed the past few days. Down at lower elevations below 9,000 feet there is still a lot of green. A few miles east of camp there is an entire hillside that not only has turned entirely gold but these Aspen have started to drop their leaves. This morning I went there early and there was still a lot of frost on the ground. It was like walking on a new golden carpet. These photos are all from this grove.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Butterfly Falls

Butterfly Falls is another tall, hard to reach falls in a narrow canyon.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Another view of the Dancing Aspens.

Aspen Abstracts


I don't remember the exact quote by John Paul but it goes something like "Sometimes the experience is so profound that all we can do is acknowledge it".
This morning while it was still dark I scraped the frost off the windshield and headed up over Red Mountain Pass. I wanted to get to the lake up there before any wind came up hoping to catch some reflections. A short distance away was a great grove of yellow Aspens. I was able to spend an hour or more walking through the grove before the sun hit it, what a great place, could have spent the day hiking the mountainside but as soon as the sun hit the contrast became too extreme for good photos.
The following four photos are an acknowledgment of this experience and as the wi-fi at camp is working well wanted to get these up right away.

Aspen Abstracts

Aspens, Young and Old

Aspen North of Red Mountain Pass

View Across the Canyon

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Aspens in the Fall

Sings of winter are everywhere, the Aspen are turning yellow and sometimes red, the Bear and Marmets are getting fat to prepare for hibernation, the beavers are repairing their dams that had been leaking water this summer. Yesterday I saw two herd of elk coming down from the high country headed for warmer elevations.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dancing Aspen

It's been at least ten years but I remember photographing some Aspen with curved trunks on the west side of Ophir Pass. As I was spending the summer here I decided to to find them again as I knew about where they were. Usually we take Ophir Pass to Telluride but come back to camp by another 4wd trail or by road. These Aspen should have been on the north side of the trail near the community of Ophir but I never could find them. The other day coming back from Mystic Falls we went back over Ophir Pass, the first time this summer to go back over the pass and there they were a couple hundred feet south of the trail. The guide with me had just explained that the work to the right of the trail was some mine reclamation work. What had happened was they had moved this part of the trail to the north to allow for the mine work. The next day I went back to make these photographs.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Clouds over Red Mountain

The summit of Corkscrew Pass is a steep ten mile 4wd trip from camp. I have been up there several times and the clouds can make for a great view to the west. Sometimes a cloud will come up over the summit making a great contrast in red, white, and blue.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Not since I was a kid in Wisconsin have I seen so much frost in the morning. This morning I scrapped enough frost off the windshield to make a good snowball. Here is frost on a burned campfire log and a chain in the train yard.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hot Springs

This hot springs is along side the highway north of Durango but two more are visible on the slope above the highway. Many other hot springs bubble up in the San Juan mountains and in Ouray the town has constructed a public pool as big as a football field. The pool is divided into several sections each at a different temperature all fed by natural hot springs.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mystic Falls

Another photo from yesterdays hike to Mystic Falls.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Moose Hunt

The dirt road going east from camp is on the south side of the Animas River. Four miles away the valley widens out and for a couple miles there are numerous beaver ponds and several people have seen moose in the high brush among the ponds. Having never seen a moose in many trips through the valley I decided to take a rough 4wd track on north side of the river. I didn't see any moose but did see some bear tracks at the turnaround point. On the way back a heavy thunder storm came over followed by this rainbow.

The Moose is not a Mirage

Today I am driving down the road about five miles from camp minding my own business and this moose comes out of the brush. When he saw me he went back in as I stopped. He stood there watching me and when a jeep came by he ran into a beaver pond but came back and watched me from behind the bushes. I could only see his ears so I opened the door to stand on the door sill to try and get a photo. He then ran out into the road towards me as I scrambled back into the car. Later he got bored and walked down the road and crossed over and disappeared into the trees.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mystic Falls

I saw a photograph that Joseph Collier took at Mystic Falls in the 1880's. Mr Collier was a photographer in England who had photographed many important people including King Edward but decided to move his family to Colorado in 1871. He made many photographs in the San Juan Mountains which were sold as postcards back east. Mystic Falls were not on any maps or in any guide books I could find but I had the good fortune of meeting a guide who spends his summers here and he came by the other day, he was hiking to Mystic Falls and wondered if I wanted to go. Not only did we hike to the falls but took a 4wd trail that I had never been on before to several other large fall I had never heard of. The light had gotten too harsh by the time we got to the other falls but I will get back sometime.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Think Like Da Vinci

Seven principles from the book byMichael Gelb "How to Think like Da Vinci." Something to think about.
1) Curiosità – Quest for Curiosity, both in life and learning.
2) Dimostrazione – Commitment to Test knowledge through Experience and the willingness to learn from mistakes.
3) Sensazione – Continual Refinement of your senses.
4) Sfumato – Willingness to embrace ambiguity and uncertainty.
5) Arte/scienza – Maintenance of balance between science, art, logic and imagination.
6) Corporalità – Cultivation of ambidexterity, symmetry and to be fresh and alive.
7) Connessione – Recognition and appreciation of the interconnectedness in everything you see, hear, feel and touch.

In the Alley