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Posts Tagged ‘Red Mountain Pass’

On Friday, we drove separately over Red Mountain Pass. It has so many hairpin turns, it was easier on the Lazy Daze. After our two prior trips on the road, we weren’t tempted to stop and photograph. But the descent into Ouray is always spectacular, one of the best I’ve ever seen. We hooked up one the flatlands and sped through town to Ridgway State Park to nab a great campsite with a view of one of three mountain ranges around us. After settling in, we took off on an aspen adventure.

I have collected info from various blogs on where to go for autumn color and County Road 7 was highly touted. So on this cloudless day we took off with no particular expectations. And for the first 6 miles we were not entranced. Things got better as we hit Mile 7. The view of Mt. Sneffels was very nice, with Aspen-slides running down the hills. At the bottom of the scene was a large, green pasture with some picturesque horses.

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The light wasn’t spectacular yet, so we kept crawling along the final 2 miles of the road. There were quite a few photographers out there with us. But we were the only ones who stopped in the aspen groves to take dreamy close ups of the trembling leaves. I get tired of just shooting panoramas. Our critter count increased with the sighting of a second marmot. I never saw one move that fast before.

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We headed home around 4:30, missing the best sunset light, but wanting to get back and watch our recorded version of the Giants playing the Washington Nationals in their second playoff series. We settled down with drinks and potato chips and cheered our boys on to another win. GO GIANTS!!

Oh what a day! After sitting in bed, watching the sun rise over the Cimarron Range, we pulled it together and drove up into them. We had a great day at Owl Creek Pass in 2012 and we had another great day on Saturday. Sun with no clouds is not ideal for photography but it sure is enjoyable.

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The road zigzags it’s way up to 10000 feet before you get to the pass. Then, anticlimactically, you’re over the top and heading down. We got caught up quite a while by a muddy, half-frozen puddle by the side of the road. We are so easy to entertain! As we drove downwards we could see little hints of autumn in full swing behind the pines lining the road, but when we reached the valley, it was outstanding.

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We thought it might be really crowded there and it was busy. There were people smooching by the side of the road, taking their dogs out for a romp, setting up camps on grassy meadows or like us, half-drunk with visual exultation. Huge swathes of bright aspens lead up to jagged snowy crags. A few brilliant blue lakes reflect the mountains, trees and sky. It is a breathtaking experience.

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You can only take so many shots of the big picture, so we began to fool around with the aspens, zooming and panning. Like I say, easily amused.

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We stopped for coffee at Silver Jack Reservoir and took a short walk down to the water, that was very low.

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Dave took over the driving at that point. We were doing an 80-mile loop and he drives more quickly than I do. We evaluated the landscape as we drove, comparing it to what we had seen in 2012. The trees and brush at the lower (7000′) elevations hadn’t changed yet. We had hit Owl Creek Pass at the perfect time.

We got home at some point, ate dinner, then reviewed our day’s collection of images (168 for Dave, 178 for me. This speaks to the power of editing!) Then we turned on the recording of the second Giants-Nationals game. It was 1-0 Nationals for the longest time. And then with two outs in the Ninth, Sandoval doubles! Soon the score is tied! We watch until the 11th inning when our recording ends. Dave had allocated extra time for the game but who would guess the game would run 18 innings. But they won!!!! Never count the Giants out.

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