Ocean by Amtrak

On my last blog post I said we would be going to the Pacific Ocean before we get started with winter photography. The problem is we live on the western slope of Colorado which is a long way from the ocean. At one point in the past a large part of this area and Utah was under the sea. I guess back then it would have been easy to see an ocean. The problem is that was a few million years ago. So, the question is what is the best way to get to the Pacific Ocean from western Colorado?

Before we continue I would like to remind you that all the photographs on my website are for sale. I try to keep my prices very reasonable so just send me an e-mail and we can discuss what you would like and the price.

The  best way to get to the west coast from Colorado is by Amtrak. (You thought I was going to make an airline recommendation.) The California Zephr runs from Chicago to Emeryville in California. It goes right through the middle of Colorado. It is a fantastic ride through some of the best scenery in the world. If you fly you go through some of the best scenery available at 35,000 feet while riding in a “cattle car”. The train is better.

This photo is a shot of the dinning car on the California Zephyr. Not busy at the time I took this shot because it was not meal time.

imageWe have found the food on Amtrak to usually be excellent. When you travel by sleeper the meals are included. We always get a sleeper because traveling in coach overnight would not be fun.

Next blog post, the Pacific Ocean.


Where we live in western Colorado we experience all four seasons. I think I would get bored if we had just one constant warm season all year long.

This photograph of an ear of field corn ready to be harvested is a typical item you can see in the fall. The fall is a great time time for photography with all of the leaves turning bright colors. If you look around on my website you will find some scenes with fall colors.

imageAs usual if you click on the above image it will enlarge.

The autumn season is just about over. In fact in Colorado the high mountains have had a lot of snow already. I guess I had better start taking snow and ice photos.

However, I think we need to make a trip to the ocean before getting carried away with winter scenery so stay tuned for views of the Pacific Ocean.




Nikon Scanner Problem

I have been involved in photography for over 40 years. That of course means I started out in film photography. No, not glass plate photography. I’m not that old. As a result I have thousands of film based images.

A few years ago I bought a Nikon Coolpix9000 ED scanner. A couple of years ago Nikon quit supporting this scanner. My new computer runs on Windows 8 and the software for the scanner will not work in Windows 8. The scanner also requires firewire connection which my new computer does not have. (Insert bad language here).

I finally found a way to fix the problem and I am now scanning film using my Nikon scanner. If you have a similar issue, send me an e-mail and I will tell you what worked for me. Sorry, you can’t send me a comment. I stopped allowing comments due to (Insert bad word) spam problem.

Here is another photo from Yosemite taken on medium format film, scanned and edited in Photoshop CC.image

Yosemite National Park is a great place for photography and hiking. Like a lot of the national parks the best time to go there is during the off season, unless you like big crowds.


It has occurred to me that it is time for a return visit to Yosemite. It is one of the most amazing National Parks. As you can see in this photograph the scenery is like no where else in the world. Yosemite

Here is a link to more information about Yosemite National Park. http://www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm

Of course this park is famous for one of the great photographers who did lots of his work in the park, Ansel Adams. Check out this link to see some of his photographs. http://www.anseladams.com/

One of my favorite places to stay and eat in Yosemite is the Ahwahnee Hotel. The food in the Ahwahnee Dinning room is fabulous. I highly recommend you have at least one meal in the Ahwahnee.

For photographers, this is an amazing place. Everywhere you look there is the opportunity for a great photo.

Wet Fall Color

Gentle rain today and of course there is still fall color. From what I can tell it has been a great autumn through most of the United States. The trees with their amazing fall colors seem to be lasting longer than other years.

While Aspen trees tend to turn mainly a golden yellow other tree species turn bright red or orange colors which is what you see in this photograph.imageit won’t be long now before I will be taking winter photographs. I do love the four season. Some people want it warm all year. Not me. Can’t beat four distinct seasons.

Taro on Kauai

Let me see. What should be talk about today. How about photography!!!




This shot is of a taro field in Kauai, actually very near Hanalei. We really like Kauai. They use the roots of these plants to make Taro Chips. Taro chips are sort of like potato chips only better. Taro chips are fantastic. They also make poi from the roots of this plants.  I personally think Poi is disgusting. It has no flavor. It is similar in taste to southern grits. In other words, no taste unless you add lots of other stuff to add at least some favor.

If you have never been to Kauai, you should really go there some time. It is more “laid back” than some of the other islands.If you are looking for lots of really loud and wild night life, don’t go to Kauai.

Onion Creek Road-Utah

 Today I am going to suggest a side trip you can take on your way to or from Moab,UT. First of all you want to be on highway 128 between Cisco and Moab. As I mentioned in my last blog posting, Hwy 191 from I-70 is faster but not as scenic as 128.

If you are traveling from Cisco to Moab, you will find Onion Creek Road immediately after you go past the road to Fisher Tower. Take this gravel road to the left (east) and within a mile or less you will come to a parking area. Continue on up Onion Creek Road. The gravel road will cross Onion Creek more than twenty times. This photograph shows you what most of the crossings look like.

Onion CreekWhile most of this road may not require 4-wheel drive it is best if you don’t take that chance and instead travel in a 4-wheel drive vehicle with high clearance. Also suggest you stay off this road if it looks like it could rain. Water could rage down this stream several feet deep leaving you stranded in the back country or dead if you try to cross the stream. Never cross a roaring stream.

The drive on Onion Creek Road takes you through some beautiful red rock country. Check it out.


Utah State Route 128- Scenic Byway

If you happened to be going through Colorado on I-70 and headed for Moab, I suggest you not take the fastest route which would be Route 191 going south from Crescent Junction. Instead take the Danish Flats exit and you will go through the town of Cisco. (This exit use to be Cisco but they changed it to Danish Flats). When you are in Cisco you might want to stop at the Starbucks and get a latte. OOPS! I just remembered, Cisco is basically a ghost town and there is no Starbucks. If you like ghost towns then Cisco will be entertaining. There a few people who live there but not many.

Out of Cisco Route 128 makes a left hand turn and heads for the Colorado River. Watch for Pronghorn Antelope along the way. Route 128 follows the Colorado River all the way to Moab. This is one of the most beautiful drives in the world.The red sandstone cliffs and rocks are magnificent. The highway passes through Professor Valley where many movies have been filmed. This photo was taken along the Colorado River with cottonwood trees in fall color and the red sandstone cliffs as background.Fall along 128If you stop at the Red Cliff Lodge they have a have a movie museum in the basement level that tells you all about the movies filmed in the area. Very entertaining.

Another interesting thing to do is go for a drive on Onion Creek Trial. (4-wheel drive, high clearance recommended). More on this on my next blog posting.

Fisher Tower is also along Route 128. There is a wonderful hike up around Fisher Tower. The hiking trail leaves from the campground at the base of Fisher Tower.

Here is a link to more information about Utah Route 128.




We were recently in Rocky Mountain National Park. The first part of October is a perfect time to visit this national park. Not only are the Aspen in full fall color but the elk are in rut. The sound of the bulls bugling carries out across the valleys which is always amazing to hear. Here is a photo of two cows engaged in some interesting behavior.Elk

We also saw plenty of bull elk. A bull elk and a number of cows walked right through the campground and our campsite. They are amazing animals. This next photo was taken in the campground. Elk-2If you have never seen elk in rut, I highly recommend going to Rocky Mountain National Park in late September to early October and witness this event for yourself.


Crystal River Mill

It is that time of year again when the Aspen trees in Colorado turn an amazing golden yellow color. This year is even better than most other years.

We just returned from a trip to the Marble, Colorado area and the Aspen trees were just unbelievably beautiful. The purpose of this camping trip was to make a trip to the Crystal River Mill which is above the town of Marble. It is not real easy to get to this location. The “road” or trail is narrow and rough. Here is a photo of the trail. There are places where the drops offs are enough to make some people very nervous. (If you click on the image it will enlarge)

Trail to Crystal River Mill

Trail to Crystal River Mill

We took a jeep tour to the mill which was well worth the cost. I could focus on photography and not have to worry about driving.

The mill was built in the late 1800’s and was used to generate compressed air for various uses in the mines. Some people claim it is the most photographed site in Colorado. I seriously doubt that because it is not that easy to get to. However, it does make a great photograph.

If you would like to go see this old wooden mill then I highly recommend the jeep tour method. If you are not going to do the jeep tour than an ATV would be a better method than some 4 wheel drive vehicle. Here is a link to the jeep tours. http://www.smithfamilycolorado.com/CRJT/

Oh, I almost forgot. Here is a photograph of the Crystal River Mill.

Crystal River Mill

Crystal River Mill