Here is another photograph from our recent trip to Imogene Pass. There was still a fair amount of snow up in the high country a week or so ago (mid July). All the melting snow feeds this stream in the photograph. The water was crystal clear and ice cold.
The Jeep trip to Imogene Pass is a wonderful experience. It starts out near Ouray, Colorado and you end up looking down into the Telluride Valley. When we were there the wild flowers were fantastic. I will try to post some of those images.
If you come to Colorado for vacation one of the many areas you should visit is Ouray and Telluride. Of course there is Ridgeway in between the two locations. A great restaurant in Ridgeway is the True Grit Cafe. Yes, the True Grit movie with John Wayne was filmed in this area.
Imogene Pass is above Ouray,CO and between Ouray and Silverton. The views from this mountain top are unbelievable. The day we were there was verging on bad weather as you can see in this photo. I hate photographs with perfectly blue skies. They are usually very boring.
From the top of Imogene Pass you can see both the Ouray and Telluride sides of the mountains. This pass is somewhat difficult to get to and is at slightly over 13,000 feet.
Here is a link to more information about Imogene
We recently made a trip up to Ouray, CO and on to Silverton. We of course had to go over Red Mountain Pass which is always thrilling.
This photograph was taken in Silverton, CO. The Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge train ride is a fabulous experience. It has been several years since we took our last ride on the train and we will have to do it again soon.
Click on image to enlarge.
Narrow Gauge Train
In the summer months several trains run from Durango Colorado to Silverton each day. They follow the Animas river up to Silverton. It is a beautiful ride on an old steam locomotive train through some very scenic country. The round trip takes all day but it is well worth the time and effort.
He is a link to more information: http://www.durangotrain.com/
We recently went camping at Dorchester Campground in Colorado which is near the Collegiate Peaks. To get to this area you go to Gunnison, CO and then east and north past Taylor Reservoir. Once you get past Taylor Reservoir you continue for about 11 more miles on a gravel road. The campground is on the left side of the road.
You can do a search for Dorchester Campground and get more information.
This photograph was taken at sunrise from the campground looking out over the Collegiate Peak Mountain Range. The views of the mountains in this area have to be seen to believe. Don’t forget to click on the image to enlarge.
We went on one amazing ATV ride in these mountains. It was a VERY rough ride up into these amazing mountains. It took us about 4 hours to go 21 miles. More on that on the next posting.
We had a great time. It got down to about 40 degrees at night and it rained several times. On one of the ATV rides we found some people stuck in a snow bank (middle of July). One of the members of our group hooked a line onto them and helped pull them out.
Waimea Canyon is located on the west side of the Island of Kauai. Some people call this the Grand Canyon of Kauai. As you can see in this photograph it is a beautiful canyon. Many of the rock formations in the canyon are red which makes for very attractive photographs.
Part of the time we were there it was rainy which of course is not unusual for Kauai. After rain storms there are lots of waterfalls. I have no idea how many waterfalls there are on Kauai but I can assure you there are lots. We rented a house in Hanalei which is on the other side of the island. It is a very nice and scenic drive from Hanalei to Waimea Canyon.
The drive to this area and the sightseeing took all day. It is definitely worth the trip. If you happen to be staying in Poipu then the distance is not as far. We had a very enjoyable lunch at the restaurant at Waimea Plantation Cottages. I highly recommend this restaurant. Here is a link to their website: http://www.waimea-plantation.com/
As promised we are back to Kauai today. The photograph down lower in this posting is Tunnels Beach on the north shore of Kauai. This beach is just about as far north as you can go on the road before you hit a dead end. Actually the beach at the end of the road (Ke’e) is the farthest beach without hiking. You can hike along the Napili coast on a really neat trail and reach other beaches. On of the most dangerous beaches on the island is Hanakapiai Beach which is along this trail. Stay out of the water. Lots of people have drowned at this beach.
We rented a house in Hanalei that was close to the beach at Hanalei Bay. We love this area of the island and have stayed here a number of times. This area of Kauai is quiet without a lot of nightlife and large crowds.
The road from Hanalei on north to Ke’e has a number of one lane bridges and is a very scenic drive. On this end of the island you can count on getting some rain just about every day. At night it will usually rain very hard. The mountain you can see in this area gets almost 500 inches of rain per year.
We really like Tunnels Beach because the snorkeling there is the best on the island. I have a number of great turtle photos that you will see here eventually and also on the wildlife page of my website. The fish are very colorful and I had a great time photographing them with my underwater camera.
If you go to Hanalei or stay in that area there are two restaurants that I highly recommend. Their prices are reasonable and the food is great. The problem with Kauai restaurants is that many of them charge outrageous prices for their food. I guess they figure the tourists must be rich so let’s rip them off. The two I recommend in the Hanalei area are: 1. Hanalei Gourmet -http://hanaleigourmet.com/ , 2.Kalypso Bar and Grill – http://www.kalypsokauai.com/
Here is the photo of Tunnels Beach. Look below the photo for another recommendation.
OK, one last thing for this posting. A great thing to do in the evening is to go to Hanalei Bay and watch the sunset. It can be a very relaxing and peaceful experience.
More on the next posting.
Well today we are going way west, in fact we are going as far west as you can go and still be in the US. We just returned from a wonderful trip to the island of Kauai. Kauai is a very tropical and wet island. One of my favorite things to do is snorkel. In this photograph you can see two green sea turtles posing for a great photograph.
Green Sea Turtles
In addition to snorkeling we took a helicopter tour of the island which is a fantastic way to see the island. We took the Sunshine Helicopter tour that departed from Princeville. We rented a house in Hanalei so this location was very convenient.
Stay tuned for more posts from Kauai with lots more information on fun things to see and do. Right now I don’t have very much time because I need to get some work done around the house.
We recently went camping in Canyonlands National Park in the Island in the Sky section of the park. We camped at the campground in the park for three nights. We happened to pick a wet and cold time for this trip.
We had rain, snow and hail. However, I love bad weather for photography. There is nothing worse than clear blue skies. Clear blue skies can make for some very boring photographs. The other thing about wet weather in Canyonlands is the potholes fill up with water which is what you see in this photograph.
The life forms you can find in this pools of water can be very amazing. Because the water can dry up very fast in the desert environment the creatures have to complete their life cycle in a couple of weeks (or faster). I found some eggs from tree frogs in one of these pothole. The eggs probably hatched the day after I saw them. They also don’t stay in the tadpole stage for very long.
These pools of water in addition to being home to many creatures are also a source of water to other animals. Everyone should get a chance to see these potholes when they have water in them. That reminds me, stay out of the water!
Tired of blog postings on Chaco Canyon? Sorry, but here we go again. This time I am including two photos. I know, you are in shock. Try to calm down. If you just now found my website, welcome. Come back again. I don’t post something new everyday because sometimes I have to be out in the middle of nowhere taking new images.
Now for the advertising part, want to buy one of my photographs? Just send me an e-mail and we can work something out. This advertisement was paid for by—- no one.
Today we are going to Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Culture National Historic Park which is located in New Mexico.
The first photograph is a view looking down on Pueblo Bonito. The hike up to the ledge to get this view is somewhat strenuous. The whole Chaco Canyon area is extremely interesting. It would be nice to be able to somehow time travel back to that time and see what was really happening. There are lots of ideas on what it was like and why these people abandoned this area but most of these ideas are in my opinion based on shaky evidence. Since I have a strong science background I need better proof for what really happened and what life was like at that time than is currently available. Since the Chacoan people left no written record we will never truly know very much about their lives.
There is a book that I bought that I have found very interesting and has helped me in trying to get a better understanding of Chaco Canyon and the people who use to live there. The book is “People of Chaco: A Canyon and it’s Culture by Kendrick Frazier”. Here is a link to this book on Amazon.
On our recent trip into Arizona and New Mexico we visited the Chaco Culture National Historic Park in New Mexico. We stayed at the campground located in the park and had a wonderful visit. We highly recommend that you visit this park. The Anasazi ruins there are very impressive. Apparently the Chacoan culture had a major influence on this area of the southwest.
This photo is New Alto ruins which sits on the mesa top above the main canyon. The first part of the hike up to this location is very steep but after that the hike is easy.The most famous pueblo in the canyon is probably Pueblo Bonito. I will show you that one in future postings. The pueblos and culture of Chaco date back to a thousand years ago. Chaco is now abandoned but at one time it was a thriving community.
When you explore the various ruins it is very impressive to see what these people accomplished. There are a number of theories on why they abandoned the Chaco canyon area but no one knows for sure why they left.
Here is a link to more information on Chaco: http://www.nps.gov/chcu/index.htm