Just returned from an epic fall colors tour of Colorado. Snow and fall colors
combined for a trip of a lifetime! I spent time in the Crested Butte area, McClure Pass area, the Ridgway, Colorado area and The San Juans.
I spent a week in Colorado from September 27- October 3, 2013. Most of the time was spent in the Ridgway, Colorado with the later part of the trip in the Crested Butte area. The timing of fall colors seemed to be about a week late. Despite that I managed to get a few good shots. You can see these in my new Colorado Fall 2013 gallery.
I had all of the 112 degree days I could stand in Fort Smith, AR, so I headed west to escape the heat and take a few photos.
Thursday August 12th I was up early and ready to catch a great sunrise from Boreas Pass. The clouds were not there to add interest but the 36 degree temperature was a welcome relief. I even had to wear my winter coat! After sunrise I headed to an area that I have been wanting to explore for some time, Mayflower Gulch. I spent most of the morning there and returned that afternoon. What a great place! You can see some of my photos of the area in my Colorado Summer 2011 Gallery Colorado Summer 2011 Gallery.
Friday, I spent the afternoon exploring the Kite Lake area with a friend. He took me up the top of Loveland Mountain to the the great view of Mount Democrat, Mount Lincoln, and Mount Bross. We then hiked to Lake Emma and saw incredible fields of wildflowers.
Saturday I was up again early to catch the good light before sunrise above Montgomery Lake at the cascades of the Middle Fork of the South Platte River. The balance of the day was spent exploring Horseshoe Gulch near Fairplay, Colorado.
Sunday, I headed home after a short but fun trip the cooler mountains.
We had an incredible eight days in Alaska. This was our first trip and we decided to plan the trip on our own and I am glad we did.
We flew to Anchorage and then spent three nights at the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska. We used this a base point to explore the Girdwood, Portage, and Seward areas. The day trip to the Kenai Fjords National park in Seward was the highlight.
We then drove to Denali National Park and stayed in the area for three days. I highly recommend the Wilderness Tour that goes about 62 miles into the park. We saw a great abundance of wildlife and even caught a glimpse of Denali. Our guide said it is viewable only about 10% of the time.
We spent one day driving part of the Denali Highway that runs from Cantwell to Paxson. You can drive this highway, unlike the road in the park, and you can often see the same wildlife and great landscapes.
On our final day we took the road from Willow, Ak to Palmer, Ak via Hatcher Pass. It is one of the few roads that allows one to get into the higher elevations of Alaska. It was raining but well worth the trip.
I spent a week in Colorado from July 16-23 chasing wildflowers and other great scenes. The first few days were spent near my cabin near Fairplay, Colorado. Some the places visited included, Mosquito Pass, Breakneck Pass, Boreas Pass Road, Mohawk Lake, McCullough Gulch, Cottonwood Pass, Crested Butte, American Basin, Animas Forks, Silverton, Black Bear Pass and Ridgway, Colorado.
The highlight of the trip was seeing American Basin for the first time and camping there. American Basin is a place I will visit many more times.
The wildflowers were really nice and you can see some of the photos I captured in Trip Report Gallery: Colorado Summer 2010: Colorado Summer 2010
Spring photography came a little late this year for me due to my work on the American Canoe Association instructor certification for level 4 whitewater. The good news is that I did qualify to teach open canoe solo and tandem.
It turns out most of the good spring rains did not come until mid May and during that brief two week period I was able to get out to some of my favorite spots and bag a few nice photos. You can see these in my recent photo gallery:Recent Photos
One place was particularly noteworthy for me. I have been wanting to catch Compton Falls with good water and spring greenery and luck was on my side the third week of May. Compton Falls is a thirty nine foot double waterfall that drops into a deep green pool surrounded by Umbrella Magnolias and ferns. If one did not know better, you would think you were in tropical paradise!
I also made it to Home Valley Bluff this spring. This is one of the most beautiful places in Arkansas. It overlooks Home Valley and the Big Piney Creek Valley. I will make it back for the fall colors.
Fall 2009 in Arkansas was truly a year to remember. We had over 16 inches of rain and October is normally one of the driest months of the year. The theme of my 2009 fall gallery in Arkansas is water and color, something that we are not often blessed with. When you get rain it is usually a short time but this year it was all month!
I was able to get out to many places that are hard to catch with water. Some of the areas included Richland Creek, Spirit's Creek, Lick Branch, The Little Mulberry and the Mulberry river. I also made stops at Devil's Den, Petit Jean, and Mount Magazine State Parks.
Here is a link to my 2009 Arkansas Fall Gallery: Arkansas Fall 2009
My goal this trip to Colorado was to search out all the neat places that were within 30 miles of my cabin and not drive all over the state.
My first exploration took me to the Rich Creek/ Rough and Tumbling Creek Wilderness. This is a great area about 5 miles from the cabin near the Buffalo Peaks.
Very early the next morning I traveled a short distance to Horseshoe Gulch and photographed the stars until the sky begin to get light and I then turned my attention to photographing the pre-dawn light that developed over Fairplay, Colorado.
The next day I explored the Mosquito Pass area and hiked the short McCullough Gulch trail that was full of fantastic waterfalls and mountain scenery.
I think my plan worked pretty well and here is a link to a few photos from my trip. Colorado summer 2009
It has become a tradition for a group from the Central States Nature Photographers to get together each spring and take photos and exchange ideas about photography. Once again, Rod Kissinger was very gracious and allowed the group to stay at his wonderful cabin near Jasper, Arkansas.
Twelve photographers explored different parts of the Buffalo area that included Smith Creek, Broadwater Hollow, Steele Creek, Ponca, and Lost Valley. The food and fellowship was great and everyone came away with many great photographs.
I have included a few in my Recent Photos gallery.
Spring has arrived slowly over the past few weeks and I have been out several different days to Jack's Creek, King's River Falls, Falling Water Creek and most recently to Petit Jean State Park. I was lucky to catch Petit Jean the morning after a nice rain and hiked to Cedar Creek Falls, a 95 foot watefall, and saw it with the most water I have ever seen there. Stout's Point was my first stop at Petit Jean State Park and I was greeted with a chilly and stormy sunrise. Check at the picture from Stout's Point and see if you can find King Kong in the rocks surveying his domain!
The colors this fall have been fantastic! My first adventure began early one Sunday morning in mid October with a trip to the Buffalo National River. My plan was to find an easy way to the top of Roark Bluff. It was not easy, but after several wrong turns, I found a tiny trail that lead to the perfect spot overlooking the river and the valley. I patiently waited for the fog to lift and was rewarded with great view of the river and valley. The only downside were the chiggers that feasted on my legs while I waited. The things we do to get a good photograph!
The next weekend was the annual gathering of the Central States Nature Photographers at Fairview Campground on Arkansas Highway 7. We explored and photographed Falling Water Creek, Richland Creek and the Buffalo National River. It was great to visit with all the great photographers in this group.
I was also able to make short day trips to Lee Creek and Mount Magazine during the peak of the fall colors. Some of my shots from these trips are in the Gallery named Arkansas Fall Colors 2008. Check out the shots here: ArkansasFall2008
One last note, I added a new gallery for panoramo photographs that I will be adding shots to periodically. The first three are from this fall. You can find them Here.
I drove over 2500 miles during the week but it was well worth it! The fall colors were some of the best I have seen in recent years.
My adventure began in the Crested Butte area on Monday morning. Ohio Pass and Kebler Pass were the main areas that I visited on Monday. Sunrise on Ohio Pass was the morning highlight. The remainder of the morning was spent exploring the intimate forests around Kebler Pass. Later in the afternoon I spent trying to catch the right light at the “Dyke” on Kebler Pass Road. Monday evening, I met up with Bill Dark and camped near McClure Pass.
The next morning was spent around McClure Pass and then I found County Road 265 just southwest of McClure Pass. Ranch scenes and aspen groves were the highlight of the day. Later in the afternoon, I headed to Ridgway and found a motel.
The next two days were spent exploring the roads around Ridgway and Telluride and I found many great fall scenes.
The final day of my trip was spent exploring many places along U.S. 550. The highlight of the day was a side trip along Old Lime Creek Road just south of Silverton, Colorado. The area locally known as the “Wall China” had some of the most interesting scenes of the week.
If you get a chance check out my trip report gallery. Colorado Fall Gallery
I made it out to our cabin near Fairplay, Colorado this past week. We did a little work on the cabin and got out to some of the neat places around the area. Kite Lake, Mosquito Pass and Oliver Twist Lake were among the places we explored.
The record snowfalls of the past season were very evident as this was the greeniest I have seen the mountains in the 25 plus years I have spent in Colorado.
I have included a few shots from our explorations. One Photo in particular is of a barn that is painted with the American Flag. I found out that the owner and about 15 friends painted the flag after 9/11 in honor of all the American fallen heroes. I hope to make it back out in late September to catch the fall colors.
There will be a photo display at the Fort Smith Public Library, 3201 Rogers Avenue, Fort Smith, AR, 479-783-0229, free to the public.
The photos by J.P. Bell and Tom Kennon focus on the Arkansas outdoors and include plenty of cool water streams, rivers, and waterfalls. Both J.P. and Tom are avid outdoorsmen from the Fort Smith area.
I am proud to announce the launch of my new website. I have been working on this for the last few months. I knew that when I saw Jack Brauer’s website and found out that he offered web site services designed by a photographer, this was the opportunity I have been looking for to upgrade my old site. Jack has been a pleasure to work with and has helped me with many questions along the way. I want to thank Jack for all his hard work and patience with me! Check out his personal photo website at www.WideRange.org and his site for custom photo galleries for photographers at www.WideRangeGalleries.com.