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Category: Photographing

Million Dollar Highway Fall Colors

Fall Colors 2022 | Friday – Saturday, September 30 – October 1, 2022

Normally, I would have left from work on Friday afternoon and headed west into Utah to spend the entire week exploring new canyons of the Colorado Plateau, but this year there was a concert on Sunday evening that delayed the start of my trip by a couple days, so I thought I would try to get up into the high country near Silverton one last time until next summer. Unfortunately, the weather would have other plans for me this weekend and I would end up just taking some photos of the fall colors along the Million Dollar Highway on Saturday morning instead.

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Medicine Bow Peak in the Snowy Range

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

After spending my first night at the Spruce Mountain Fire Lookout Tower I got up extra early on Wednesday morning so I could drive to the nearby Snowy Range and hike to the summit of Medicine Bow Peak, which at 12,013 feet is the highest peak in this small but spectacular subrange of the Medicine Bow Mountains. After leaving the Fire Tower, I dropped down into the Centennial Valley and then followed the Snowy Range Highway, which is also known as the Great Skyroad, up to the Lewis Lake Trailhead near Libby Flats. As I passed through the small town of Albany, I swear I saw a Ringtail Cat cross the road in front of my Jeep, but it was too dark out for me to be 100% certain. I arrived at Lewis Lake just in time to catch the pre-dawn alpenglow and then a beautiful sunrise, but as I was making my way to the shore of the lake I had to give wide berth to a couple of moose that were grazing right near the trailhead.

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Spruce Mountain Fire Lookout Tower

Fire Lookouts Extravaganza | Tuesday – Thursday, August 30 – September 1, 2022

After hiking to the Shadow Mountain Fire Lookout in the morning, it was time for me to head further north through North Park and into the Medicine Bow Mountains of Wyoming so I could spend the next two nights at the Spruce Mountain Fire Lookout Tower while exploring the surrounding area. Over the past couple of years I’ve been trying to visit more Fire Lookouts and Towers in the Rocky Mountains and have already spent a night in the Jersey Jim and Mestaa’ėhehe Mountain Lookout, so it should come as no surprise that I have been trying to reserve a night at the Spruce Mountain Fire Lookout Tower, which sits atop the 10,003 foot summit of Spruce Mountain near Laramie, Wyoming and was renovated and opened to the public for overnight rentals in 1997. Of course, getting a reservation proved to be a bit challenging, but I finally managed to grab two nights (the minimum length of stay allowed) and then began planning this Fire Lookouts Extravaganza!

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Wetherill Mesa at Mesa Verde National Park

Sunday, May 22, 2022 | Alternate Plans: Back on the Four Corners Circuit

While making our original plans to Bandelier National Monument for this week, before they got cancelled, I had hoped that we would be able to stop by the Ute Mountain Tribal Park again on our way down to New Mexico. But even though we had to change those plans and stick around the Four Corners area, I was still hoping we would be able to go on another tour there. I spent the past two months trying to get ahold of someone at the park to schedule a tour, but was unsuccessful in getting anyone to call or email me back to make the arrangements, so I finally gave up on that idea. Instead, I decided that we were long overdue for another visit to Mesa Verde National Park and thought it would be a good idea to spend a full day on Wetherill Mesa since neither of us had been to that part of the park before. Thankfully, I was able to secure tickets to tours of Mug House and Long House in the weeks leading up to our trip, so we were all set for a great day on Wetherill Mesa!

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The Canyons of Trachyte Creek III

The North Fork of Trachyte Creek to the Witch’s Cauldron & Maidenwater Canyon
Friday – Sunday, March 11-13, 2022

For the past two years I have spent a weekend in early March exploring the Canyons of Trachyte Creek and thought it would be fun to head back down there again this weekend to make it three years in a row. The last two years I went on overnight backpacking trips into the canyon, first with Diane and then with Jackson, but this year I was on my own an decided to just do some day-hikes from the road instead. I left after work on Friday afternoon, topped off my gas tank in Hanksville at $4.69 per gallon and then made it to my campsite long Trachyte Creek shortly before sunset. I’m loving that the daylight is sticking around longer into the evening now and will be sticking around another hour longer after the Daylight Savings Time change on Saturday night. I listened to a couple podcasts and then went to bed early.

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