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The Big Wide World


At this point in the year my various retreats and recharges tend to be far less “sit down and make something” and far more “head for them thar hills!”. I have many hypothesis for why I start itching for the great outdoors so much in the fall and winter, but I think the most likely explanation is that I simply spend more time indoors (in class, at the library, avoiding the cold) in chill months, and have to make up for that somehow. I mean, there’s so much out there!

I give you, then, some shots of the great outdoors. The first set is from Poudre Canyon, which is close enough that I can drive up for a couple of hours after class and get some wandering in. The other two are from Estes Park (more specifically, Rocky Mountain National Park), which tends to be more of a weekend escape for me.

Poudre Canyon
Poudre Canyon

These particular shots are from early-to-mid fall.

It’s a relaxing drive back home.

Estes Park

The pictures below are divided into two different visits a couple of weeks apart. In the first, the elk were still very much fans of the whole “herd” thing. In the second, most of the herds had dissipated, though I did run into one rather spectacular group (complete with impressive buck) blocking the road on my way out of the park. I’m guessing they were one of the only remaining herd hold-outs- no pictures of that one, though, as I was already running incredibly late getting back to FoCo.

I can never quite resist the urge to bust out the macro function on my camera. In fact, I picked this particular Powershot point-and-shoot precisely because the macro shot function produced such gorgeous pictures. Such things are important when one is photographing jewelry and the like.

Hiking boot love.

That particular expression is rather typical of me.

This guy was bedded down with his herd right in the center of the town park. It was rather impressive to wander into their midst whilst walking to dinner.

Thus ends the first set from the Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park area. The last four pictures were actually taken by Mr. David Vohsman (visible wandering about in the picture which prominently features my own feet), who is much better at the whole photography hobbiest thing than I (not to mention better equipped).

These next photos were taken a few weeks after those above, when I went back up alone. The park had grown a bit colder and the elk herds, by and large, had broken up.

Going Up
Going Up

The trail starts out easy- wide, graveled, well-groomed.

Aspen Man
Aspen Man

I find it rather interesting what people will carve into aspen trunks.


The well-groomed trail grows more and more untamed with your ascent.

Then comes the snow. I saw my first snowfall of the year on this particular hike- small, granulated knots of ice drifting down sparsley from a blasted sky. By that point I was far enough from anyone else to hear naught but my own breathing and the beat of my heart in my skull.

I appear to have a strange obsession with bark.

I appear to have a strange obsession with bark.

No, really. I have stacks of bark pictures. It’s texture, you know?

>Growing Dark
Growing Dark

The problem with hiking alone is what you do when you hurt yourself, which I did on a stretch of trail very similar to this one. That’s why all the pictures end just past fan lake, shown below. I managed to lose my footing on a stretch of icepacked trail and not only earn myself one hellaciously angry ankle but also leave a lovely chain of aching bruises all along my left side. Oops.

I shall leave off on the details of the very interesting adventure that was getting back to my car with a bum leg and no flashlight, so I don’t sound any stupider than I already do.

Fan Lake
Fan Lake

That’s all for now!

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