Road Trip USA – Colorado and Arizona in Color Photos

Grand skies, incredible nature. Delicious eats and dramatic mountain passes. Peaceful rivers and powerful inspiration for the imagination.  These are the traits, all bolstered by the sharp, clean, invigorating scent of mountain air kissed by the vanilla scent of a fresh summer rain and the vanilla perfume of Ponderosa pine trees.

The following are color photos taken during my two week road trip across northern Arizona (briefly) before settling in along the west fork of the Dolores River in southwestern Colorado.  Once we had our camp set, we used it as a base for exploring the San Juan Forest and surrounding area. The San Juan Mountain Range and the southern Colorado Rockies remain one of my favorite places in the world.

Flowers over Trout Lake

Trout Lake

Incredible Slow Motion Footage of a Large Hummingbird Charm

There are moments that we come upon while traveling that enchant us. They are the milliseconds that blend with minutes to leave us lost outside of time enraptured and mesmerized by the beauty of whatever the experience is we’ve stumbled upon. At times these stem from people, culture, food and music but I find more often than not they come from nature.  The hour or so I spent watching a massive charm of hummingbirds in southwestern Colorado about 30 miles outside of Dolores falls into this category.

In the following footage you’ll find several species of humming birds, captured at 240 FPS and recorded in slow motion. The roughly two minutes of real-time footage becomes 13 attention-stealing minutes of incredible sounds and sights as the hummingbirds sing to each other, spar, and feed.  The first few seconds are in regular speed to give you a frame of reference … enjoy!

To see more footage from my Colorado trip head to my YouTube channel and don’t forget to subscribe!

Footage was shot using a selfie stick and iPhone 6 at close range. Slight color enhancement was applied. Filmed just before dusk in mid-summer.

Cameron Trading Post – Weekly Travel Photo

The sound of sun-scorched Arizona soil crunching beneath your boots is a unique one. There’s just something about how millennium of sweltering heat, clay, sandstone, and tumbleweed roots come together to give it that special sound. It’s no coincidence that when the time comes to prepare for the next mission to Mars or shoot a space odyssey all directors turn to the same part of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah for testing and filming

Open Roads and Changing Aspen – Weekly Travel Photo

With one arm resting half-in, half-out of the diver’s side window of  our white Chevy Crew Cab pickup truck the wind raced over my skin, cooling it, while tugging gently at my arm hairs. A periodic errant gust would collide with my skin before diverting inward to tickle my face and fill my ears with the sound of the fresh black tarmac whizzing by beneath rugged truck tires. My eyes locked forward on the road, one hand on the wheel casually navigating the high mountain two-lane highway that threaded through the passes near Silverton in south-western Colorado.

Moonrise Over Ouray – Weekly Travel Photo

Rising Moon Over Ouray, Colorado

Situated in the heart of southwestern Colorado the small town of Ouray rests at the foot of spectacular mountains.  Made famous by its hot springs the sleepy little town also serves as a nexus from which ribbon-like roads snake out into the nearby mountain passes as they attempt to wind through the San Juan Mountain Range.  The town itself has a distinctly western feel to it with old-western architecture and the occasional semi-tame wild deer roaming the streets.  Thus, it was the perfect spot to enjoy this spectacular moonrise.  We were freshly arrived and had just checked into our hotel.  Eager to wander a bit and enjoy the brisk September air I grabbed my camera and started to walk the 200 meters to the city’s main drag.  Then, just as I neared it a casual glance up at the rippling-ribbon like valley wall took my breath away.  The moon, made massive by the added perspective of the canyon’s rim, was just starting to come into sight.  Over the next 5-10 minutes I watched, breathless, as the moon slowly climbed into the sky with every crater, valley, and plateau clear as day and visible to the naked eye.  A few quick steps left me standing in the perfect spot to watch the moon climb skyward before seeming to pause briefly balanced perfectly atop a small peak.  This photo is the end result.

Make sure to head over to flickr to see the rest of the album.

Would you like to see previous Weekly Photos? View past travel pictures here. This photo was taken on a Canon T3i (600D) Camera.

Friday’s Weekly Travel Photo – Horsing Around the Little Colorado

The Little Colorado - Horses

Though its bigger brother the Grand Canyon gets all the attention, the Little Colorado, located just around the bend, has its own beauty and allure.  Today’s Friday photo was snapped at one of the overlooks along Highway 64, the Cameron to Grand Canyon ring road in Arizona.

The photo was taken as I paused at one of the small Indian jewelry stands that decorate the area.  Stiff from a few hours of driving I got out of the car to stretch my legs and check out the Little Colorado.  As I did I was greeted by these two curious individuals enjoying the view from their horse trailer. It would appear that these two horses found me even more interesting than one of Arizona’s natural wonders.  To think – I didn’t even get a chance to try out my, “So a horse walks into a bar…” jokes.  Perhaps it was for the best!

Friday’s Weekly Travel Photo – A Canine Adventurer

A Dog Resting Atop Sharkstooth

We’ve been making the pilgrimage to the top of Shark’s Tooth Trail in south western Colorado on a semi-annual basis for as long as I can remember. The hike is a stunning one and starts about halfway up the mountain. The drive to get there is almost as much of an adventure as the hike itself. Winding up and out of Dolores, eventually we split off and leave pavement behind for well maintained gravel. After another few miles we leave the well maintained gravel behind for a 4×4 only rugged, rocky, and pothole (small crater?) filled mountain road that winds up past beaver dams, beautiful high altitude lakes, past giant scree slides and across several small streams.

The hike itself is magical. It wraps its way up the mountain side past old growth trees so large you can’t get you arms around them, past wild strawberry and raspberry plants, then over a series of small snow-melt streams with crystal clear water. The view periodically opens up offering incredible sights of the nearby mountains and creating perfect spots to pause for a breather or light snack. The path also forks past an old abandoned mine and what is left of the old miner’s log cabin. The flowers in Spring and early Summer are always in full bloom and an explosive mixture of colors. Eventually though, both the trees and the flowers give way to odd plants and hardy grasses as you pass above the tree line. From there it’s just another final push before you reach the end of the trail head and the saddle offering a view over the back side of the mountains.

That’s where this photo was shot, as we rested and hid from the wind. One of our Canine hiking companions decided to pause his explorations long enough to join us as we laid back and enjoyed the view at 11,936 feet from the top of Sharkstooth Pass.

Love this photo?  Make sure to check out previous week’s Friday Feature Photos!