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Rocky Mountain Walkabout

When I was photographing Arches NP I met a wonderful couple, L & J, from Australia and touring the U.S. for 6 months in a van. We ended up spending a lot of time together hiking and photographing the area – I learned a number of Aussie phrases – i.e. – hiking, in fact, was “going on a walkabout”.

So, whether you call it hiking, going on a walkabout, or some other phrase that suits you – the mountains in this region provide a great hiking experience. Like I have done so much over the last few months, I just had to explore deeper into the canyons and up into the mountains. I particularly enjoyed the hikes above timberline – the grandeur of the rugged mountains peaks is awe-inspiring! Read more

Historic Mines and Ghost Towns

“the wildest and most inaccessible region in Colorado, if not in North America”… a region of “unparalleled ruggedness, and sublimity more awful than beautiful…”

… Hubert H. Bancroft in 1890

These San Juan Mountains that I was enjoying so much were described in that way at about the time that the region was being flooded with prospectors.

Not only are these mountains some of the most rugged in the U.S., but they also contained an incredibly rich zone of ores like silver and gold that stretched from Silverton (guess where they got that name 🙂 ) to Ouray to Telluride and to nearby towns like Creede and Summitville. Read more

Ouray, Colorado – Base Camp To Explore Southwest Colorado

I posted on July 4th that Ouray filled the need for cooler temperatures and a change of scenery after a week of “red rocks” and desert country – but it has become something so much more!

Nestled in a small river valley at nearly 8,000 feet with a few nearby peaks soaring to 14,000 feet, Ouray and the surrounding region is home to beautiful mountains, jagged peaks, rugged canyons, alpine basins, endless aspen groves, cascading waterfalls, and historic districts – in other words – home to some the West’s most unforgettable scenery. Read more

Happy 4th of July

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me
Woody Guthrie

Thanks, Woody, I am trying to see it all

Yup, July 4th and the blog is almost all caught up now –

after weeks in red rocks and spectacular Southwest country – but increasingly too hot for this nomad – it was time to move on to cooler climates. Ouray, Colorado fit the bill perfectly. Cooler due to the altitude here in Ouray, CO. I arrived a couple of weeks ago and have been having a blast since. Read more

Desert Solitaire Country

“This is the most beautiful place on earth…

For myself I’ll take Moab, UT.

I don’t mean the town itself, of course, but the country which surrounds it- the canyonlands. The slickrock desert. The red dust and the burnt cliffs and the lonely sky – all that which lies beyond the end of the roads.”

— Edward Abbey – Desert Solitaire – A Season in the Wilderness

After leaving Monument Valley I continued my trek north into Moab, UT – gateway to “where adventure begins” as the tourist guide points out and also the gateway to nearby Arches National Park. Read more

John Ford Country

After nearly two weeks exploring the Grand Canyon I decided it was time to move on to yet another of nature’s most dramatic landscapes – Monument Valley.

Many of you know the look of this region. The colorful mesas, amazingly varied shaped buttes, dunes, and tall spires are no doubt recognized due to their appearance in countless movies and commercials.

In 1938, John Ford and John Wayne made “Stagecoach” the movie that first brought Monument Valley to the attention of the film and tourist industries. Since then, Monument Valley has been a favorite for photographers and filmmakers.

In fact, I read somewhere that “…Stagecoach created three icons: John Wayne, John Ford, and the 30,000 acres of glory on the Utah-Arizona border known as Monument Valley…” Read more

Grand Canyon Variety Pack

I mentioned in the last post that about 4.5 million visitors come to the Grand Canyon each year. And, I was surprised to learn that about 25% of those visitors are from outside the United States – no wonder it felt like a visit to the United Nations at times.

Now you get 4.5 million folks together from all around the country and around the globe and you’re going to get a lot of different ideas on how to experience the magnificence of the Grand Canyon. In fact, there’s something for everyone! Read more

The Grand Canyon

“In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which, so far as I know, is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to do one thing in connection with it in your own interest and in the interest of the country – to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is.

Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American if he can travel at all should see.” Read more