Monday, August 12, 2013

Estes Park 


Rocky Mountain National Park

Kathleen and I spent 2 and a half days in Estes Park at the end of July and the first couple of days of August.  We had great weather during our stay and spent time in Rocky Mountain National Park and downtown Estes Park.  

On our first day we went up Trail Ridge Road and had a mixture of clouds and sunshine, and a little wind. 

As we were driving near the top of Trail Ridge Road Kathleen spotted a few Big Horn sheep next to the road.  The traffic was near a stand still, so Kathleen could shoot from inside the car.  Here is one of the shots she got.

She then looked out the other side of the car and spotted a bull elk on the hill to our left.  As you can see I was concentrating on the road and cars in front of us.  There was a pull off about 100 yards ahead, so I pull in and parked so we could get a few shots of the elk.

Kathleen was using her 17-70 mm OS lens and got this global, environmental shot of the elk with the mountains and clouds in the background..

I grabbed the 50-500 mm OS lens and walked down the road to get a good vantage point.  The elk was nice and stayed resting for a while.  I was able to get the first shot below, then a lady started to walk across the tundra and spooked the elk.  The second shot was grabbed a the elk moved away.

 A Valley Rainbow

We stopped at the visitor's center at the summit, which is always nice.  After a brief stop for a snack and a drink of water, we started back down Trail Ridge road toward Estes Park.  Just as we got to timber line a light rain shower passed through.  The sun came out and we looked to our left and there was a beautiful rainbow down in the valley.  Kathleen bust out of the car, almost before I stopped, camera in hand and started shooting this scene.  Here is Kathleen getting into her artist mode, right along the highway.

I was awe struck, I have never seen anything like this in all my years of traveling in the mountains of Colorado.  Here is one of my many shots of the rainbow.

Here is one of Kathleen's shots.

and in just 2 or 3 minutes the rainbow started to dissipate and was complete gone in another minute.

Sprague Lake

On day 2 we drove up to Sprague Lake, which is just off the road to Bear Lake.  This lake is in a beautiful setting with lots of pine trees and the rocky mountains as a backdrop. 

There were  a lot of serious fly fishermen wading out into the waters.  I do not know of a more picturesque place to fly fish or take photographs.

 Elk in Your Own Backyard

 On our last morning we started out to drive back into Rocky Mountain National Park, when we notices 3 very large bull elk just outside our condo.  I stopped and parked the car.  Kathleen went across the grass toward the elk and and I hurried around to our condo to get in front of the elk.  That is me on the porch and the elk a down below. 

Kathleen supplied the narrative for the next few shots.

Larry:  Where are the elk?
Bull Elk:  Who is that up there?

Aha! I see you and you see me

Larry:  Hold still, I have to get a good shot

Elk:  Bye now, see you later

Whoops, I guess I can't go any further

Here is a parting shot from the Sheep Lake overlook. 

We took probably 2 hundred or more shots over the 2.5 days and what we are showing here are a few of the highlights from the trip.  We hope you enjoy these photo as much as we enjoyed taking them.  It is fun to share our love of photography and of the out of doors.