Early morning (4 a.m. wake-up call) had wheels on the road by 4:30 a.m. driving towards the Maroon Bells 45 minutes away from where we were staying in Snowmass Village. This was the very first look of the Bells entering into the gatehouse area to the park (there is a fee to drive in and park). This is just after 5 a.m., stopped in the middle of the road with my headlights on without a soul around.
The shot of the morning sun bathing the Bells and the lakeside valley below is “the” essential picture to get. And one can usually find a good handful of serious photographer always setting up and getting this shot any given morning.
Being the animal lover that I am, I was fascinated by the photo of geese floating about in the reflection of the peaks as we waited for the sun. Needless to say, the geese have it good in this particular lake.
Seeing the moon still hanging over one side of the lake, high above, was an interesting contrast with the sun rising quickly behind me.
I’m still learning the finer art of light control and struggled a bit to keep focus on the peaks but still avoid washing out the Bells themselves with the bright sun and snow reflection. This shot ironically was the best one of the bunch for this vantage point and it was taken with my iPhone.
I was enthralled by the lake itself. It was perfectly clear and the reflection of the trees on the mountains beside it was serene. My next trip back here (hopefully in the fall or winter) would definitely include more focus on these views.
On leaving the park, I turned around to take one last look, and even though it’s not the usual composition, it’s my favorite shot of the Bells.
After a hearty breakfast in Aspen and a nearly 3 hour rest while the hottest part of the day passed, the next stop was back to Glenwood Springs.
A quick trip to Linwood Cemetery include a chance to see the final resting places of Doc Holliday and Kid Curry.
The end of the evening held a 45 minute trip through the Kings Row Caverns at the Glenwood Adventure Park. A 10 minute gondola ride took us up to the park which sites on the top of a hill.
The caverns (there were 2 tours that can be chosen from or taken one after another) were really interesting. Just long enough to make it worth your tickets but not so long that you get anxious for being underground.
The varying shades of rock and sediment were endless. I was torn between simply listening to the tour guide and looking with my own eyes and remembering to take pictures. Truly fascinating and was so much more than just these three photos convey.
It was a very, very long day with other stops and driving between locations, but worth it. I snagged this shot when we pulled to the side of the road to photograph a particular mountain in the other direction, but I found the valley so peaceful and with so much detail, I couldn’t help but focus in that direction.
2 thoughts on “Rocky Mountain Getaway – Day 2”
Excellent post! I live about 2.45 hours away and have been wanting to photograph the Bells myself. I too like your parting shot with the path best!
Thank you for the feedback! I would love to return for each season now to see the same views in snow and ice, with the aspens on display and hike about more. How wonderful you live so close to such a beautiful place!
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