Frozen, Cold and Beautiful

Exploring the banks of the Poudre River on a winter morning.

2016-12-23-ouzel-cache-la-poudre-river-05

A little pre-holiday adventuring off Highway 14 on Poudre Canyon Road running towards Roosevelt National Forest, just outside of Fort Collins.

2016-12-23-ouzel-cache-la-poudre-river-01

Where it was still shaded from the mid-morning sun, the water was frozen over several inches thick. I was thankful for my wool blend base layers. It was still and silent, as if the river was asleep under an icy blanket.

2016-12-23-ouzel-cache-la-poudre-river-09

Where it was sunny, everything seemed normal. I wasn’t struggling so much with aperture settings. And I could feel my fingers on my camera.

2016-12-23-cache-la-poudre-river-01

It was beautiful country and had countless side-road areas I’d never driven out to before. Off Highway 14, there were several pull-offs that enable you to walk down to the river and enjoy the scenery.

2016-12-23-cache-la-poudre-river-03

The ice fascinated me more than the views actually. It was quite thick in places, so much so that you could walk out onto the water.

2016-12-23-cache-la-poudre-river-08

I was taken by river rocks; their coloration and texture paired with the currents frozen around them fascinated me.

2016-12-23-cache-la-poudre-river-09

While the intent was to actually head out on a hike, one can have just as good of a time wandering the pull-offs that dotted the road and never actually taking a trail.

2016-12-23-cache-la-poudre-river-11

Just goes to show it’s worth it to leave a little room for changes in plans sometimes.

Time to Checkout and Go

A visit to my family in the mountain of North Carolina was called for. And there are times when you simply have to inform people you work with they will have to get along without you for a few days and just go.

 

2016-10-16-hooker-falls
DuPont State Recreational Forest – View opposite Hooker Falls
2016-10-16-triple-falls
DuPont State Recreational Forest – Triple Falls
2016-10-17-nantahala
Nantahala National Forest – Nantahala River
2016-10-18-funnel-top-view
Blue Ridge Parkway – Funnel Top Overlook
2016-10-18-looking-glass-01
Pisgah National Forest – Looking Glass Falls
2016-10-18-pisgah-inn
Pisgah National Forest – Blue Ridge Parkway – Pisgah Inn Restaurant View

I’m fortunate to venture between my current home in Colorado at the base of the Rocky Mountains and my childhood home in North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Two very different mountains and communities, but home and family are always worth the travel, no matter which way the plane is heading.

A Short Hike on Empty

2016-09-10-arthursrock-01

A few photos to share from a recent hike up to Arthur’s Rock at Lory State Park outside of Fort Collins, CO.

 

2016-09-10-arthursrock-05

2016-09-10-arthursrock-02

2016-09-10-arthursrock-04

2016-09-10-arthursrock-09

View of Horsetooth Reservoir from atop Arthur’s Rock.

2016-09-10-arthursrock-010jpg

I do look forward to returning to hike this very trail again, but I started out on little sleep from the night before and not nearly enough hydration. Would try it again in a heartbeat though – beautiful views for days.

Morning Shots on the High Plains

2016-08-06 Target Shooting 01

A day of target shooting on a cloudy day.

2016-08-06 Target Shooting 03

Barn swallows were up to their usual acrobatic antics.

2016-08-06 Target Shooting 06

Willow flycatchers were everywhere. Once we’d put enough holes in our targets for the day, I snagged my camera from the truck and bounded off to start snapping pictures.

2016-08-06 Target Shooting 09

On the drive back I saw a number of hawks hunting.

2016-08-06 Target Shooting 07

A barn swallow, buzzing the thistle.

2016-08-06 Target Shooting 05

A little chirper.

2016-08-06 Target Shooting 04

I love that you can see light through the farthest edges of this swallow’s feathers against the sky.

2016-08-06 Target Shooting 10

Red-tailed hawks and prairie falcons appeared on telephone poles and railroad tracks, eyeing the area for any small critters moving about.

2016-08-06 Target Shooting 11

It’s a bit of a downer having to drive back to town to return to the world again.

2016-08-06 Target Shooting 02