A Slow Creep in Thin Air

American Basin, at Cinnamon Pass

American Basin, at Cinnamon Pass


Someone very wise said it first:  “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” 

Downhill, Cinnamon Pass

If we’re acquainted, you’ve heard me say on more than one occasion that I’m lucky to live where I do.  I am much more likely to run out of years than I am to run out of beautiful adventures within reach.  

Test Drive

Test Drive

It took the most of two full days to travel and photograph a scant sixty miles straight up and straight down on Colorado’s Alpine Loop.  The switchbacks and drop-offs on this route between Lake City and Ouray are notable.  The path to summit is one-lane and two-directional, requiring vigilance and foresight, plus a keen ability to back a vehicle onto the only available ledge that is broad enough to allow travel in both directions.  

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled

I would not consider myself a thrill-seeker, but in two days of travel on the Loop, abundant thrills found me.  I saw a moose in the willows of Wager Gulch, a clan of marmots playing at the top of Engineer Pass and a developing wildflower show in American Basin.  I heard wind hissing through the remnants of a mining camp and felt the shallow press of breath in a short hike above tree line.  And I learned to lean into the jolts and bumps of the road, just as if I were on horseback.  

Spotted Meadow

Spotted Meadow

We took a detour up Schaeffer’s Gulch, alternating stops to heave boulders to fill in deep road ruts with other stops to roll away boulders blocking the path.  This side trip was halted at tree line, where snow still covered the road on a north-facing slope.  At elevation, the June sun is near and will soon transform the drift.  But for now, it caused a turnabout.

Summit #2

Summit #2

In the end, the only casualty of this high, slow creep of an adventure was a torn-up arm earned in a spill I took as I explored one of the ghost camps.  Saved the camera, but bashed the arm.  Far worth it, for the experience.

Ghost of a Honky Tonk

Ghost of a Honky Tonk

Also earned, I must say, was the great satisfaction of knowing I hadn’t allowed fear to completely distract from the pleasure of my journey :-). 

Mitch the Marmot

Mitch the Marmot

I hope you enjoyed the ride.  


La Vie en Rose




My best medicine is a long walk with my dog. I start each day this way and on the days I consider particularly successful, she and I cover many miles.

I feed on the hint of sunrise and take deep breaths of cold, dry air. No one is near, except the geese I hear readying to rise from the lake. Light is changing and I can see the pink-colored mountains. I do not think a camera could suitably capture this light or the view. It is a scene that will start my day off right.

What might happen if we could all start the day in sight of the natural world? What if we postponed the headlines and the updates and the emails and the sound bites long enough to change the outlook?

In case you haven’t tried some today, here’s a breath of that cold, dry air. It will do you good, I think. 🙂

Clear Creek

The cold and dark of winter

can’t stop the flow beneath the surface.

Love at First Sight


I do not believe in love at first sight.
Except for now and then.
And last week was a now and then sort of week.
Lots of loves at first sight.
Lots of oohs and aahs and photo ops.
I took a whole lotta pictures.

These are some of my favorites.

I’ll be quiet now and hope you fall in love too.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse



Sideways Glance

Primary Seats

Bath with a View

Mr. Hearst’s Library

Half Dome

Meadow and Granite


From Glacier Point

High on a Hill 

Mariposa Grove


Sunset: Pacific