Driving through the Elk mountains in Colorado is a stunning experience. Rows and groves of pale, spindly aspens paired with pines line the road to Maroon Bells. The air is clean and sparse – this low altitude dweller had some serious respiratory stress after trying to run to the car.
We had arrived at the mountain range the night of the 19th – hoping to catch a sunset over the rugged mountain and it’s reflective lake. Unfortunately, a storm decided that it too was going to hang out over Maroon lake – and drove us away with howling winds, pelting us with heavy raindrops. Jeremy and I, not wanting to miss the type of grandeur found only at dawn and dusk, sunrise and sunset – got up at 4:30am the following day and made the drive and trek to the lake, again. We were met again with rainy weather – but we decided to stay anyway. Even in the dark, the clouds were haunting and the sounds of the rain on the still lake were pleasant.
An hour or so later, the weather began to clear and there were hints that the sun was going to crest the ridges
And boy what a show we got when it did.
When the sun hits the top of the range – it doesn’t even look real. It looks like someone put up a cardboard cutout of some mountains behind some trees. It was a pretty funny experience.
Then we had some really spectacular turns in weather. A raincloud rolled into the valley and partially obscured the sun – producing stunning rainbows in an already beautiful scene.
What more could this photographer asked for?
Once I peeled myself away from the iconic vista, we went for a short hike in the on-and-off rain.
All in all, one of my favorite days of our entire Colorado trip. The United States is full of beautiful areas – and our focus had been international travel – but now I’m turning to look at our country. Jeremy and I are in the midst of a lot of change in our lives. 2018 has been a rollercoaster ride of tragedy, growth, opportunities, risks, and setting boundaries. All in all I am looking forward to ending the year – having grown much more than I anticipated. Breaks in the wilderness are great palate cleanser for the mind – bringing some perspective to my day-to-day life. I can’t wait for our next destination!