Wednesday, September 2, 2015


We rendezvoused with the group at the Airport in Grand Junction. After introductions; loading the cars, two large SUVs; and making the pre-departure visit to the restrooms; we were off.

Our destination today, Thursday, was Crested Butte, Colorado, known as the Wildflower Capital of Colorado. Along the way we enjoyed the views as we went through Glenwood Springs, known for its large hot springs resort, and beautiful scenery. There we turned South off of I-70 and headed for Crested Butte. On the way into Crested Butte we drove over a couple of high mountain passes, including Kebler Pass at 10,000 feet. We encountered a couple rain showers and an increase in the wind which does not make for great flower photography. We took time along the way to scout out prospective photo locations. We made one stop for photography late in the afternoon, before entering Crested Butte.

A Field of Aspen Sunflowers

Butter And Eggs
After a long lingering dinner at a Mexican Restaurant, it was time to get organized for tomorrow’s full day of photography and driving the back roads. I am now working at a minimum of 8K feet with going up into the mountains to 12-13+K feet. This is quite a change from living and exercising at sea level.

FRIDAY was our full day in the Crested Butte area. We started with photographing the large fields of aspen sunflowers at the base of Gothic
Mountain. Lots of possibilities for subject matter, and compositions with the clouds moving in and out around the Mountain. The fields were flush with aspen sunflowers. 

Aspen Sunflowers

Stormy Look to the North

Aspen Sunflower Below Gothic Mountain

Silvery Lupine, Aspen Sunflowers, Gothic Mountain
Interspersed with the sunflowers were Lupinus argenteus, Silvery Lupine; Delphinium barbeyi, tall Larkspur; Aconitum columbianum, Monkshood; Veratrum californicum, Corn Lilly; Frasera speciosa, Monument Plant: Ipomopsis aggregate, Scarlet Gilia: Corydalis caseana, Case’s Corydalis; and more.  It was quite the show, and difficult to decide what to focus on. I visited the Rocky Mountain Research Station in the village of Gothic and got a new pocket guide book of Rocky Mountain Wildflowers, and the recommendation for another book which I eventually found in Ouray, Wild About Wildflowers by Katherine Darrow. (This was a wonderful find as it is more than a field guide.)

Mountain Pond

Colorado Columbine Trio

Natural Beauty

Near Crested Butte
We took a break in the middle of the afternoon and returned to Crested Butte for some R&R. I took some time to get some Gatorade Mix for the week, and a few snacks as we do not have the usual snacks supplied. We had an early dinner at La Bosquet Restaurant before heading off for sunset on the mountains. The dinner was delicious and I enjoyed Hungarian mushroom soup, a delicious stuffed trout main course, and a sinful chocolate mousse for dessert.

The sunset was good but a challenge due to the mountains cutting off the light. Still I got a couple of keepers.

Late Light on Red Mountain

Stormy Sunset Clouds over Red Mountain
Saturday morning we were again off before breakfast for sunrise light on the mountains, and capturing other scenes of wildflowers.

Morning at Base of Gothic Mountain

Moving Water
Flowers in the Valley

We did not stay out too long as we need to get breakfast and pack up for our trip to Ouray. Luckily I was basically packed as we decided after breakfast to go and see and old ranch just outside of town.

Old Ranch, Crested Butte

Who Can Pass This Up? Not I.
Then we were off to Ouray over Ohio Pass, Montrose, and Ridgway.  

Castle Peak

There is a saying that the Army marches on its stomach. I think that was true of our group today as we stopped for a barbeque lunch, and then Dairy Queen treats before we got to Ouray. Then in Ouray we dined at True Grit, named after the movie starring John Wayne. They were all delicious, but too much food, and not enough exercise. We had hoped for another sunset try, but were rained out.


  1. OMWOW!!!!!! These flowers are amazing. So many colors filling these frames.

  2. Thanks, it was difficult to choose what and where to point the camera. Then of course there was deciding on the composition. Glad you like.