Days 41-43: Colorado

Hello from Northern Colorado! I’ve spent the last few days climbing mountain passes and circumventing mountain ranges, making my way from southern CO all the way through the state to the northern reaches. Over the last few days I’ve gotten to know these Rocky Mountains pretty well, and I’ve realized there is so much more I have to see here. These particular mountains here in CO are different than any other ranges I’ve seen so far across the western U.S. The mountain ranges here are full of tall (14,000+ ft) peaks, but just driving by these ranges you’d miss seeing half those peaks. The reason for that is the tallest mountains here are sometimes hidden and engulfed by slightly smaller mountains as well as an intricate network of raging rivers and deep canyons. I feel like to see the true natural beauty of Colorado, you would need to break out the backpack. There just seems to be a whole different world up in these high mountain ranges that no car or permanent mark of civilization can reach. The ruggedness of this state is something I didn’t expect before coming here; but looking back, how could there be 53 different 14,000 feet peaks without insane rivers, smaller ranges, and deep canyons coming down from them? This state is full of natural wonders, and is still forming new ones through the constant power of water and ice. From the highest mountains in the lower 48, to 1000 foot deep canyons, to the headwaters of some of this country’s major rivers; Colorado has got it all it seems.

-Warren

P.S.: New website, http://www.warrenhylton.com! I’ve got this blog, my photo gallery, and soon a print store all on that website; so feel free to give it a look.

Pictures from Days 41-43:

In a narrow valley surrounded by ice covered mountains, lays the small town of Ophir. What an incredible place to call home.

In a narrow valley surrounded by ice covered mountains, lays the small town of Ophir. What an incredible place to call home.

Colorado is a geologist's dream come true.

Colorado is a geologist’s dream come true.

The pass coming out of Telluride CO going over into the next valley where Ophir is located.

The pass coming out of Telluride CO going over into the next valley where Ophir is located.

One view of the Rockies.

One view of the Rockies.

This is what 2 million years of water erosion will do. Black Canyon National Park

This is what 2 million years of water erosion will do. Black Canyon National Park

Another view of Black Rock Canyon National Park.

Another view of Black Rock Canyon National Park.

This is where I camped one night.  A meadow in the middle of Gunnison National Forest.

This is where I camped one night. A meadow in the middle of Gunnison National Forest.

Tall mountains surrounded by smaller mountains.

Tall mountains surrounded by smaller mountains.

Sunset over CO. Rocky Mountain National Park in the back right.

Sunset over CO. Rocky Mountain National Park in the back right.

Sunrise at 6:30 AM. Can't think of a better way to start the day.

Sunrise at 6:30 AM. Can’t think of a better way to start the day.

Lake Granby is a huge lake surrounded by mountains. Beautiful place.

Lake Granby is a huge lake surrounded by mountains. Beautiful place.

Another shot of the lake with some of the surrounding mountains.

Another shot of the lake with some of the surrounding mountains.

The whole lake was surrounded with massive mountains like this.

The whole lake was surrounded with massive mountains like this.

A meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park.

A meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Mt. Bowen. The area surrounded this mountain is protected wilderness, meaning no roads or signs of humanity.

Mt. Bowen. The area surrounded this mountain is protected wilderness, meaning no roads or signs of humanity.

A partially frozen creek in Rocky Mountain National Park.

A partially frozen creek in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park.

 

Advertisements

Days 35-40: Washington to Texas to Colorado

Hello my loyal readers! I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve published any posts, but my last 3 weeks have been anything but normal for me. I had to leave the traveling life for just a few weeks, and take a little detour down to San Antonio to attend to a close family member’s health issues. I basically got a call saying it was a good time to come home, and left right away for a 33 hour drive back to Texas. After two weeks of being around family and living back in San Antonio, I was chomping at the bit to get back out on the road. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy I went home to see my family when I did. But after seeing so many incredible things along the road, things I would NEVER see in San Antonio; I decided it was time enough to head back out. So first stop of course for me had to be some insane snow covered mountains, the Colorado Rockies. I was fortunate to pass through Colorado on the very beginning of my trip, and got a chance at that point to see these incredible mountains. Now that it is November, snow and ice are definitely becoming a part of daily life in Colorado. Yesterday I got to travel over a mountain pass during an active snowstorm. For 17 miles I grinded my teeth, death gripped my steering wheel, and sat at the very edge of my seat as my little Focus slowly made it up and down over the mountainous pass. My little car made it though and brought a new meaning to the saying, slow and steady wins the race. My stops so far in Colorado have been a few national forests, a few state parks, and a few national parks. Yesterday was cool in that I got to see Pueblo cliff dwellings in the Mesa Verde National Park. I’ve always known about this cliff dwellings and even have had a chance to see something similar in Texas, but seeing these fortresses high in the mesas truly astounded me. In just the national park’s boundaries there were between 600-700 cliff dwelling structures. The whole mesa and canyons area was like an ancient community of hundreds of small (and sometimes very large) cliff dwelling villages making up a population of Pueblo Indians that would’ve numbered 20,000 plus. The other extremely interesting part is that these cliff dwellings were all built around 1100-1200 AD, well before any North American exploration. These are the native people to this North American landmass and seeing how they used to not only live, but thrive here almost a thousand years ago; was truly something remarkable. So without further ado, please enjoy some of my latest pictures. The first few were from Washington state right before I left, and the rest are from my time here in Colorado so far.

-Warren

P.S.: I got a new website! Check it out at http://www.warrenhylton.com to see my current gallery and this blog. Also sometime very soon, I will be opening my first online store for some of my prints on the same website!

Pictures from Days 35-40:

Where the Pacific meets Washington state.

Where the Pacific meets Washington state.

Unlike any other beaches I've ever seen before.

Unlike any other beaches I’ve ever seen before.

Another view of the Pacific coast beaches of Washington.

Another view of the Pacific coast beaches of Washington.

Sunset over Utah on the drive back to Texas.

Sunset over Utah on the drive back to Texas.

Mountain Creek in Colorado. Definitely plenty of snow and ice at night in this area.

Mountain Creek in Colorado. Definitely plenty of snow and ice at night in this area.

Rushing water in the Colorado Rockies.

Rushing water in the Colorado Rockies.

The creek bed was covered in an orange color showing some sort of mineral in the water.

The creek bed was covered in an orange color showing some sort of mineral in the water.

This creek winds throughout the mountains and around different trees.

This creek winds throughout the mountains and around different trees.

Beautiful forests in Colorado.

Beautiful forests in Colorado.

There's something special about these mountains out here in Colorado.

There’s something special about these mountains out here in Colorado.

Navajo Lake state park in CO. This lake goes from CO down south into New Mexico.

Navajo Lake state park in CO. This lake goes from CO down south into New Mexico.

3 different mountain ranges in southwest Colorado.

3 different mountain ranges in southwest Colorado.

A side view of a series of mesas and canyons. The cliff dwellings were found in these canyons.

A side view of a series of mesas and canyons. The cliff dwellings were found in these canyons.

One of the largest cliff dwellings. I believe this compound had 30+ rooms.

One of the largest cliff dwellings. I believe this compound had 30+ rooms.

The inhabitants of these cliff dwellings would live high in these canyons making for impenetrable fortresses.

The inhabitants of these cliff dwellings would live high in these canyons making for impenetrable fortresses.

Built in 1200AD. Truly remarkable use of land and resources to build a community.

Built in 1200AD. Truly remarkable use of land and resources to build a community.