Sunday, October 5, 2014

Crested Butte to Cottonwood Pass

My drive last Saturday to Crested Butte via Maroon Bells was a fabulous feast of fall foliage. The forecast had called for rain to move in that evening and persist throughout Sunday. So I figured that would probably be the end of my photo taking for the weekend. I made early breakfast plans the next morning planning I'd just hit the road and get home early. But just in case, I'd have my camera ready and check on the sunrise.

Funny thing about forecasts. They're not always right.

Crested Butte Fall Sunrise
There were clouds in the early morning sky, but conditions weren't uniformly overcast.  So I headed to a spot with a good view to the east to see what I could see.  The sliver of open sky on the horizon gave me some hope.
Crested Butte Fall Sunrise
The clouds were heavy, but moving quickly.  And they had texture rather than just being a uniform blanket of gray.

Crested Butte Fall Sunrise
Then ... magic.  Alpenglow on Whetstone Mountain.  Pastel swirls in the sky.  Fall hues in the meadow.  Yup, that was worth being a little late for breakfast.

Crested Butte Fall Rainbow
I actually still had a chance to be on time for breakfast.  But when I turned around from the sunrise, there was this.  Which had to be shot.  Come on, it's a rainbow!

Gothic Road Fall Foliage
The clouds grew thicker while I ate.  But it still seemed like there were shots to be had.  So I took a quick trip down Gothic Road.  A scramble down a hillside gave me a solid combination of foreground and background color.

Gothic Road Fall Foliage
Then a pulloff to the roadside with the imposing presence of Gothic Mountain backdropping a grove of gold and green.

Mule Deer Doe on Gothic Road
This young lady didn't mind my presence, grazing peacefully amidst the trees.

Cottonwood Pass Fall Foliage
I had to eventually start heading home.  But I wasn't foolish enough to put the camera anyway.  And while the drive to Cottonwood Pass didn't offer the photo opportunities I thought it might, there were still some nice views coming down the east side.

Rainbow Lake Fall Foliage
The shores of Rainbow Lake were ablaze with fall color as well.  And this view turned out to be the final one I would shoot.  A gorgeous cap to a special weekend!

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