We are just about two weeks away from our latest departure date. The plan right now is to leave for Colorado on Saturday August 25. The only thing that might change this is whether or not the house painting gets delayed for some reason. We had a little repair work to do on the exterior of the house before it could be painted and because of that, the actual painting had to be put off for a little while. Unfortunately, because this is the busy time for painting contractors, they can’t get started until August 13th. It is supposed to take about a week. If this actually happens, we will easily be able to leave on schedule. We have several days extra built into the plan, so if it takes a little longer, we can still leave when we want.
We really don’t have anywhere we have to be at any certain time except for my group show photography opening at The Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, CO on September 7th. The image above is not the one in the Colorado show. This image was just selected to show at The Kiernan Gallery in Lexington, Virginia. It will be included in a show called Terrain and will run from August 29 to September 29. Check out the other images in this gallery link. I actually have two prints in the overall show. The one above and another in the web only gallery. Only a few other photographers got multiple images in.
Back to the itinerary. Initially, our plan is to high-tail it East on I-80 till we get to Dinosaur National Monument in Utah. I really hate having to take the interstate, but in order to get ourselves there and have several days to hang around, it’s necessary this time. This is the downside of being extreme left coasters. Everywhere we want to be is usually three days of driving and 1000 miles away. But this will give us time to explore Dinosaur for 5 days and get us through the Labor Day weekend. After Labor Day, we will spend a few days exploring Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ve been there before, but not for quite a while. I understand some areas were affected by the fires this summer, so it will be interesting to see what condition everything is in.
After Rocky Mountain, it will be time to get to Ft. Collins for the opening. Saturday I have a portfolio review with the director of the gallery and a portfolio sharing with the other photographers in the show, so we’ll say Saturday and probably leave on Sunday for Estes Park, the other part of Rocky Mountain Park. We’ll slowly wend our way south and east from there with short stops in Boulder and Colorado Springs, before landing at Great Sand Dunes National Park. This is always a favorite place for us. We researched a few new nearby areas to explore and will easily be able to spend 5 or more days. It is also the farthest east we will venture on this trip.
Really, the whole point is to kill enough time to experience fall color in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. Foliage usually start to change in late September to early October and we plan on spending those three to four weeks in the area. We will probably be in the Gunnison area by the end of September and will plan the rest of the trip based on how the colors are looking. Areas we will be looking to will be Durango, Silverton, Ouray and Telluride. There are a number of spectacular drives in these areas, as well as lots of hiking. I only wish the period of color could last a few weeks longer. We can never get to every place we want to see in full peak color and I expect a number of heated “discussions” about where to go and when to be there. Ahhh, such problems…