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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ouzel Falls

Katherine and I went up into Allenspark up to the Wild Basin Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. The entrance to the park was right by the venue that my sister got married at a few years ago, so that was a nice memento since just a few weeks ago was their two year anniversary. That was the first time we had gone back to Allenspark since the wedding, so it was nice to hike in an area that we typically don't go to very often.When we got to the trailhead, we got the very last parking spot and started heading to the falls. About 1/8 mile into the hike I stopped, checked my camera and realized I left my SD card in the car, so I had to go back. Good thing I remembered and good thing I caught it before we got to the first photo opportunity!

The hike took us a total of 2 hours and 46 minutes. We were actually moving for an hour and 36 minutes, so it was a pretty relaxing hike with frequent stops for photos! The round trip distance (including my 1/8 mile out and then back to the car for an SD card) was 5.73 miles, with a total elevation gain of 1070 feet.

Copeland FallsDown the RocksDown StreamThrough the RocksFallen TreeKatie on the RockBend in the RiverAt the CascadeOuzel FallsBouncing off the RocksMade It!Mountain TreesWildflower at the FallsOuzel Falls from A Distance

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Bear, Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lake

Today we headed into Rocky Mountain National Park again for the 4th time this summer. We decided to do the most popular hike in all of Rocky Mountain National Park; the hike to Emerald Lake. It starts at the Bear Lake trailhead, and you pass two other lakes along the way (Nymph Lake and Dream Lake). On our way back, we stopped by Bear Lake (since it's 250 feet from the trail head). Of all the four lakes we hiked to, Nymph Lake was our favorite because of the wild Lillies floating in the water. The weather was pretty good, upper 60's, but it was pretty windy at the lakes.

The the whole hike was a little over 3.5 miles long and a little over 1,000 feet of elevation gain. The lakes were spaced out about a half-mile from each other, so it didn't take very long to get to the last lake. Total hiking time was 2 hours and 22 minutes from start to finish.

Partial MoonNymph LakeElk On a HikeHidden Behind TreesOn the EdgeFlowing WaterTall GrassOver the BridgeHallett PeakDream LakeSetting MoonOver the Rocks3 Little BugsBy the RiverRapidsEmerald LakeBlurred Hallett PeakColor ChangingIn the ValleyClouds Rolling InBear Lake

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Mt. Sherman @ 14,036 ft.

We decided to do our first 14'er together. Katherine's parents wanted to do a 14'er, so we tagged along. This was my first 14'er, and Katherine has done a few other ones with her parents before. Despite Mount Sherman being the easiest 14'er in Colorado, it was treacherous. It may have only been 2.5 miles from the start to the top, but it had 2100 feet of elevation gain that just killed our legs and exhausted our lungs the whole way up. In addition, our day started at 3:30 am to make it to the trailhead by 6:30 am. Aside from that, it was a really nice hike. The hike started at the Fourmile Creek Trailhead, located just outside of Fairplay. For the first half of the hike, we hiked along the old mining roads which still had old mining equipment and buildings scattered along the road. The other half of the hike started at the saddle in between Mount Sheridan and Mount Sherman. From there, we hiked along the gusty ridge that had steep drop-offs on either side. We're lucky we didn't get blown off the ridge!

Katherine and I made it to the summit in just over 2 hours. Katherine's parents meet us at the summit about a half hour later and we all relaxed at the top together for a half hour. It took an additional 2 hours to get down from the mountain. Because of the steep grade and the extremely loose footing, you had to take extra time not to fall off the side of the ridge. This was extremely difficult on the way down.

Shack on the HillRiding into the SunMine ShaftHilltop MineMount SheridanThrough the MountainsLittle PeopleCity in the ValleyFading MountainsLeadvilleSummit PanoramaGhetto SignLooking for FoodWind ShelterSummitedMatching JacketsSummit KissHarsh Sunlight14,036 FeetSmall CloudsWhite RidgeLooking DownLittle AntsMount ShermanMount Sherman RidgeOld WoodCrumblingNailsThrough the Collapsed BuildingsRivets In a LineBrakesInto the MineWild

Monday, August 21, 2017

Partial Solar Eclipse

Today there was a partial solar eclipse across Northern Colorado. We got a 96% solar eclipse, where states further North and East of us got a full eclipse. I was at work when it happened (the peak was at 11:46 am), so I went outside with my tripod and sat in the parking lot for nearly 2 and a half hours. I started about 20 minutes late (which is why the photos don't start out with the sun being full) because I had to take care of some work that I needed to get done before I could take a long lunch break without worrying about what work needed to be finished.

I was able to achieve these photos using some pretty cheap equipment and my camera. I had a piece of shade 9 weld glass and a custom, 3D printed frame that attached the weld glass to my camera lens. As I was sitting in the parking lot taking photos, I would adjust the exposure just a little every 10-20 seconds since I didn't know the optimal exposure for taking photos of the sun. I took a little over 1,400 photos in the 2 and a half hours I was out there. I was shooting f/22-f/40, ISO100, and a shutter speed between 1/2000 and 1/4000 because anything less was too much light on the sensor. All the images you see below were photos when the settings were set at f40, ISO100, and 1/4000. The photos are taken about 5 minutes apart from each other.

From the TopWithout the GlassMy Equipment

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Bridal Veil Falls

Once again, Katherine and I ventured into Rocky Mountain National Park to do some hiking. We picked a less popular hike, although it was still very rewarding with the views when we reached our destination. The hike started at the Cow Creek Trailhead. The trailhead was right next to the McGraw Ranch, which is owned by the National Parks Service. What used to be a dude ranch in the early 1900's is now a research facility.

The hike was really nice, the first half of it was hiking through a meadow with lots of wild flowers, the second part of the hike was through trees and more meadows. The trail followed along side the Cow Creek, and we were on the northern side of Lumpy Ridge.

The hike was 6.3 miles round trip and took 3 hours and 19 minutes, including about 45 minutes that we were stopped at Bridal Viel Falls. It took an hour and 15 minutes to get to the falls, and the same amount of time to hike back out to the car. Total elevation gain was 1175 feet.

Dirt RoadDestinationForkWeedsWaterfall #1At the topShort DropCascadeUp the RockBridal Veil FallsWe Made It!Upper Cascades and FallsAt the TopFallingGreat Spot for a SnackIn the MeadowTall GrassPost BloomMcGraw RanchLong Drop

August 2017

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