Fall explorations

This trip was actually a few weeks ago around my birthday. And around my friend’s birthday… in fact it was her birthday trip, but I went a little bit for me too. A sunny mild fall day in Colorado at peak Aspen color? Get real.

On our way out to Salida, a small mountain town with some awesome festivals throughout the year, the views alone are worth the trip. Wilkerson pass is one of my favorite passes, you slowly rise up and hit this incredible surprise view on a massive mountain range beyond a vast flat valley. It was one of the strongest memories I have from visiting as a kid, this valley covered in a sheet of snow. We wandered around some paths at the rest stop…

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On the way into Salida there is a sneaky tire swing behind a fence. It’s worth the barbed wire dodging, it has to be the most incredible tire swing view ever, a line of 14ers behind, just enchanting.

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And the grass itself was so photographic.

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Had to stop by the local cute antique store.

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Grab a couple pints. It’s Colorado, you always have to try the beer!

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Drove over to some open space near Buena Vista to take a color hike. For some reason it started off with shotputting some rocks?

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And senior posing in this field of gold…

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Just stunning…

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Hipster artsy on the stumps

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This was a magical spot, the light was hitting this clump of golden aspens just right and it literally was glowing!

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Found ourselves an old cabin off the beaten path.

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And some creepy bones in a firepit… Then we headed back instead of taking out changes with some crazy forest dweller.

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SO MUCH FALL! I took a million photos, it was glorious and gorgeous and whimsical.

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Our weekend didn’t end there, but the lovely pictures did as the sun set. If you are ever in the area make sure you check out the Mt. Princeton hot springs, where you can actually sit in a rocky mountain stream (ice cold) in the rocky pools of steaming natural hot springs. Another favorite experience from vacations as a kid!

I just can’t get enough of fall!

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Michigan Lovin’

Life has been a bit ridiculous lately, to say the least. Many good things are taking up time, like MANY photography sessions last month that I am trying my hardest to get on top of, great events with friends, and of course getting art up. Unfortunately, my paying job is taking up much of my energy. One of those situations that really isn’t that horrible in reality, but dealing with it on a daily basis gets exhausting, absorbing all of my emotional, physical, and (worst of all) creative energy…

I have high hopes for fall to bring a calmer life, but for now, you will just get some photography. Huzaah!

Last week was a major blessing, a trip to Michigan to be with my side of the family. Playing on the beach, in the water, getting sunburned, digging holes, bonding with my nieces and nephews and siblings and parents that I don’t get to see often enough. Also, my competitive brother bought trophies for a few things, and my husband and I won the one for the best meal! Creativity for the win? We can pretend. But I’ll let you know, go to this fantastic recipe http://www.jasonandshawnda.com/foodiebride/archives/7766/ and use half chipotle chili powder with the regular chili powder, adds a great kick.

Meanwhile, here is my beautiful family:

Vacation love: Santa Fe, Great Sand Dunes, mystery aspen grove

We took a relatively spur of the moment vacation before the summer got too crazy. It was unorganized, last minute, unplanned, and absolutely GLORIOUS. Love the chance to take photos without purpose…

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Great Sand Dunes National Park

Random small camp site in the middle of an aspen grove in Pikes National Forest.