I had a 4-day weekend in early October, providing me with the opportunity to visit relatives in Denver. Before leaving on my weekend jaunts, I text family members to let them know where I am going. On October 5th, I sent out the following text, “I am headed to Ridgway, CO tonight. Not sure where I will be tomorrow night”. My younger sister replied, “…Thought you were headed to Denver”. I responded, “Ridgway is on the way to Denver when the Aspens are turning and the mountains have snow on them”.
For those of you who are geographically challenged, I simply had to take I-70 East from Fruita, CO to Denver; roughly a 260-mile drive that would take 4 ¼ hours. However, my circuitous route through Ridgway ended up being a 525-mile drive and took 48 hours. The scenery was spectacular.
Leaving after work on Thursday, I headed to the south end of County Road 7, southwest of Ridgway. I had little time to take images before the sun disappeared behind the ridge.
I found a place along the road and pitched my tent for the night. It was a “cozy” 24° when I woke the next morning. After photographing the Mt Sneffels area all morning, I headed north and east towards Chimney Rock and Silver Jack Reservoir. While the scenery was beautiful, the mid-day light was harsh; not the best for photography. I made it as far as Gunnison that night. The next morning, I headed up Ohio Pass on route 730, photographing the Castle Mountains along the way.
I wound my way to Denver, spent two nights with cousins, and then made the return trip in one day. And no, I did not take I-70 (at least not very far). I had planned to be back to my apartment shortly after dark but I was distracted by the beautiful fall colors between Crested Butte and Paonia.
Every time I rounded a curve in the road, I was treated to another spectacular view. I stopped dozens of times.
Finally, I just stowed my gear in the back seat and headed for my apartment. Needless to say, it was well after dark before I arrived. It was a great weekend, from beginning to end.