After spending the first half of my summer shooting weddings and hanging out in Texas, my dad, brother, and I decided to take a spontaneous trip to one of our favorite places in America- Southwestern Colorado. Our family has loved the San Juan mountain area since forever ago. When I was a lot younger, there were times where we would go back EVERY summer. It's been about 7 years since then and I was ecstatic to visit again!
This trip is also super special because it's one of the first trips where I've primarily focused on shooting film rather than digital. I've found that shooting film really forces me to focus on the things I really want to capture + remember....which for me, is perfect for travel photography. This blog post is a mixture of some of my favorite film and digital images.
As we were planning, I pulled out a few places I really wanted to visit. Santa Fe. Telluride. Those were my main two. I've passed by Santa Fe numerous times during my past travels, but I had never really stopped to enjoy the city + its surrounding landscape. And let me tell you. That was a MISTAKE. Though we only spent about a day there, Santa Fe has become one of my favorite cities. I've always loved southwestern architecture and artwork and that place is probably THE southwestern culture hub. The mix of Mexican and Native American food, galleries, buildings, and people make this town so special.
7/3/19: Santa Fe & Durango
Spent half a day in Santa Fe and the rest in Durango! Durango is where we used to go to each year so we relived a bunch of old memories as we walked through downtown! We also stayed in a primitive cabin in the campground we stayed at years ago. Funny story- one year, we were tent camping at the campground...until a bear came. We then had to spend the night in a cabin. 7 years later...we accidentally stayed at the same exact cabin!
7/4/19: Silverton, Ridgway, Ouray
Since we had made the mistake of waiting until the last minute to book places to stay during July 4th weekend (insert eye roll emoji), we had to leave our little cabin in Durango and went to Ridgway. And...I wasn't suuper mad about having to move because we were able to stay in the ***cutest little adobe inn/mexican restaurant! Also, the drive up north on the Million Dollar Highway wasn't too bad either. Once we had checked into our inn, we drove to Ouray for fireworks!
The Adobe Inn that we stayed at:
Before the firework show, there was a jeep parade in downtown Ouray! Definitely something that you wouldn't see in Dallas ;)
This was the day that I was SUPER excited for. My brother and I don't remember anything from our trips there years ago...so of course, we had to revisit.
Lucky for us, we were there while the Telluride Farmer's Market was open. There were tons of artists painting and selling their work, fresh produce, and more!
Took a (free) gondola ride up to the San Sophia Overlook:
And then (in our Nissan Sentra), drove on a windy cliffside dirt road meant for Jeeps through tons of ranchland + aspen tree groves.
Once we had reached the point where our little Sentra couldn't drive anymore, we turned around and drove back to downtown for dinner.
After dinner, we went up the mountain again...but this time, for sunset. When we arrived at San Sophia Overlook, a couple asked me to take a photo for them on their phone. And then I turned the "take one iphone photo" shoot into an actual photoshoot (with my professional camera). S/o to Brook and Remy for being amazing models!
One of the prettiest sunsets I've experienced
7/6/19: Blue Lakes Trail, Ridgway
My dad is a huge hiking + camping + backpacking + pocketknife + tent fan. So, even though we weren't able to do any hardcore backpacking or tent camp this trip, I wanted to make sure to find a good hike for us to do. I pulled up a couple options and we all decided on Blue Lakes Trail. There are three blue lakes along the trail...but most hikers choose the lower blue lake- which is roughly 7 miles roundtrip with a 1600 ft. elevation change- as their destination. For us Texans, that seemed quite daunting...but we decided to try it out.
First, breakfast! We had freeze dried spaghetti (which is REALLY good I promise...it's actually one of our all-time favs from when we were little) and tons of fruit to pack in all the calories we needed for the hike.
Saw THIS on the way to the trailhead:
On the way to the lower blue lake!
About a mile away from the lake, we had to walk through an avalanche. Once we were able to hop our way through all the fallen trees and snow, we made it to a super steep hill covered in snow. We were totally not prepared for this- my dad was literally hiking in Tevas and socks. But, we made it and it was pretty fun to crawl all the way up the snow hill despite our freezing cold and wet shoes!
We did it!! You really can't tell how gorgeous it was from just these photos.
So that snow hill we had the crawl up? Well...this time, we had to go down. We basically rolled.
But once we finished the hike, it was time to EAT. We decided to eat mexican at the inn we were staying at...and then, it was time to catch sunset. And when I said the last sunset was one of the prettiest I've seen...this one beats it. As we were driving to the spot I had scouted out, there were light rays shooting out of the clouds, the ranchland was turning golden in the sun, and then there was a RAINBOW.
7/7/19: Ridway & Santa Fe
This was our last day :( We decided to wake up early for sunrise and ate (another) freeze dried spaghetti breakfast. The clouds did end up covering most of the pink sunlight from shining onto the mountains...but there was a few minutes where the light peaked through.
Next up: Santa Fe! Although I was sad to leave Colorado, I was definitely excited to go back to one of my favorite cities.
These flowers are everywhere around Santa Fe. This batch of photos were taken at a to-go window wall at some fast food restaurant.
Once we had taken a couple of photos, we went downtown to eat + souvenir shop!
Once we had filled ourselves up a delicious mexican dinner, we started to drive back!