In the fall of 1994 I took a course in the States and on the way home stopped to see my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Al in Denver, Colorado – and we spent a few days in the Rocky Mountains at their cabin just west of Denver.
I pose with my Aunt Ruth in front of the cabin in the front range of the Rocky Mountains in the middle of October in 1994, and you can see that mountain snow was already beginning that fall.
My aunt and uncle’s cabin in the Rocky Mountains was small and isolated in the woods along a rural road, and I recall a black bear had been seen recently in the area around the cabin.
It was nice to spend a couple of days with my aunt and uncle at their cabin, and it was excellent to be back in the high country of the Rocky Mountains again.
The Rocky Mountains are completely different from the Alps in Europe, which are populated with numerous towns and villages dotted throughout the scenic mountain valleys – the Rocky’s are still quite natural and rural in nature.
While the Alps are populated throughout the valleys with towns and villages, the Rocky’s cover a huge amount of territory with wide distances between cities and towns – but rural cabins and homes still dot the landscape in many remote areas.
My aunt and uncle, relaxing here in their cabin, enjoyed the opportunity to travel to the mountains from Denver and spend time in the high country at their cabin.
My uncle and I decided to take a walk down the highway to a lake in the area, and here Al poses along the side of the road.
I stand in front of these distant mountain peaks that are already covered in snow – that at our elevation only covers small patches of the ground.
The blue mountain sky shows what beautiful weather we had during this visit to the cabin – but it was cold out, especially at night – and the weather was beginning to change.
In the high country of the Rocky Mountains the deciduous Aspen trees have all dropped their leaves, leaving a sharp contrast with the conifer trees that remain green all year ’round.
The area around the cabin was very rural and scenic – although other cabins were in the area as well – and here clouds begin to build over this ridgeline as the weather was starting to change.
The Aspen trees just days ago were bright golden in contrast to the green conifers, but now the Aspens are dormant and waiting for the snows to blanket them in the crisp white drifts of winter.
Another cabin along the highway was tucked away at the edge of the forest which blankets the mountain above it, showing how rural the location actually was in the Rocky Mountains.
My uncle and I took a side trek down a dirt road off the main highway that wandered even deeper into the rural areas of the Rocky Mountains.
It was nice to just walk down a dirt road in the high country of the Rocky Mountains, but in this direction the blue skies had retreated and the clouds had already moved in.
Here the dirt road makes a steep switch-back down the mountain, and somewhere along our hike that day my uncle brought me to see the opening of a long abandoned mine.
The opening of this long abandoned mine shaft is filled with water, and these mines dot the landscape across the Rocky Mountains and the western U.S. – they are all very dangerous and should never be entered.
A look back across a field along the highway towards the distant mountain peak – already covered with snow – and the weather is moving in from the far side of the mountain range.
A foggy mist appears to form over the field, perhaps a sign of the colder weather moving in with the clouds as they begin to push the blue skies away.
Snow covers the high country in the distance as winter begins to advance in the Rocky Mountains while the last remaining remnants of fall try to hang on a bit longer.
In the Rocky Mountains you can scan the horizon and never see a sign of modern life, only wilderness as far as the eye can see.
The conifers reach for the sky, as the blue sky paints a nice picture over the forest as it extends out to the horizon.
Finally back on the main highway, we approach the lake in the distance – a beautiful blue lake under a clear light blue sky.
As if sandwiched in layers, one atop another, this photo provides a study in contrast – the highway pavement, the clear blue water, the green conifer forest, the snow white peak and finally all capped with a clear blue sky.
This fresh mountain lake in the Rocky Mountains just begs for a canoe or kayak to paddle across the calm water while taking in the beautiful mountain view in the distance.
If any one picture can capture the spirit and character of the Rocky Mountains, this one comes close to doing it and gives us all what John Denver sang about, a “Rocky Mountain High.”