Photography offers so much … from beautiful scenery to wonderful wildlife interaction to travel opportunities to understanding and appreciating one’s surroundings. The sharing of those images offers those who can’t be there to experience just a slice of the adventure at hand. It may also provide the viewer an opportunity to “check a place out” to visit or plan for a future visit. However, there’s a huge opportunity that many seize, though still some overlook … that is, the friendships that are made along the photo-sharing path.
Enter Grand Junction, CO….
Of course, this was Tom’s cycling road trip and I was along for the ride, trying to experience it fully for myself through the photographic sights along the way. Another mecca for both mountain and road cycling is the Grand Junction & Fruita area, so I knew that it would be on our agenda. Of course, now when I think of Grand Junction, I think also of the amazing photography work of Amy Hudechek and her mom Bev Zuerlein, friends I have made over the years while sharing images on Flickr.
Amy & I made plans to meet up and she graciously agreed to show me some of what Grand Junction had to offer. So off we went to Grand Mesa for some prime time lighting landscape shots.
Yes, the wildflowers were out in force, with these yellow blooms being one of my favorites. Reminded me a bit of the yellow blanket of canola fields in the Palouse of Washington state from 2014.
Situated at 10,000 ft elevation, when you arrive at the “end of the road”, it’s an amazing view – both for landscapes and the various critters and birds milling around. Seeming like they wanted their photo taken, I was only too happy to oblige. 🙂 Several large ravens were nearby, as well as this beautiful Clark’s Nutcracker. As we were making our way back down, we came across some wonderful columbines, one of my favorite flowers. Making a quick stop at Island Lake, which was so very beautiful as well.
Amy suggested that we stop and have lunch at the True Grit Cafe in Ridgeway, CO. What a great place, though it was a bit crowded on our visit, due to an event in nearby Telluride. However, you absolutely couldn’t beat the views of the San Juan Mountains from the outside deck. So very charming.Just about when we finished eating, I got a text from Tom saying how he wished he was touring the area with us. So while walking back to the car, I spotted this Fire Dept building and captured this iPhone image and sent it to him. Yes, see, I was thinking about him. 🙂
Amy took me to so many fabulous places along the way. A favorite of mine was this old IH (International Harvester) truck. Set in the middle of a field of yellow bloom, it was perfect with its rusty surface. Love it! Amy knew of a horse corral with amazing backdrop views as well and we spent some time there as well. Though the corral was empty when we were there, how could any horse mind calling that place home! While we didn’t see the horses, we did see some cattle, who were hanging out close by to where Amy parked the car for our visit. Loved the way this one gave us the total stink eye as we loaded up in the car again. LOL Yes, the area surrounding Grand Junction has everything and then some for the outdoor nature photographer. I was very happy to have been able to get out and see some of it. Thanks Amy! When I got back to our rental condo, I told Tom that I wanted to try to photograph the sunset from the nearby Colorado National Monument. It was my first visit there, though Tom had been cycling up there earlier, and I think that the bighorn sheep “got the memo” and came to check me out as well. 🙂Looking west from the monument, the sunset proved to be quite beautiful, as expected.
It never ceases to amaze me how the light changes so quickly and the colors get so varied, even when the sun had set.It was the perfect ending, to the perfect day. But there’s more …
Next up: After the sunset, there’s always another sunrise the next day. Stay tuned!
© 2015 Debbie Tubridy / TNWA Photography