Infants: Robbie & Josie

Oh my, I am excited to share these images! These two precious babes are my twin nieces. I was finally able to meet them for the first time when I was home in Minnesota a month ago, and my heart was filled to overflowing. We decided to do a quick photo session while I was there, and even though it was really simple and short, I am so glad we took the time. 

Twin Baby Girls - Infant Photography

Newborn: Everly Mae

My heart melted a little bit on this day. 

Although I have nieces and nephews, I've always lived far away and been unable to see them as newborns, let alone be in the hospital to meet them and see my siblings holding their newborn children. So it was an amazingly special moment to be around these new parents soon after their daughter arrived. Joy absolutely radiated from each of them, and it was very clear that this girl is going to be so well loved.

Welcome to the world, Everly, and congratulations once again, Ben and Katie!

Kevin + Kari + Cooper

A few weeks ago I had a perfect Sunday morning portrait session with Kevin and Kari, and their new pup Cooper. Kevin's family surprised him with the session for his birthday, as a way to celebrate Cooper joining the family. I love the idea of gifting a portrait session, as I think it is too rare that we get photos with those we love, and any chance to do so should be taken advantage of. 

Before diving in to images, a little bit about the session; we spent the morning hiking around Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater, which is a quintessential Colorado location. Kevin and Kari were complete naturals in front of the camera, making my job incredibly easy. Plus, how can you go wrong with a puppy that looks like this?!

Spring In Ouray

I've been anxious to share these images since the day I returned from this trip, but unfortunately I just recently was able to get around to finishing the edits. Back in March some friends and I took an adult spring break of sorts to Ouray, Colorado. Ouray has become a very special place to me; I have never left that area without images that I'm proud of, and this trip was no different. We had planned on spending the entire trip ice climbing, but due to warm temperatures the ice was a bit limited. Despite the weather we managed to do a good amount of climbing, and had an incredible time soaking up that pure mountain air.

The first day started out with warm weather, and a forecast of rain in the afternoon, which had us all a bit disappointed. We first hopped on the Kids' Wall (which is a shorter, easier section of ice, out of the actual canyon where the rest of the climbs are), since most of our group had never ice climbed before. After climbing a while, allowing people to get the hang of the process, we decided to switch it up and head down to the canyon to get on some of the more difficult ice.  

As we were walking down, dark clouds started rolling in; we were expecting that the rain was on its way, and therefore the climbing would likely soon be over for the day. To our surprise, however, the temperature dropped just enough and we were quickly surrounded by big, fluffy snowflakes. It was one of the most amazing scenes I have experienced. 

Day two was warmer yet, with much more sun. We headed a bit higher into the mountains, with the hopes of finding cooler temperatures and better ice conditions. Unfortunately that wasn't the case, so we were limited on what we could climb and how long we could climb it. The guys decided to try their hand at some dry tooling (climbing with ice tools on rock) once the ice was no longer safe to climb because of the heat and sun, and I happily snapped away as they climbed. We ended that day back out our rental with some guitar playing on the deck while we enjoyed the views. 

And with that, I am finally finished with all winter images! I can now get on to slightly more recent images that are more applicable for the current season! As always, thank you for taking the time to stop by, and don't forget to subscribe on the left, and share via the links below! 

The Blackhills 100 Mile Race

So much for posting in a more timely manner; this summer has most definitely kept me busy.

I've decided to break from the order that I typically post in (chronological), to share the most recent adventure that I had the opportunity to be a part of. And brace yourselves, because this will be a long one. It was an extremely memorable experience, and although I'm not entirely happy with most of the images that I took (a severe lack of sleep may have played a role), I am extremely proud to share them because of how much of an accomplishment it was for my brother (or anyone for that matter).  

A few weeks ago my brother, Kyle, ran in the Black Hills 100, which is a 100 mile trail race through the Black Hills. Although the Black Hills are at a lower elevation, the race actually has more elevation change than the 100 mile race in Leadville, Colorado. The race is an out and back course, starting in Sturgis, SD and ending there as well. They started off on a Friday morning, and ran through the day with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees for most of the day. I worked until noon in Denver that Friday, and then drove six hours to meet Kyle and the two other members of the crew at the halfway point in Silver City, SD. 

Kyle had planned on being at Silver City by 7:30 pm, but because of the heat he, along with the entire field of racers, was well behind that pace. I spent the time waiting chatting up the women working the aid station, and then the other crew members as they began to show up. Kyle ended up getting in around 11:30 pm, and my crew duties kicked in. I mainly got him any food he wanted (which was ramen, lots of ramen), filled his water, and made sure he was doing alright. His friend Will also met us at Silver City, and served as his pacer for the last 50 miles, which made a huge difference for Kyle. 

Unfortunately I forgot my speedlight, and so was stuck with using an extremely high ISO in the images below, but I had to get at least some images of him during the night.

After Silver City I drove to the Pilot Knob aid station, where I met Will's brother, Michael, who crewed with me for the rest of the race. While we sat and waited for Kyle to arrive, I set up my camera for a brief time lapse. I didn't put a soundtrack on it, and as I said, it is brief, but I think it still does a nice enough job of showing the feeling of the aid stations at night. 

There was one more aid station in the dark, and then we drove to the Dalton Lake Campground to wait once again as the sun started to rise. It was such a welcome site to see the sun coming up for us crew members, and I can only imagine how it must have felt for the runners. 

I had been awake since 5 am the morning before (totaling nearly 30 hours awake at this point), and although I felt pretty great through the night, I started to crash after the Dalton Lake aid station once the sun was up. I was in desperate need of some sleep, and after slinging up my hammock I managed to get a light nap in this amazing spot while we waited for Kyle. 

We next saw Kyle and Will at the Elk Creek aid station, which was at mile 83. Another runner came into the aid station with some wildflowers that he picked along the trail for his crew members, which I couldn't resist documenting. One of the things that I loved about this experience was getting to know the other crew members. For the most part we saw the same people at every single spot, and by the end of the race it felt like we had known each other a lot longer than 12 hours or so. 

There was an aid station prior to Elk Creek that we didn't have access to, so the distance was about twice as long as when we normally saw the runners. This was the first aid station that Kyle started to show real signs of fatigue, and the first time I was even slightly concerned. His pacer was still full of energy however, and was excellent at keeping Kyle moving. 

The next aid station was the last before the finish, and like at Elk Creek, there was a station in between where we weren't able to see him. His wife and twin boys were at the last aid station as well, and as soon as Kyle saw them he visibly perked up. The boys saw him a ways off, and were so excited that they ran out to meet him!

We then drove to the finish in Sturgis and waited for Kyle and Will to arrive. My nephews were loving my camera while we waited; their new (at least new to me) thing to do is to make silly faces constantly while I take millions of pictures, and they loved getting to press the shutter as well. 

Kyle and Will came running in to the finish just before 3:00 pm on Saturday.  We found out later that he managed to finish in 28:48:33, and was 9th place overall! It was so exciting to see him finish the race, and to finish it running no less. 

Crewing for this race was one of the coolest experiences I have had. Seeing my brother accomplish something so major, and getting to help him through that process in even a small way was an incredibly impactful and unforgettable experience. 

And with that, I will finally wrap things up. Hopefully some of you stuck through it all. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, and don't forget to share via the links below!

Mills Lake Adventure

Yikes; it has been almost two months since my last post.  I'd like to say that I waited to work on these so that when the early summer heat (I start to melt when it gets over 85 degrees) started to kick in I would have a way to daydream about cooler days. But in reality, my busy schedule and heavy editing load at work makes it difficult and not very appealing to edit at home. I have had a few little breaks however, and finally was able to edit some images from this past winter.

On an early morning in the middle of January, Scott and two of our friends, Katie and Ben, packed up our gear and headed to Rocky Mountain National Park for a day of ice climbing near Black Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. We planned to skin up (using skis with strips that attach to the bottom to allow you to ski uphill) to our climbing destination, spend the day climbing on the ice, and then ski back down to the car.

Unfortunately, the conditions that morning were not exactly ideal. The winds were blowing around 60 miles an hour, with temperatures well below zero and some light snow mixed in for good measure. We decided to head towards the climbs despite the weather, and set off skinning up the mountain. This was the first time I had skied in the back country, and only my third time skiing in the big mountains at all, which made the day even more interesting for me.

After a few hours of skinning we decided to stop and eat lunch in a somewhat sheltered spot in the forest. The sun managed to poke through slightly once or twice while there, and we got a tiny break from the wind as well. We boiled snow to make water for our instant noodles, stumbled around in the extremely deep snow, and just tried to keep warm as we made our lunch. 

After refueling with some instant noodles and granola bars, we popped our skis back on and continued up. We encountered quite a few people coming down the mountain that looked haggard from the weather, and let us know that they wouldn't recommend going all the way to where we were hoping to. One man told us that he had been completely blown over by the wind on one of the lakes, so I was fairly intimidated at that point.

When we got higher up, and the trees started getting thinner, the wind became even stronger. The visibility was extremely low at times, and standing upright was difficult when the big wind gusts came through. We reached a point where it was particularly bad and all decided it would be best to bail and head back to the car. 

After making the decision that we should head back, we opted to go down the main (and smoother) trail, instead of the "shortcut" that we had used on the way up. Before beginning our descent we had to stop and rip off the skins on our skis, and prepare our skis for the downhill portion of the trip. The wind was brutal at the spot we stopped at, with snow whipping our faces relentlessly. It was so windy that Scott had to stand and brace me as I clipped into my skis, since every time I tried to stand on one leg to do so I was getting blown over. 

We did manage to get down safely, despite my poor skiing skills, and were very glad to get in the car with the heaters blasting. The guys had some nice ice formations on their beards, a testament to the frigid temperature.

Next time: More winter adventure photos (this time a successful ice climbing day). Be sure to check back soon (I promise my next post will not take 2 months to publish)! 

Exploring The Catalina Mountains

This year (or I suppose it is this past year at this point) Scott and I made the long drive to Tucson for Christmas to spend the week with some of his family. His sister, brother-in-law, and two nephews live there, and his parents flew in from Kansas as well.

Scott and I have spent a decent amount of time in the Catalina mountains, and we were both really looking forward to getting out to climb quite a bit while there over Christmas. On one of our first days in Tucson, we went out exploring with Scott's nephew and their two Australian Shepherds to scope out some climbs for the next few days. They had a fairly wet fall in Tuscson, so things looked much greener than the other times I have been there. There was also water running down the entire wash area, which I had not experienced there before. The water made everything much more lush and beautiful, and the dogs loved having the water to cool off in. 

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Next up: more images from Arizona, mainly some climbing photographs, as well as images of one of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever witnessed. 

As always, feel free to share via the links below, and don't forget to hit subscribe to stay in touch! Thanks for stopping by!

Simplicity (moments of light)

Today's post is a brief one, in contrast to the one from this past weekend. I'll keep it short and sweet, with some images that make me a bit nostalgic. 

Last thanksgiving I was able to fly home and spend some time with my family in Minnesota. I didn't take many photographs (beyond Alec and Emily's engagement session), except for some documents of the light in my parents' house. As I've blogged about before, my parents' house has the most amazing light, and is most likely the root of my obsession with light. 

The windows there act like projectors during the evening hours, showcasing the lines and patterns of the tree branches outside. It never fails to stop me in my tracks and make me stand there in awe, no matter how many times I've seen the same thing. 

Next up: images from our adventure in Tucson over Christmas. Make sure to stop by to see some adorable pups and desert mountain views. 

Don't forget to share via the links below, and hit the subscribe button to stay in touch!

Kansas Homestead

Happy Saturday everyone! We are currently getting slammed by a spring snowstorm here in Denver, and I'm curled up on the couch enjoying the forced relaxation. I'm also getting caught up (dare I say completely?!) on images and blog posts. Fare warning though, this is going to be a long post with LOTS of images (it was such a stunning place), so buckle up folks.

Last October I drove to Syracuse, Kansas to meet up with Myra and Brandon, two friends from grad school, to give Myra some company while she took images for her thesis work. Myra's mother's family is originally from Syracuse, and they still own the family farm on the outskirts of town (the focus of Myra's thesis). The house has been uninhabited for quite some time, and the land has only been used as grazing land for cattle, resulting in some serious decay and dilapidated conditions. 

The main obstacle to getting into the house was the bird situation. Numerous birds had taken up residence in the home, and they definitely left their mark, on absolutely everything. I have never seen so much bird poop in one area before. Before we entered the house, we tried to make a lot of noise to scare as many birds out as possible. Unfortunately, not all were scared away, which made for some startling encounters once we were inside the house. 

Lots of other creatures had made their home there as well, as well as plenty of tumbleweeds. These items filled the little basement house with lots of great texture, and they all caught the light in rather wonderful ways. 

They have a small tenant house on their land as well, which has also been vacant for a long time. It was falling apart more completely than the main house, with a section of floor completely caved in, and doors that didn't fit right. It still had some wonderful details inside however, and the timing with the sun couldn't have been much better. 

And that sums it all up! Needless to say, my light and shadow obsessed self went a little crazy with documenting it all. Thanks for sticking through that, and hopefully it was all worth it.  

Next up: a short post on my favorite subject in one of my favorite places: light in my parents' home. As always, feel free to share via the links below, and be sure to subscribe so you don't miss anything. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Mount Bierstadt (Documentation Of A Hike)

The final day of our camping trip to Guanella Pass was spent hiking up Mount Bierstadt. It was my second fourteener in two months (which I thought could be the start of a trend, but unfortunately was not), and I was excited to check this peak off my list. 

The day started off with an absolutely stunning sunrise, with colors and light that were unreal. We were still in the parking lot at that point, gearing up for the hike, so I grabbed some quick shots before we got started. 

The hike itself was a lot different than the other few fourteeners I have hiked/attempted. It begins in an alpine marsh, with tangled willows all around. The light continued to be amazing as the sun rose higher, and the frost melting off the grass caught the light in the most perfect way. 

We even walked through a small flock of ptarmagin, which I had never seen before. They were already in full winter mode, with their white coats and feathery legs. Their ability to blend into the alpine landscape is amazing, and they just stood and quietly watched us as we (well, mainly just me; Scott was doing fine) struggled on up. 

We reached the summit under great conditions, albeit a little on the cold side. The clouds were amazing, and as is always the case on top of 14,000 foot peaks, the view was spectacular. Unfortunately I was feeling pretty rough at that point, and didn't quite appreciate everything as I wish I would have. In fact, because I was feeling so miserable, I only took a few photos while we were up there. We spent some time at the summit to enjoy the view, and then started the long hike down. 

And, last but not least, a photo of me and Scott at the summit! I don't usually post these types of photos here, but I figure getting to the summit of fourteener number two warrants sharing a photograph of us at the top. Mount Bierstadt was a struggle for me, but this guy is so incredibly encouraging and patient, and stuck with me through the end. I am so glad I pushed through it and made it to the top, and cannot wait to check some more off the list this spring/summer! 

Next up: something completely different. Last October I traveled to a town on the border of Kansas and Colorado to join a friend in exploring her family's old, and now abandoned, home. We were attacked by birds (sort of), witnessed lots of dead critters, and also documented a really unique and beautiful place. Be sure to check back to see what I'm talking about! 

And, don't forget, feel free to share via the links below, and leave a comment to say hello! Thanks everyone! 

Alpine Camping + Fishing (Part Two)

Hello again! Time for part two of our camping trip to Guanella Pass last fall! I'm going to sum everything up and leave you with the images, so you can scroll without distractions. 

Our second day in the alpine was a nice, lazy day; we slept in (as much as you can while camping), made breakfast, and just enjoyed the beautiful day and campsite. The sun was was stunning, and everything was glowing that morning. Scott went back to fishing, and continued to catch little brook trout on the fly. A dragonfly even posed for pictures for quite a while, and I was able to inch closer and closer to get images of his amazing wings. It was quite the perfect morning. After a relaxing morning, we ran to town for lunch and supplies, and then came back to a partially rainy evening, which was spent boiling water for our hike the next day while enjoying a bonfire. Dinner was made while bundled up in our tent, which is one of my favorite things when camping in the cold. 

Next time: Images from our hike up Mt. Bierstadt, my second fourteener. Be sure to check back to see crazy sunrise light, amazing mountain views, and fluffy, white ptarmigans in winter mode. As always, thanks for stopping by! Feel free to share via the links below, and be sure to say hi! 

 

Alpine Camping + Fishing

Last October, Scott and I packed up the car and headed up to one our favorite camping areas (Guanella Pass) for a weekend of mountain air and hiking. We set up camp quickly and he put together his fly rod as soon as we finished. Our camp was right next to a set of ponds, and since we could see the tiny fish jumping away as we set up, he was anxious to throw his line in the water. 

Scott managed to hook a little Brook Trout (what I'm guessing/have been told it is) within a few casts. He was extremely excited, dare I say giddy even, as it was the first fish he'd hooked on the fly in Colorado. He spent the rest of the evening fishing, pulling in quite a few of the tiny fish. As usual, I was content snapping away the entire time. 

When the sun went down, we bundled up in our tent (it was quite the cool night) and read for a bit, before going full mummy mode in the sleeping bags and going to bed. I was about to settle in myself on that night, but noticed how perfect the light from Scott's headlamp was lighting the scene, and had to get a few images before calling it a night. 

Next up: day two of this trip which involved more fishing, and more time in the tent. I promise, the images are more exciting than that sounds (or at least I think they are). As always, thanks for stopping by! Feel free to share via the links below, and say hello as well! 

Lime Creek Canyon (Part Two)

Well, I fell behind again. But, in my defense, I was off on an "adult spring break" (i.e., a long weekend), and wanted to give myself a slight break from technology. I am back at it now though, and will be wrapping up the Lime Creek Canyon trip with this post (finally). I'm going to keep this one short and simple in terms of writing, and leave you with the images. Just one quick note before I dive in; there are some large panoramic images below, so I would highly recommend clicking on those (which opens them in a lightbox) in order to see all their glorious details as large as possible. I hope you enjoy!

Up next: More camping adventures, this time from Guanella Pass. Thanks for stopping by!

Lime Creek Canyon (Part One)

My second favorite set of images from last year is quite different from the engagement shoot of the last post. Over labor day last year, a friend from Kansas and his brother came out to Colorado for a camping and climbing trip with us. This adventure took us to what quickly became one of my new favorites spots. Driving into the canyon (Lime Creek Canyon) was like a scene out of a movie. We arrived right as an afternoon thunderstorm was moving in, with low, heavy clouds rolling over the surrounding hills. It started to downpour, with thunder booming close. The storm only lasted a few minutes though, and once the rain stopped we quickly piled out of the car and set up camp, in case another storm rolled in. I let the guys handle setting up the tents (there were three of them, after all), so that I could wander around grabbing images of the stunning setting. 

After camp was set up, we went for a brief hike to explore the area. The clouds started to clear up as we hiked, creating some of the most amazing light that I have ever seen. We were pretty damp from hiking around after a complete downpour, but it was all completely worth it. The evening ended with a sunset fit for a dream, putting an exclamation point on the start of our trip. 

Next week: Part two of the Lime Creek Canyon camping trip, with even more amazing views. Slowly but surely I WILL get caught up on the huge backlog of images I have. Be sure to click the "subscribe" button off to the left in order to stay in touch! And as always, thank you for stopping by!

Alec + Emily {Engagement}

This post (along with many others) is extremely overdue. As 2016 started (and quickly rolled on), I had set up some goals for myself; blogging on a regular basis was originally one of those goals. And yet, as January passed and February has been speeding by, I have been going back and forth on whether or not that is actually something that I should, and want to be doing. I have more or less had this particular post written for over a month at this point, but have been indecisive in terms of the wording and layout, and if keeping a blog is worthwhile for me right now. I've decided to attempt to plug away at posting on a regular basis (mostly since I have such a huge backlog of images I want to share right now), though I'll likely keep things extremely simple and stick to the images for the most part.

With all that said, to start things off I am going to share images from one of my favorite shoots of last year. Back in November, while home in Minnesota for Thanksgiving, I had the pleasure of being asked to photograph one of my longest and best friends, Alec, and his beautiful fiancé, Emily.

Alec and I have been friends since junior high, and we have been part of the same group of friends since that time.  It is a tight knit group of people, and I have often joked (with a strong hint of seriousness) that the approval of this group in regards to my significant others is just as important as that of my immediate family members. 

Although I don't know if Alec thinks the same thing, I can definitely say that we approve of Emily. Emily is a ball of joy, and you cannot help but smile when you are around her.  It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know her on the few occasions that I get home to Minnesota, and I am proud to now be able to consider her a friend.

Alec went above and beyond on the engagement ring, and worked with a local jewelry designer to design a ring just for Emily. The main stone is a sapphire, with a precious diamond on either side. It looked absolutely stunning with the hint of snow around, the golden evening light, and Emily's vibrant green jacket. 

We spent most of the engagement session walking down the Browns Creek Trail, in my hometown of Stillwater. The trail used to be railroad tracks, for a very slow dinner train that followed Browns Creek around the Stillwater area. When we were kids we used to roam around on the tracks, even though we weren't necessarily supposed to. I have lots of great memories from along this trail, so it was fun to shoot an engagement session in those locations.

We also ventured onto the golf course for some images at the end of the shoot, which was another important place for a lot of us Stillwater friends while growing up. In fact, the other friends whose engagement session I photographed had their wedding reception in the clubhouse of this golf course. 

We ended the evening (appropriately) at a coffee shop in downtown Stillwater. Emily wanted to incorporate some string lights into that portion of the shoot, and I'm so glad she suggested it. The ring just looks stunning with that warm, golden light on it!

Thank you to Emily and Alec for inviting me in on this portion of your adventure together! I am so excited for the two of you, and cannot wait to see how your lives grow together from here. 

And with that, here we go on this next blogging journey of mine. I would love to hear from anyone that decides to stop by, so leave a comment below! Have a wonderful weekend!

Flashback Friday: Walker Ranch - South Boulder Creek Fly Fishing

Happy day after Thanksgiving everyone! I was able to spend yesterday with most of my family, enjoying some precious time with two of my nephews, and eating lots of food of course. I hope everyone had a day filled with loved ones and delicious food. 

It is time for another round of images that have been sitting on my hard drive for close to two months! I've been telling myself lately that because I am awful at posting here on a regular basis, it makes the posts more treasured and worth viewing. Hopefully there is at least some truth to that. 

Back at the end of August, Scott and I went fly fishing for the first time in Colorado. Scott of course did all the fishing, as I was perfectly content wandering around photographing the stunning setting. I actually had to admit to a new friend (who is an avid fly fisher, and I met at a fly tying event) that I have never fished on a fly rod before. I always get sidetracked and distracted by the opportunities to photograph, and haven't even taken the time to learn somehow. 

On this particular occasion, we ventured to Walker Ranch, to fish in the South Boulder Creek. Scott had read the fishing reports, and it looked extremely promising. I was excited, since we were going to a new location, and it ended up being amazingly beautiful.

Unfortunately the fishing report ended up being quite wrong for us that day. We didn't so much as see a single fish. Scott progressed downstream, hoping to get some bites, with no luck. I, of course, was still more than content, but he ended up fairly frustrated towards the end of the afternoon. 

Next up on the blog: images from my current favorite location in Colorado. Expect to see some mind blowing light, quirky portraits, and movie like landscapes. 

Mount Elbert

Time to go back to my first weekend living in Colorado again! And to give you fair warning, there are images of an adorable, sleepy puppy towards the end of this post, so prepare yourselves. 

As mentioned in the last post, my best friend, Blair, and I spent the weekend camping in Twin Lakes, CO, with the goal of hiking Mount Elbert. Mount Elbert is the tallest peak in Colorado, standing at 14,439', so it was an exciting goal for my first weekend as a Colorado resident. We drove to the trailhead as the sun was just coming up that morning, and started hiking in the brisk morning air. 

It was a long, rather deceptive hike, with false summit after false summit (or so it felt). But, we kept hiking away, slowly but surely, taking in the incredible scenery and views as we went. 

The summit was absolutely stunning, and made the long hike up worth it. Unfortunately, we still had to get down (the worst part, in my opinion). Blair and I were both exhausted, partially from Stella's (the puppy) seemingly never ending energy. Yet, as we worked our way down, even she started to look completely worn out (somehow not until around tree line though). When we stopped to take breaks towards the end of the hike, Stella would promptly lay down and nearly fall asleep. 

We eventually made it all the way down, drove to a gas station for firewood and other provisions, and then made the short drive back to our campsite. The clouds and light over Twin Lakes on the way to our site were beyond spectacular. So, despite our complete exhaustion, we stopped so that I could grab a few images before heading back to collapse and eat dinner. 

The following morning we, unfortunately, had to pack up and head back to the real world. We enjoyed a somewhat lazy breakfast, packed stuff up, and drove out. The water on the lakes that morning was like glass, creating a perfect reflection of the surrounding area. I snagged a few shots out of the window as we drove past, sad to be leaving that amazing place so soon. 

Twin Lakes, Colorado

My first weekend living in Colorado (two months ago at this point!) was lived to the absolute fullest, and in true Colorado style. My best friend's birthday fell right after that weekend, so we decided to go on a camping trip to celebrate her birthday, as well as the fact that we would be living in the same state for the first time in eight years.

We camped near Twin Lakes for two nights, and hiked Mt. Elbert, the tallest fourteener in Colorado, while we were there (images to come). We ended up having perfect weather for both days that we were out there, and somewhat spontaneously ended up on a beautiful hike the evening that we arrived. These images are from that hike, which followed along the edge of Twin Lakes. 

The hike took us to the historic Interlaken Hotel, a resort that was built in the late 1800s. It was a popular resort for many years, and was quite the luxurious get away at the time (featuring a six-sided privy with leather seats, and an orchestra performance once a week). The resort closed in the early 1900s, and when they built the dam on Twin Lakes in the 1970s, many of the buildings and artifacts were left behind, flooded by the new water level. However, some of the buildings were moved in order to preserve them, including the summer home of the owner of the resort, James Dexter (the first few images below).  

The Dexter House is open to the public, and we were able to walk through the beautiful building, all the way up to the glass enclosed cupola (which has 360 degree views of the lakes and mountains). You could easily tell it was once a rather lavish place. For example, Dexter imported eight different types of wood for the floor of his home (which you can see below), in order to make it look more Victorian. I can only imagine what this place would have been like in its prime, with an orchestra playing, a steamboat ferrying people to and from the resort, fine dining, and luxuriously furnished rooms. 

Sitting on the porch of the Dexter Home was a hiker who we ended up chatting with for a little while. It was the first time that I worked up the courage to photograph a stranger, and it was great to listen to his story as I snapped a few images (though unfortunately I failed to get his name). He had started hiking in Durango, Colorado, hiked over the Continental Divide, and was now resting for a little in Twin Lakes. So far he had hiked for four weeks, and was planning on going all the way to Denver. Depending on his exact route, that would be around 325 miles of hiking!

Next up, images from my first fourteener! Expect stunning mountain views, and more adorable pictures of the puppy. Thanks for stopping by!

Flashback Friday: Driveway Creations

How far into the past does something have to be to be considered a flashback? It has been just shy of two months since I had my last day as a nanny in Manhattan, KS, and I still think of that family often. It seemed appropriate then, that this post be dubbed the next "Flashback Friday" post. 

I absolutely adored the creativity and imagination these kids have. I would generally have a rough idea for a craft or game, but they always managed to turn it into their own thing. I loved sitting back, and watching them come up with their elaborate games and scenarios. 

Unfortunately, these are the last images I have from my summer with these amazing kiddos. It was an incredible summer before moving on to this new adventure I am on, and I will forever be glad I was able to spend that time with them.

Next up, more mountains! My first weekend in Colorado was spent on a grand adventure with my best friend and her puppy, and I cannot wait to share those images. Check back soon!

Hiking Longs Peak

Hello again, everyone! I'm still completely buried under photographs, but slowly and surely I am getting through them, and will hopefully be caught up some day soon.

Not long before I moved out to Denver myself (well over a month ago at this point), I came out for an interview, as well as to visit Scott. That weekend, we spontaneously decided to drive to Rocky Mountain National Park in order to hike up part of Longs Peak. We had no intention of getting to the summit that day, as we had a pretty lazy and slow start to the day, and instead just wanted to get up to see The Diamond. 

It ended up being a perfect day for a hike; just warm enough, light winds, and without the typical afternoon storm. It was cloudy when we first started our hike, but when we were within view of The Diamond the clouds broke, creating some incredible light for us. 

Next up: a break from images of mountains, with a flashback to my time as a nanny. Expect lots more mountain posts after that, though!

Have a happy Monday!