2011.9.26Maroon Bells is one of the most photographed places in the world. It is the very reason that we came to Colorado at this time.

It took about half an hour to drive from Aspen to Maroon Lake. It’s 6:30am when I parked the car. There were already 40 to 50 photographers at the lake side. It was a clear day, a day to produce good pictures but hardly extraordinary. There was no cloud at all to make the sky more interesting; and the wind made it very difficult to get a perfect reflection. I probably should have come much earlier, when the sun just reached the tip of the mountain, the color would have been a little warmer. One big challenge to shoot Maroon Bells is how to handle the dark shadow at the left side, which won’t disappear until noon. At the beginning, the shadow covered quite a large area. After 8am, I moved to the left side of the lake so the shadow area in the frame could be minimized.

Maroon Bells
Maroon Bells
Maroon Bells
Reflection of the Fall Color, Maroon Lake

In the summer, you can only drive your car to Maroon Lake before 9:00am. The same rule applied to weekends after September, but on weekday, there is no such control. I finished shooting on 9:30am, went back to hotel and took my wife to Maroon Bells. It is a place where the real thing is more beautiful than in the pictures.

Maroon Bells
Maroon Bells
Photographers at Maroon Bells
Most photographers were done with shooting after 9am. This might be a photo tour group.

We had lunch at Hickory House Ribs Restaurant in down. It is a popular place. Its BBQ won many national awards.

Hickory House Ribs Restaurant
Hickory House Ribs Restaurant

We took a different way coming back to Denver. We continued on Hwy. 82 and turned to Interstate Hwy. 70 at Glenwood Springs. The highway cut through the Rocky Mountains and run along the Colorado River. Before reaching the Great Plains, there are several high passed and tunnels, including the famous Eisenhower Tunnel. The construction of Highway 70 in West Colorado is considered to be one of engineering marvels. It was a thrilling driving experience we didn’t expect that an Interstate Highway can offer. Especially at the Glenwood canyon section, the view was breathtaking.

The highway also passes several ski resorts with beautify green valleys and European style hotels. 70 miles west of Denver at Silverthorne, there is an outlet. We had some spare time to do some shopping.

Silverthorne outlets
Silverthorne Outlet

The evening flight took us home. The 3-day trip is only a short excursion to us. We were prepared for the big trip to come.

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