Last Saturday, to celebrate my aunt’s birthday, my wife and I loaded up the car and took her into the hills for a little photography trip. Thanks to my aunt’s GPS we know that the trip involved a couple of hours and a climb of 4,000 feet in elevation from home base to advanced base camp. We were a mile high.
The goal of the day was “fall colors” and they were out in full display. Unfortunately all of the best shots were only visible from the highway. If you found someplace to pull over suddenly the world got boring. The colors would apparently run and hide. Nice one, nature.
We had a very loose plan. After we arrived we were going to play it by ear. And we were also trying to stay ahead of the weather. After months of no rain, it was very stormy, but when we came out the other side it was actually a pretty nice day.
One of the gals spotted a sign that hinted about eagles and a park. We took off down the road which seemed extremely private and extremely unpaved. A few miles in we finally gave up and turned around. Later, once we were back home, a check of the internet revealed that if we had keep going a little farther it would have been a nice spot to see bald eagles. Oh darn.
Back at the road entrance we parked out of desperation. We had to take pictures of something. It’s where I got the shot shown above.
We were pretty much in the middle of nowhere. We saw a few cowboys off in the distance working a cattle ranch, but that was about it. Suddenly, as we were all standing around the car with our cameras out, a giant tour bus turned onto that tiny unpaved road. It barely had room to get past my car.
“I never would have guessed that was about to happen,” I said.
We watched as the bus came to a stop next to the car. The driver and another man scrambled out and looked at us expectantly. I figured they were about to ask for directions.
“If you have any luggage, hand it over, and we’ll be on our way.” I wouldn’t have guessed that, either. What the hell was going on?
Long story short, it was a bus of people on a “fall colors” photography trip. Aha, so we were close! Apparently this piece of dirt in the middle of nowhere was one of the pickup spots. What were the odds?
We finally found another spot with a fire ring and a picnic table. We had salami and Havarti cheese on crackers while building a roaring campfire. That fire felt good since it was about 42 degrees. We cooked hot dogs on the open fire and finished with s’mores.
In the end it may not have been the best photography trip of all time but it was still a fun day with a few mini-adventures and we almost got absconded by a bus. And the scenery was very, very beautiful even if not photogenic. And I hooked up with one of those cowboys but that’s another tale for another day.