The trip was almost a complete loss except say for the adventure. It was spring break third week of March 2000. Having left Ouray mid morning on the look out for anything of interest heading over Red Mountain Pass. On the straight way just before the S-turns climb the last of the pass there stands old Yankee Girl Mine due east of the road across a ravine. Must have been 10:30 am. The sun glistening hard off the spring kernels of corn snow – it was hot for March. Directly below the mine was a lone tree piercing the base of a surrounding snow bowl. Nothing but the tree and the snow bowl were viewed through the lens. Forging a life in a harsh and most unlikely of landscape. Out comes the 280mm f2.8 lens affixed to Nikon F4 on tripod. Compose the image. Set the exposure. Stop down the f-stop setting of the lens all the way down to F22. Fuji Velvia 50 loaded. Check the view finder side to side; top to bottom; corner to corner left upper right to right lower bottom; and finally, left lower corner to right upper corner. Cable release in place. Push the plunger. Photo one. Again. Two. Increase shutter speed shooting one exposure under. Change again. Shoot with shutter speed one exposure.The tree’s purpose was undeniable. It had defied the odds against the elements through it’s young life. Determined. Reverent. Persevering where nothing else would or could imagine. For having met that moment, I felt all her roots running through my own life—holding fast and strong. Click. One last image. Back on the road to Silverton.

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