Our destination for the week the spring of 1992 was a journey on a loop through the southwestern part of Colorado with a spontaneous side trip over the Grand Mesa. We had only left Paonia 45 minutes before. John King, my adventurous side kick, was all in for the hard right turn we made at the junction of CO Hwy 92 onto CO Hwy 65 headed north to the Mesa Top. We drove through the farming towns Orchard City and Cedaredge-names of places I’d never forget. My 92 Pearl Blue Subaru Wagon hugged the road as we headed skyward into the clouds flowing over the Mesa top ahead of us. We passed the sign for Island Lake Campground and the road took a hard sweeping right switchback turn up the steepened mountainside. The cloud cover broke with light streaming filtered through their feathered edges. As the slope of the road ticked up a notch there to the right over the guard rail up the hillside was the most amazing grove Aspen bathed in muted light and dancing shadows. The shadows were flowing from one Aspen’s trunks into another. I couldn’t tell where the trees’ bases began extending from their hobbit like snow berms and the shadows ended! Sometimes you have dreams of images and they appear. I had a vision of such a scene but no idea where I would ever find it if it actually happened. I had been looking for about four years before this day. And it did happen that morning around 9 am.
A 35mm Nikon FE2 with 20mm Nikkor Lens with an F-Stop set at f22 and shutter speed at 1/8th of a second with Fuji Velvia Film (ISO50) was used to capture the Aspen grove on the steep snow laden slopes of the mesa. Further up the road a few miles we found County Line XC Ski Trail and went for a morning run through the most amazing snow storm light I have ever skied in. The adventure had come to a close with a photo and a ski of a lifetime.