Steamboat Photography

As a student of photography, you could not ask for more picturesque vistas to experiment with than the landscape of Colorado.  The views beg for recording into lasting memories.  The subjects are so rich and varied that the techniques do not have to be perfect to create a good picture.  Here are just a few of my favorite images captured during our visit.

This was taken from the top of Mount Werner at about 10,000 feet above sea level looking down at Steamboat Springs which is approximately 6900 feet above sea level.  The next three pictures are taken on one of the Fish Creek Falls hiking paths.  The waterfall is 280 feet high.

This little guy was patiently waiting for us to share our lunch on the hiking trail.

This last picture I really enjoyed because it was such a surprise.  On the drive to steamboat I stuck my camera out the window and just started snapping photos.  It was difficult to focus on anything because we were traveling at about 65 miles per hour.  I was sitting on a shutter speed of 1/125 and an aperature of F7.0.  To me the cabin perfectly captured the beautiful but desolate landscape we were seeing.

I can’t wait to return to Colorado!

Saddleback Ranch and ATV’s

Steamboat Springs offers many activities for summer visitors, many more than we had time to participate.  One of the favorite places we visited was Saddleback Ranch, an 8000 acre working cattle ranch, fourth generation family owned and operated.  I can see why Saddleback is one of the top five rated attractions in Steamboat by Trip Advisor.

On our first visit we were taken by horse drawn wagon (or by horseback, if you prefer) to a lodge where we ate delicious steak, salmon and chicken served by the ranch cowboys, including the owner of Saddleback ranch.  After dinner we were entertained by a cattle roping demonstration, chats with the cowboys, and visits by the ranch border collies.

Our ride to and from the ranch included views such as this.

We returned to Saddleback Ranch the next day to take a two hour ATV ride across the ranch.   I was pretty apprehensive since I had never ridden an ATV before. During the ride there were countless “SLOW DOWN’s” yelled at Dave, especially at the top of the steep hills we encountered.  We took several breaks to make sure everyone was still with the group.  Our leader Jerad asked me more than once if I was doing ok.

Gotta love a cowboy that wears Ralph Lauren and Oakley sunglasses!  Colorado is experiencing one of the driest summers on record so we were warned about the dust we would encounter.  I wore a full face helmet and a bandana so I did not get dust in my face as bad as others in our group.

The views we saw while riding were spectacular.

I can honestly say this was SO MUCH FUN.  Of course I only admitted that once I was off the ATV and realized I had survived.

In the winter this two hour tour of the ranch is done by snowmobile and the dinner wagon ride turns into a sleigh ride!  They also offer several other activities including participating in a cattle drive and horseback riding.  When I return to Steamboat (which I will definitely do someday) I will also return to the Saddleback Ranch.  We totally loved our time spent there.

#7 Visit Colorado in the Summer

I have never taken two vacations in two months, but I think I could easily get use to this lifestyle.   Last month was Destin, Florida and this month is Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  Fortunately Steamboat is not close to any of the fires currently burning in Colorado so our vacation is proceeding as planned.

Steamboat Springs is a major winter ski destination and has actually produced more Olympic skiers than any other town in the United States.  Summer in Steamboat is a total blast.  For one thing, most of the lodging is 40-60% less than the winter rate.  To say our condo is nice is a total understatement.  Howelsen Place is an old building that was renovated about two years ago with condos on the second level and retail shops on the street level.  Here is a tour of our home for the week.

I loved that our condo was right in the middle of downtown making it so easy to stroll around the many galleries and stores.

Before we left home I had noticed that one of the downtown galleries was featuring a photography exhibit “A 50-Year Photography Retrospective” of Rod Hanna.  Since I am a little obsessed with anything photography related these days I definitely wanted to check this out.  When we entered the gallery we were greeted by a gallery docent who told us a little about the artist and much to our surprise mentioned that Rod Hanna was from Kansas City.  Additionally, in the late 60’s and early 70’s, Mr. Hanna was the official photographer of the Kansas City Chiefs.  Having a Kansas City connection to this amazing photographer was such a thrill.   I was totally in awe as I roamed the gallery looking at pictures of the beautiful Colorado landscape, documentary pictures taken when he was a newspaper photographer, pictures of the Chiefs during their Super Bowl win and even pictures of John Elway taken when he was the official photographer of the Denver Broncos.

To see Rod Hanna’s extraordinary photography, click here.  Next time I will be sharing some of the awesome activities available in the summer at Steamboat.  Until then I will be savoring my last night in Steamboat before heading to the real world.