A couple of years ago, my Mom and I spent an entire summer training together. She trained to complete her first 14,000 ft peak (we call ’em 14ers here) and I was training for my first Ironman. We spent the summer touring Colorado; we hiked amazing trails, saw epic scenery (we even saw a bear) and enjoyed getting to know each other as adults. The last couple years, life has been busy and we’ve both been pulled in multiple directions and we just didn’t find the time to spend together as much. I think maybe that made today’s adventure even more special to both of us.
We kicked things off at Garden of the Gods, a National Landmark, and completely amazing series of rock formations just West of Colorado Springs. It’s beautiful, accessible and free for anyone to visit and bonus that it’s really beautiful. We hiked, wandered, enjoyed, but we both agreed that the perfectly clear, bright blue skies we begged for over the weekend, made photographing the formations difficult. It’s almost as though you wanted clouds, snow or rain to create a contrast. I improvised and used HDR techniques to capture this shot before we packed up and headed onto our next stop.
Lucky for us there is no shortage of amazing finds south of Denver and we decided to make an unplanned visit to the Air Force Academy. I grew up playing soccer almost every weekend and my favorite tournament was held on the grounds of the academy every summer for four days. It wasn’t uncommon to be driving to the fields and see a team of cadets decked out in full fatigues stumbling out of the nearby forest fresh from a training session – Mom and I agreed it was the best place to go watch games. After having our car searched, producing ID’s and answering a few questions we were allowed in and headed directly to the Cadet Chapel. The chapel is always open to the public when a service isn’t being held; and it’s the most distinguishing feature on the otherwise stark campus. We wandered right in and I spent some time snapping a few photos. The lighting was low, but Mom and I strategized what would make the best shots and I fired away. Here’s what I captured:
The outside is just as striking as the inside but the lighting was harsh so I tried a different take and grabbed this shot before heading on our way:
We hit the road once again this time looking for food, chatting like two people who haven’t talked in a year. We grabbed a bite to eat and some chairs and settled in on my parent’s back patio. Another hour or more passed as we continued to talk, enjoy the day and just relax. I was even lucky enough to get a nice quick shot of the beautiful Rocky Mountain Bluebird (the female) that lives in their backyard.
I don’t think the day could have been any better, to me, it was perfection…
I used both my Canon 6D and 60D and multiple lenses to capture the variety of shots.
“Spend time with those you love. One of these days you will say either, “I wish I had”, or “I’m glad I did” Zig Ziglar