#SoCS: Traveling With Camera

“The best traveler is one without a camera.”

― Kamand Kojouri


Yes and no.

No, in that I would not have brought home vacation photos like the one above and the over 300 captures now residing on my laptop. These are memories from a trip in which I saw amazing sights, spent time with family, and taste tested a few beers.

Yes, in that many times it’s difficult to capture the awe I felt while visiting Colorado. Many of the mountain and landscape views left me speechless. Many of the photos I have do not do justice to Mother Nature’s beauty. At times, it was best to simply stop and look, breathe in what was around me without whipping out the cell phone for yet another photo.

I spent a total of 19 days away from home, which is the longest vacation I’ve ever taken, but it was worth every minute. Except for the one-day delay coming home, another delay the next day, running through Chicago O’Hare for a connecting flight, and having a suitcase delivered four hours after the flight landed in Appleton. The joys of flying!

The first 11 days were spent hiking two different mountains of elevation and lesser (but beautiful) open spaces (trails) and a state park. On day 12, my brother had surgery (he’s fine), so I had one more day of hiking with his significant other and many days of helping to walk Odin, the Norwegian Elkhound. Did you know these Elkhounds are not only very furry, but have a strong mind of their own when they want to lead their human around the neighborhood? He and I had a few “talks” about that.

Gibbs was happy I came home and wouldn’t stop talking to/yelling at me for two days. He’s settling down now, as much as his needy and impatient soul can stand.

Anyhow, back to the camera and photos…

The rest of this post contains a few snapshots from the trip to God’s country. There will be a few more posts coming, like how my very fit brother put me to hiking shame, breathing at altitude, getting lost, so many microbreweries and so little time, and perhaps a one-liner for the coming week. Stay tuned!

Garden of the Gods was the first adventure. This is but a paltry showing of the beauty of this place.
Second day of hiking. There will be a post about surviving most of the Pancake Rocks Trail.
On top of Pike’s Peak. It was cold and windy, but at 14,115 feet, one could expect that.
Riding in a car to the top of Pike’s Peak…or coming down…is interesting. I felt a little bad for my brother, the driver.
Castlewood Canyon, near Denver. Beautiful and the only place where I bought a tourist’s sweatshirt.
Heading down into the canyon to hike along a stream and many rocks and boulders.
There are a plethora of “open spaces” in Colorado. These spaces are wild lands set aside for preservation. They will not be developed and will not contain picnic tables, jungle gyms or any other unnatural additions.
On top of Raspberry Mountain, 10,605 feet, looking at Pike’s Peak. This adventure deserves it’s own post.
Rampart Reservoir. One of the easier hikes, but one of the more beautiful hikes. A place to come back to in autumn when the aspens’ leaves are bright yellow gold.
It’s hard to top a sunset over the mountains.
Finally, Odin the Wonder Dog. A sweet boy who accompanied us on a few of our hikes. I miss him and our neighborhood walks, but please don’t tell Gibbs.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is socs-badge-2019-2020-1.jpg

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is the brainchild of author Linda G. Hill. Every Friday, Linda provides her followers with an inspiring blogger’s prompt. It can be a word or words and sometimes bonus points are involved (my favorite). Linda asks us to write without editing, other than correcting spelling errors.

Just go with the flow.

Like a babbling brook or rain drops. Click HERE if this type of writing floats your boat or helps with your decision-making. Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “cam.” Find a word that contains “cam” or use it as is. Enjoy!

30 responses to #SoCS: Traveling With Camera

  1. Dan Antion says:

    First off, I’m so glad your brother is doing well. It was nice of you to be there for him. Second, I’m glad…hmm, I feel compelled to say that I’m glad Gibbs is now getting the attention he deserves. I am glad you had a great time, Mary, and I look forward to more posts and pictures. I’ve been to the Gardens of the Gods, and I’ve seen the surrounding area, but I didn’t have the opportunity to hike in other places. I understand that some views have to be committed to memory, but thanks for taking your camera. Welcome home.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Dan. Since my memory is not what it used to be, a camera is necessary. Plus, some of the photos have given me an idea for a Christmas present. Gibbs is getting plenty of attention and I am basking in the glow of everything I saw while hiking, the company and a few good beers. Life is back to normal, but it is good. 🙂

  2. quiall says:

    Wow! Your pictures are gorgeous! And as I will never travel to these locales I appreciate you taking pictures so that I can appreciate a fraction of what you saw. People who rely on their cameras to see, miss the totality of what the picture tries to capture. Stepping back from the camera you can feel, touch and smell the air around you and that makes the picture that much sweeter. Thank you for sharing.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Pam, the entire area is gorgeous and I’m anxious to see/breathe/smell it in the summer or autumn months. That will be a time for less camera (maybe) and more simply enjoying.

  3. Ally Bean says:

    I don’t know who Kamand Kojouri is [or was] but I feel his advice might be dated. I love your photos of the beautiful scenery. Bring ’em on!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Kamand is a she and she is an author, poet and educator (she teaches creative writing). Looks to be fairly young too, so I think she’s just a person who isn’t as interested in taking photos when she travels. Perhaps, instead, she brings a notebook and a pen to write her poetry.

      No worries, there will be more photos on Monday. 🙂

  4. lois says:

    I’m so glad you had a great time. I was to CO twice and lucky I didn’t have any car wrecks with me trying to drive and take in the scenery at the same time. It is breathtaking and your photos are wonderful! I wondered if Gibbs would have a lot to say once you returned. Luckily, he did. Welcome back, Mary!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m glad to be home, Lois, although I miss the nicer weather that was present during most of the trip. Gibbs and I are settling in and he finally found the time to take some naps and stop talking. I was glad my brother or his girlfriend were driving during a few of the photo sessions – there’s no way you can do both and survive.

  5. murisopsis says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed your hikes. I went to CO and we went to Pikes Peak. I couldn’t handle the altitude and suffered altitude sickness. I did manage to take a photo with my husband but then retreated to the car to lay curled up in the back seat praying for death. I’ve never felt so horrible. It took me the rest of the day at a lower altitude to regain my equilibrium. I guess I’m definitely a “flat-lander”!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Hey! I just found all of your recent comments in my spam folder. What the heck? I never want to eat spam or have you in the naughty folder. Not sure why WP decided to do that.

      Anyhow, I did enjoy my hikes and never suffered what they called altitude sickness other than not being able to breathe normally. My brother said it can take anywhere from one to four weeks to become acclimated, longer for others. I think my water drinking habits helped a great deal. Sorry you had to experience the sickness. I have felt that way on airplanes a few times with motion sickness – get me off this plane or let me die!

  6. dweezer19 says:

    Lovely, Mary. I understand about enjoying things rather than being obsessive about photos, but for me looking through the lens brings a kind of personal connectedness to what I am photographing. Your i ages here are just stunning, so I can only imagine how amazing being there must have been. So glad your brother is doing well. Hugs to Gibbs!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Gibbs says “Thanks, I desire all the hugs I can get.”
      Thanks for your positive comment about my photos. With many of them, they were taken after I had the chance to just stand or sit and observe my surroundings. Over a beer last night, my good friend and I agreed that we’d much rather engage with the beauty of nature than go to a mall or amusement park. It’s so awe-inspiring!

  7. Laura says:

    I get the saying, and I do force myself more than I used to to leave my camera put up and just be in the moment. That being said these photos are stunning! What a beautiful reminder of your time there.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Laura. The sights were stunning and I don’t think I could have come back home without those photos. I will cherish them forever.

  8. Regardless of that quote, MJ, I love your photos. These are extraordinary! The photo of the road made my stomach drop. All are stunning. Heartfelt thanks on taking them and sharing so that we could come along with you.
    Odin is a perfect name for a Norwegian Elkhound — love it. Hugs on the wing!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Teagan! When we were driving to the top of Pike’s Peak, I was equally in awe and trying not to think about the long way down. I’m not afraid of heights, but I am afraid of falling!
      Hugs and purrs on the fur from both Odin and Gibbs!

  9. KDKH says:

    I’m glad your brother is fine. As for the vacation, I’m glad you enjoyed Colorado! I live in Colorado and have to say that you came at the perfect time – not too hot or too cold. I once officiated a wedding at Garden of the Gods and it has such a presence! There are so many places to go and things to do – I’m glad you got to sample a few. And a vacation with a dog is always better than one without. Good for you!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      You are correct, the weather was perfect except for two colder days. But with hiking, I would not want to do that on some of the trails in 80+ degree weather. Ute open space is one of those places. My intention is to go back in 2022, but will have to decide what time is best. I missed most of the fall color, so would like to see that at some point while hiking more of the trails.

      • KDKH says:

        Tree watching season is semi-predictable, but over a several-week span. Sometimes they are early, sometimes they are late. Sometimes they last for weeks, and in other years, we get a big storm and the leaves fall as soon as they turn. It’s a bit of a crap-shoot making it hard to buy plane tickets in advance. But still, Colorado is beautiful in all seasons.

  10. J-Dub says:

    Your pictures did do justice. Absolutely Beautiful. And your secret is safe with me. Gibbs will be none the wiser.

  11. Welcome back Mary and so glad you had such a wonderful time in Colorado – it looks beautiful! Hope your brother will make a swift recovery and please give sweet Gibbs a gentle pat from us all 🤗💖🐈

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Xenia, I love seeing new places in my country and Colorado did not disappoint. My brother is doing well and Gibbs will gladly accept that pat as soon as he sleeps off his lunch. 😼❤

  12. JoAnna says:

    This is encouraging, as I want to go west to see such beautiful places. Can’t imagine not taking a camera. I love those big blue skies! It’s so hard for me to leave Mama Cat, but I have a responsible cat lady that comes twice a day and hope that each time we leave and return gives our cats faith that they have not been abandoned. Glad your brother is okay.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I hope some day you can see the mountains in Colorado, JoAnna. As for Mama Cat, I tend to believe she would be okay in your absence. Although this is the longest I’ve left Gibbs, he made it through due to the sitters’ loving care of him. He missed me, but he survived.

  13. It sounds and looks like you had an amazing trip with a lot of good memories. I’ve been to several of your spots including the drive up Pike’s Peak, but it has been many years so I enjoyed the photos. The quote is interesting because I’m going to a quilt show with a friend this coming week, and that is her feeling exactly. By the end of the show, she will start to roll her eyes as I reach for my phone to grab a shot. She believes in staying in the moment with zero photos. 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I guess to each their own, Judy, when it comes to taking photos. I can’t imagine not having those memories on my phone and laptop, but I also understand your friend’s desire to enjoy all of the lovely quilts with focused eyes.

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