Nine years ago today in 2011, I found myself driving through an October snow shower on US 50 in the California Sierras, en route from San Francisco to Denver. Nine years ago! Time does fly.
Kebler Pass is traversed by a mosly unpaved gravel road that runs westward from Crested Butte, Colorado, to Colorado State Highway 133, some 33 miles away. The trip is an easy one – the curves are gentle and the slopes are not steep. I got started driving up the pass at around 8 in the morning on another crystal clear Colorado day. The peak in the distance is Mt. Axtell.
Looking west and slightly north from the summit of Slumgullion Pass, this image shows Umcompahgre Peak in the distance. The 14,320 ft (4365 m) peak in the center of the photo is one of Colorado’s tallest mountains. It was after 5 in the afternoon when this photo was taken and, while the sun is not directly in my face, I am close enough to facing it that I could not get any details of the mountains in the distance. They become pale silhouettes washed out by the sunlight.
In the lower left of the image, you can see Colorado 149 as it descends from the pass, winding its way to Lake City. By the time I got to that point along the road, the sun was close to dipping below the mountains to the west. Not being especially interested in driving a winding mountain road in the dark, I cut short any stops to catch images at dusk and hurried to the end of highway 149 where it meets US Highway 50 not far from Gunnison, Colorado.
Standing at the summit of Hai Van Pass looking north – the seaside town of Lang Co is in the distance.
Another view of Mt Sopris, this one taken from the vacation house where a number of classmates stayed and I spent most of my time during the 60th anniversary visit to our high school alma mater. The view of Sopris was remarkable from the back porch. The house is almost at the base of the mountain, and I brought Sopris a bit closer still by using an 85mm lens to shoot this image.