Wisertime

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Thought I would share some of my vacation photos/experience for anyone who might be thinking about traveling in WY, and might want to check out these fabulous places that are off the beaten path. These places were all new to me and in the case of Medicine bow SP, was something I heard a little about here or on another forum, so thanks to whomever mentioned it and my curiosity paid off.


I spent a week up in WY/CO, Primarily an eclipse chasing trip, but knowing it was only 2:30 minutes, I wanted to return to WY after my first visit 9 yrs ago, so if things went bad weather-wise, I'd still have a fun week away, exploring some of the parts of WY I had not seen. Plus the only cheap flight I could find was to Denver, so that ruled out other places that I haven't visited yet (ID, East OR). And the weather there was most likely to be clear and did not disappoint in that regard.

I had a Very Late arrival in CO, stopped at two Walmarts for supplies (first one was sold out of cheaper sleeping bags, as others had gotten there ahead of me..and many seemed to be camping in the parking lot) and then drove up towards Cheyenne. Slept a few hrs at the welcome center.
EM5 + 17mm F1.8. I hardly used this combo on the trip. Mainly brought it for video of the eclipse.

Most of the photos are with the 12-100 F4 + EM1, which served me perfectly for this trip. I only took the 9-18mm and 17mm F1.8+EM5 for video or supplemental use, but took just a handful of photos with it. Left it in the car all the time.

Sunrise outside Cheyenne
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Someone woke me at sunrise talking outside the car, so I figured I'd beat the rush and head up to Glendo.
The dam at Glendo SP. Photos don't really do it justice.
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Wyoming beach at Glendo SP. Must have been a seasonal drought. The water level appeared to be 20' below normal, which made the beach receed about 1000' and was a pretty shallow lake in this area, but nice surprise. Was a blessing after being on a wind/sun drenched ranch on a plateau for a few hours. Seeing women in bikinis on Paddle boards was the last thing I expected to see in WY.
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West side, near where I stayed. There is such beauty in the desolation of Wyoming back country, but it is indeed a very harsh climate. You'd have to be pretty tough to live there year round. High altitude, harsh sun, high wind, extreme temperature variation and limited water.
The quiet is so calming. It really is like the western movies where you just hear the wind whistling through the trees and occasional bird or insects depending on time of day. On my hikes, I felt like the "High Plains Drifter". Persistent thirst and chapped lips a constant inconvenience, but otherwise I felt no ill effects at any altitude.
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Obligatory amateur Eclipse shot. Weather was perfect for it and surpassed the hype in awe factor.
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It was impossible to go anywhere after the eclipse, so after a few futile hours sitting in traffic and 20+ miles on dirt roads in a modern day wagon train, I decided to check out and stay in Guernsey SP, which turned out to surpass the beauty of Glendo SP. A fortuitous accident. The park was gorgeous and I spent the afternoon there exploring and took a short trip into town where I had the best Brisket sandwich I ever had, then a relaxing evening at the beach.
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Surprisingly large fast boats on such a smallish lake. Saw a few like this one.
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The elevation changes at both parks were quite surprising to me. This must have been a spectacular observation point for the eclipse. From the summit you could see 50+ miles in most directions. The duration was a bit less than Glendo though. I'm happy I discovered the place though.

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Sunrise equally beautiful as sunset.


Weird side story. I met an older gentleman who camped next to me in Guernsey that night who was there for the eclipse from Iowa. We shared some common history playing college sports and talked til after midnight. I left at sunrise. Three days later, I stopped in McD's in Estes Park, Co for a quick breakfast and sat down to eat and he was sitting right across from me. Again, later that night I returned to get a drink and when I parked, he was in the spot next to me. We spent a few more hours talking. Small world.


Day 3 in Medicine Bow SP in the Snowy Range area for some hiking/camping at 9500+ feet altitude. Great view of the stars, but I was too sleepy and cold to try my hand at milky way or star trails.
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one of many lakes here.
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There was a plane crash here in 1955, before high altitude flight was practical for passenger aircraft. 63 people perished on Flight 409 from Denver to SLC. Some bits of wreckage remain in the rock piles below. I later learned that the army used artillery to try and destroy what was left of the scene and couldn't be removed.
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I want to nearby Saratoga Hot Springs to soak and warm up my bones the next am after a cold night at 9500'.
 
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Wisertime

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Part II Colorado.

Rain near Laramie area campgrounds I planned on visiting convinced me to head south to CO. It was raining in places there too, but ended up on Horsetail Reservoir near Ft. Collins. Not a place I recommend sleeping over at. Too much noise with highways on 3 sides, but I did get a rainbow when I arrived. I couldn't get out of there fast enough though.
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Rocky Mt. National Park.
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One of the few times I used the 9-18
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12-100 F4 proved super useful through the entire trip. Handheld 1/15th as I didn't have an ND filter in that size. Got the look I was aiming for.
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What started as a 2 mile max hike to get the waterfall, led to getting lost and walking 7 miles with a lot of elevation gain hoping to find a circuitous route...but after not seeing another human for well over an hour and felt like I was climbing higher and higher on a bad knee, I turned back, but did stumble on this calm lake with a perfect reflection.

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Sliver of moon sighting 3 days after eclipse.
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Stumbled on this fella the next am
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Longs Peak.
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Looking back down towards campsite (middle left)
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Upper Part of trail Ridge rd on the tundra. Highest paved rd in USA. I'd driven it before, but decided why the heck not again.
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Weird mushroom rocks at 1200' on tundra. Saw marmots and birds up there.

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What I presume to be a convenient drinking hole for wildlife at this altitude. Hwy upper left.
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So the 12-100 proved to be the perfect do-all lens for the job. I used it for all but a dozen or so shots with the 9-18 when I needed more foreground interest or use of ND filter for waterfall, but still was able to manage a good result handheld with the Dual IS when needed. I would have been just fine if this was the only lens I had with me. It got a tad heavy on long hikes, but not that bad really. Akin to carrying a DSLR. I took a few with the EM5+17mm, just because it was in the glove compartment and the other was packed up in my bag, but only really brought it as a secondary for video of the eclipse. I would have missed a few shots for sure if I had to swap lenses had I brought primes or other zooms.
 
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SVQuant

Shooting by numbers
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Lovely images. The 12-100 has really nice rendering. Love what you were able to do with it. Especially love the two B+Ws in the first post.

BTW, you have multiple identical threads going.

[Edit] Never mind, I see that you are on top of it.
 

Wisertime

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
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Lovely images. The 12-100 has really nice rendering. Love what you were able to do with it. Especially love the two B+Ws in the first post.

BTW, you have multiple identical threads going.

[Edit] Never mind, I see that you are on top of it.
Thanks..yes, I know I deleted the content, but need admins to clear. Didn't think it was posting.
 
Joined
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Looks like a great trip. I especially like the sign sunrise photo and the telephoto shot of Pagoda/Keyboard of the Winds in RMNP (glacier gorge is probably my favorite area in the park).
 

Santa

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After living in Cheyenne for eight years and Having a cabin up in the mountains in Colorado your pictures brought back many memories! thank you!
 
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