High Mountain Doings

From 8200 feet along one side of the Upper Arkansas River Valley in central Colorado, my blog is about many things: travel including river and bicycle trips, and other experiences as well. The focus is on photography, not lots of text.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

End of the Day, July 22

There was a wonderful sunset about to happen as I left Anrahyah off in Alamosa, where she met a friend, her son, and her friend's son. They were headed to a movie, and I was headed home. This had been arranged by cell phone on our way north from Taos, where we'd eaten a wonderful Mexican meal at an outdoor table at Orlando's restaurant.

Just out of the city, I stopped where I first had a clear view of the developing sunset. I set up the tripod just as the sun was disappearing over the edge of the earth, so to speak. I waited until it was just gone, and then photographed the wonderful light on the clouds.

Homeward from Santa Fe, July 22

Anrahyah needed to find some light sconces for her new house. We looked at a dedicated light store in Santa Fe, but prices there were very high. Then we tried Home Depot down the street, and that would have been OK.

We had also tried Jackalope, which is an amazing store (if you can call it that) in Santa Fe. Jackalope occupies several buildings, and all the space around and in between them. It's a wonderful place to look for Santa Fe style decorations, various ceramic items, and other things of a southwestern flavor.

But something made Anrahyah hold off.

On the way home, not far north of Santa Fe, she was driving and quickly pulled into another place that appeared to sell these kinds of things. Bingo! There she found the light fixtures she'd been looking for, but at a very reasonable price. Not just that, but a wonderfully painted bathroom basin (at her feet, above) and some tiles to match. A color scheme that I'd describe as both earthy and bold is taking shape. The basin that Anrahyah found is simply too wonderful to describe.

Santa Fe Opera, July 21

We left Crestone and easily reached Santa Fe in time to get a motel room, shower, change clothes, and eat a wonderful meal at the Himalayan Cuisine restaurant.

We both ordered meals that were said to be typical of Nepal. I had chicken and curry, Anrahyah had lamb and curry. Both arrived in medium-sized bowls. Rice arrived too, so we both could easily try each other's food by spooning from each bowl onto our servings of rice. What a fine discovery this restaurant was!

On to the Santa Fe Opera, which is just a few miles north of the city. This set for Mozart's The Magic Flute was different from any I'd ever seen before. It was rather stark, with a curved wall on either side. In each wall were three doors that didn't show unless they were opened for a particular reason.

The set remained much the same except for one scene. Then, the front half of the stage hinged upward. The Santa Fe Opera stage is made so it can do many things! It includes elevators, the ability to hinge, and who knows what else? It is open at the back, and at one point lights were directed on the nearly hill out there and it served as a backdrop.

The costumes were from various time periods. The Queen of the Night and her ladies wore dresses of Elizabethan style. Sarastro and his entire entourage wore what appeared to be Revolutionary War uniforms. The evil Monostatos wore a Keystone Kop outfit. Papageno wore a yellow baseball cap and red tee shirt with a bird on it. He's the bird catcher for the Queen of the Night. Prince Tamino and Pamina wore clothes that they could have as easily worn in downtown Santa Fe.

Another innovation: The arias were all sung in German, but the recititative was all spoken in English. Colloquial English, too. "Keep it zipped, buddy!" said one of Sarastro's entourage to Papageno, who struggles to maintain silence during his trials.

Santa Fe's Magic Flute was the easiest to follow of any Magic Flute production I've ever seen. Anrahyah had not been to the Santa Fe Opera before, and was fascinated by the general workings of the production. It is resolved, therefore, that we arrange to go by there at a time when we can do a backstage tour. These are given on certain afternoons there.

The Magic Flute is a wonderful introduction to the amazing world of opera.

Anrahyah's House, July 21

Downstairs under construction. This will be a separate living space. The orange tubes in the far, lighted room are part of the solar system. They feed tubes in the concrete slab that will cause solar heat to radiate upward through the floor.

Upstairs bathtub, and the solar-heated "warm wall" under construction. What a wintertime experience this will be! The tub is angled for a good view of the jagged Sangre de Cristo Range. It's immediately inside of the upper window visible in the bottom-most photo in this group.

We were bound for the Santa Fe Opera. I left here in midmorning on Friday, July 21 and drove to Crestone to get Anrahyah.

We did a little sweeping up work in her new house. The insulation people are soon coming, and bits of stuff on the floor can end up glued to the floor by insulation overspray. This is so much different from putting bats of insulation in the walls! Insulation is sprayed into those spaces.

The foundation of the service porch has now been poured, and a retaining wall on the downhill end of the house has also been poured. Work is underway inside on the warm walls of her solar heating system

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Details, Top of Independence Pass, Saturday 7/15

Here are some details, photographed at the top of Independence Pass. A friend and I were supposed to run a photo workshop on Saturday. It didn't go, but I drove up there anyway and photographed. As I worked, the subjects grew smaller and smaller as I got closer and closer.

Images, Independence Pass on Saturday 7/15

These are images of the road up to Independence Pass, from the east side of the continental divide (my side). The west side of the pass descends rather precipitously to Aspen, Colorado. This road, of course, is closed all winter. In summer, it's rather spectacular.

If you drive down the Aspen side, watch out. You'll meet flatlanders who are driving up the wrong side of the road! They seem to find concern regarding the nearly 1000 foot cliff that's beside them, when in fact there's a good three feet between their car and oblivion. Close doesn't count.

The east-side road, shown below, is a veritable freeway by comparison.

Independence Pass

The photo workshop we were going to lead didn't happen today, though Pat Nolan and I both showed up just in case. In due time, we went just a few miles to the spectacular home of her friends near the town of Twin Lakes. This house is built right on the high bank of Lake Creek and the view is stupendous! It would have been the first stop of a photo tour anyway. Here is a photo taken from the deck of that house. After a short time here, I continued up to the top of Independence Pass.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Anrahyah's House, the Continuing Story

Anrahyah's son Evan arrived from Washington state on Sunday. He's talented in various phases of house-finishing, including drywalling. Evan will be doing lots of little jobs like working on the floor upstairs, the stairwell, and a lot of outside trim that was not finished by the factory. This is going to be seriously helpful, to say the least! I took down a bunch of tools, and will take more.

Here are two photographs that I just made this evening. I've had an idea, for when I photograph across Kansas later this summer for a book along Highway 50. That idea is to get low and photograph a single shoot of grain or other plant. Or more than one. Of course there won't be a 14-thousand foot peak in Kansas but there might be a grain elevator or other structure. There's no grain in this photo. It's some other kind of plant.

Obviously, this photo has big focus-problems. Also wind-movement problems with the grass. But I'm hoping to find solutions for these.

The other photo is of Mount Princeton, my garage, and my house at sunset. The reddish light attracted me, and I rushed to photograph. This one ended up being handheld, from my porch. The light near bottom center is reflected off some lumber that's out there.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Sunset Over Mt. Yale

In this photograph, which is two or three years old, the sun setting in the west illuminates the clouds over Mt. Yale, which is just northwest of Buena Vista, Colorado.

Moving Day, Continued

This evening, I'll take the truck load to Crestone--which is beyond the white storm cloud seen here over the Sangre de Cristo range.

We both drove to Denver on Sunday in different cars (one wouldn't have worked). First, to pick up Anrahyah's son Evan from the airport and also to bring back a number of items needed for the new house. Light fixtures, a wash basin, and so forth. The back of my truck was filled. Evan will work on projects selected to bring this house project to an earlier end.

This is a trailer full of things that came from Anrahyah's old house, and which will go into her new house when it's ready. Right now, there's no place for it besides my garage, so that's where it is.