Autumn 2014 – Photos of Road Trip – 2/5

DISCLAIMER.  –  Moab, Utah – Oct. 14, 2014

For the beginning of this Denver-to-San-Francisco road trip, see Photos 1/5.

Next: …Continue to Photos 3/5

(Past nuclear issues blogposts, see here.)

This blogpost is the second in a series of traveling-in-autumn-2014 photos, as I drive with a friend from Belgium (Bas) from Denver to San Francisco.  See here for part 1 of this series.   Unless otherwise noted, all photos © Michaël Van Broekhoven, All Rights Reserved.  Disclaimer, Do-not-share policy & Fair Use Statement.

Some photos from this past week in Colorado, picking up from where I left off last blogpost, in Crestone, CO, with a visit to some of the areas spiritual centers, the nearby Great Sand Dunes National Monument, and then (a couple days later) crossing the Rio Grande, and a gorgeous Rocky Mountains drive west to Durango (en route to Mesa Verde & beyond, but that’s for next blogpost).

At the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Southern Colorado (between Crestone and Alamosa):

DSCN7954 DSCN7962

For more of my Sand Dunes photos, see the blogpost, ““Location MVB”: Northern San Luis Valley, Southern Colorado, Perhaps?” from October 2013.   Horses, in or right by protected ‘The Nature Conservancy’ land below the Zapata Falls area just south of the Sand Dunes:


Mount Blanca emerging from low clouds after a fierce rain storm passed through:


A small herd of deer near the road, upon leaving the national park:


The next day, back in Crestone, we briefly checked out the Carmelite Nada Hermitage  with chapel.  It was closed for a private retreat, so we only saw the outside.  (The high school we both went to in Belgium was of Carmelite origins.)


The often ‘Closed’ or ‘In Retreat’ Crestone Mountain Zen Center (, roughly between Crestone’s two biggest stupas was open!  Beautiful serene spaces…


The accoustics in the Zen Center’s dome building is incredible:


For more information about Crestone’s broad offering of spiritual retreats and workshops, see


In the evening we enjoyed music by ADEY:    For where she’s performing (often in the San Francisco Bay Area), see her website,  Absolutely beautiful voice:


Photo by © Michaël Van Broekhoven, 2014.

“The multi-talented Adey is a vocalist, pianist, composer, and actor. As singer/songwriter she joins the ranks of such solo female virtuosos as Tori Amos, Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell, blending classically influenced piano composition with raw lyrical reflective intimacy. […] Adey’s independently recorded and produced debut album, Rogue, was released in 2011, followed by Vesica, released in August 2013. For the last eight years, her one-woman show has been adored at venues throughout the US, including festivals, conventions, clubs and private parties.” 

Surrounded by the Baca National Wildlife Refuge, the Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Sangre de Cristo Wilderness, it’s as if the animals know the predominantly peace-abiding spiritual population of Crestone is not out to shoot them.   (Hunting is allowed with permits during hunting season in the relatively nearby non-wilderness National Forest areas, though.  Given the many hikers the Crestone area sees, hunting further away is much appreciated.)


Downtown Crestone, Colorado.

And then we were back on our way….

The Rio Grande (@ Del Norte, Colorado) looked stunning with its bright Cottonwoods:


The autumn colors were gorgeous all along highway 160, between Alamosa and Durango, and beyond, all in Southern Colorado.

At a stop to photograph some aspen trees, we met locals doing target practice.  After a thorough demonstration and safety instructions, we got to have a taste of firing guns ourselves.  ;-)  It had been well over a decade since I’d fired any fire arm, and for Bas it was a first.  An awesome unexpected time with very kind hunters getting ready for elk hunting:


Bas getting ready to fire.  ;-)   Photos taken with permission.



:-D For my score, see further below.           DSCN8204

NB:  Throwing seemingly harmless bio-degradables out of a car window, even just an apple core, will attract more wildlife to come near the highway.   Please don’t.   The roads are a bad enough massacre as it is…


Porcupine roadkill… :-(

More sad bloody roadkill, here… :-/

At the pass, a dirt road lead to a 360 lookout point, just past the Wolfe Creek Ski Resort, where some snow provided the opportunity to throw this season’s first snow ball, October 10, 2014:

(Photo taken by Bas. Nice timely catch.

… and more gorgeous vistas (in the frigid cold wind and a couple snow flakes), elevation about 11,650 feet (3550 meters) above sea level:





Not recommended, but if you were ever feed small wildlife, like this cute human-accustomed chipmunk shown below, make sure it is precicely the kind of food they would find in nature, otherwise it might hurt them later.


Colorado is an unbelievably beautiful state…  



A brief afternoon rain storm had apparently also unleashed slippery localized hail further ahead of us:


The car on the left had slipped off the road…

And all this followed by sampling a few bars in an uneventful tired night in Durango…


Coming up NEXT:  Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado – just past Durango when heading west), Monument Valley (on the Navajo Reservation in North-Eastern Arizona), Goosenecks State ParkMoki Dugway Overlook, and some hikes in Arches National Park (Utah, right near Moab)…     Continue to Photos 3/5.

Good times… ;-D

10/10 near the center, not bad. ;-)

.22 @ 100 meters.  10/10 hit the target; not bad.  ;-)


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2 Responses to Autumn 2014 – Photos of Road Trip – 2/5

  1. Pingback: A Rock Arch in the San Luis Valley Area? And other PHOTOS (SLV – End Feb. 2015) | Not All Alleged Is Apparent…

  2. Pingback: Denver Channel 9 News: “Crestone, the Spiritual Center of Colorado” | Not All Alleged Is Apparent…

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