Finally, Colorado's Wild Flowers are at their peak! I've been waiting for them for months now, and I couldn't be happier. I planned my route through the ubiquitously beautiful San Juan Mountains, and headed off for what I knew would be a short trip (only 3 days before I had to get back to host some out of town friends). I drove first to Ouray, hoping to drive up the treacherous road to Yankee Boy Basin, one of the states best wildflower hot spots. Unfortunately, that evening it started to rain, hard. On my drive up the precipitous road I was met by 3 oncoming vehicles, the drivers of each admonishing me to turn around or surely I would die. The first vehicle were obvious 4WD newbs on vacation... the second was a middle aged couple, and the last was a large, high-clearance truck with a couple of rugged cowboys. After the cowboys assured me that I wouldn't make it up the road, I decided to turn back. Not willing to even consider defeat, I decided to drive down the Million Dollar Highway towards Silverton the short distance to Clear Lake (also requiring a 4WD ascent up a narrow road). Fortunately, it wasn't raining as hard there, and my Subaru made it just fine... up to a point. There was a rather steep switchback with water running down the road, creating slick conditions. My trusty Suby just couldn't do it... so, I slept there for the night, knowing that I was only .8 of a mile away from the lake.
I woke up before dawn and walked the rest of the way up the road. Before I arrived at the glacial lake, I came upon this stream. This image is an HDR pano, created from 3 vertical HDR frames created using Photomatix Pro, and stitched using Photoshop CS5.
This was an awesome 3 days of shooting, so make sure to check out the rest of my images.