Friday, October 22, 2010

RMNP Moraine - May 2010

Catching up on summer posts...

The first 'real' camping trip with the Airstream was to RMNP in the Moraine camp ground. We decided to go camping the week of memorial day - starting Monday - figuring that most people will be heading back home on Monday to go to work Tuesday. I could not find a camp site that looked good (on the reservation site) for all 3 nights (mon/tues/wed), so I picked 2 sites and moved after the first night.

Out first night was in site 247, and was actually better than I had expected. It was on the edge of the campground, so had no one bordering to the south. It had space for a path to a bus stop on the west side, which provided more space between us and the next campsite, but had the downside of more people walking by during the day.

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 32mm, f/3.5, ISO400, 1/1000]
[Moraine, RMNP, 5/30/2010]

After driving there, getting set up, and having a late lunch, we took the path to the bus stop to see where it went. We didn't know at the time that it went to the bus stop. It also went to a nice meadow that had plenty of critters grazing in it.

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 40mm, f/3.5, ISO400, 1/1600]
[Meadow, RMNP, 5/30/2010]

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 70mm, f/3.5, ISO400, 1/2500]
[Critter, RMNP, 5/30/2010]

We took dozens more pictures. Some of them more arty, some of them poorly composed. Some of them may end up being displayed as a random pic in the future.

Normally I try to document what we ate, how good it was, and if there were any issues encountered in the making, or if we discovered any camping tricks to make it easier or tastier. But, lucky for you, I have already forgotten what we had, so you are safe. For now.

Spending the first night in the trailer at altitude (2500 or so feet above the last test - and as later photos will show, there was still snow around), I expected it to be colder and at least just as uncomfortable as Bear Creek Lake Park. But it wasn't. It was cold. But, either it wasn't as cold, or being under the weather before really affected the comfort level. The trailer handled 2 people and one large blind dog overnight without any significant issues.

In the morning, I got up a little early, and poked my head outside the trailer to see...

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 43mm, f/4.5, ISO400, 1/20, crop]
[Critters, RMNP, 5/31/2010]

Venturing a few yards behind the trailer...

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 70mm, f/2.8, ISO400, 1/100]
[Bambi, RMNP, 5/31/2010]

Since I saw Bambi, and the trailer is an Airstream Bambi, it was time to attempt a beauty shot. Ellie in the morning light with the moon above...

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 24mm, f/2.8, ISO400, 1/320]
[Ellie, RMNP, 5/31/2010]

Day 2, and we got to move to site 97, which we changed to 98, because it was vacant and nicer. Packing up and moving the trailer was easy peasy compared to when I moved the tent last year.

After the breakfast that I cannot bore you with the details of, we decided to take a hike to a lake. Or, rather drive to a lake that was not too much of a hike to get to from the parking lot. Referencing a map, Sprague Lake won the honor. It was a small, peaceful lake that looked nicer than the pictures...

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 24mm, f/2.8, ISO400, 1/3200]
[Sprauge Lake, RMNP, 5/31/2010]

While we were there, I took dozens of shots trying to capture a yellow bird that flicked in and out of the brush. It refused to stay still for more than a half second.  The birder thought it might be some sort of semi rare bird, but I have no clue what it is. Click on the picture to actually see it...

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 70mm, f/3.2, ISO400, 1/800]
[Bird at Sprauge Lake, RMNP, 5/31/2010]

A view from the other side...

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 24mm, f/8, ISO400, 1/1000]
[Sprauge Lake, RMNP, 5/31/2010]

That evening, the sky cleared up enough for Mr. Dave to get his telescopes out to show a few tricks. It was good viewing for Saturn - the rings were clearly visible. Like a toothpick through an olive. Then they split a binary star (can't remember the name). To the naked eye, it looks like a single star, but put a telescope on it and you can see both stars. Unfortunately neither of us had an adapter to connect the telescope to a camera.

I did pull out the tripod and experiment with a few shots. Here is one where I was trying to get as many (dim) stars as possible in the shot - that is why the brighter stars are way over exposed. The rest of the sky is gray because of the light pollution coming from Estes Park. It's way way less light pollution than Denver/Golden, but not good enough for really nice pictures. This is a 30 second exposure, so that is why the stars are lines instead of dots. Some little known phenomena called the rotation of the Earth.

I stuck the tree in frame for 'perspective'. That, or I thought it was neato.

[EF50mm f/1.4 USM - 50mm, f/1.4, ISO800, 30]
[Stars, RMNP, 5/31/2010]

Click on the pic for a much larger one. You can see a lot more stars. The thing I think is cool is that the photo shows that there are quite a variety of star colors. The eye receptors that we use for low light do not discern color, so the night sky looks black and white to the naked eye.

Day 3 was a lazy relaxing day. Didn't do much. Went to the Alluvial Fan and Endovalley. Snapped pics there and at the camp site. Here are a few...

[EF50mm f/1.4 USM - 50mm, f/3.2, ISO400, 1/1000]
[Ellie kitchen, Moraine, RMNP, 6/1/2010]

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 24mm, f/5.0, ISO400, 1/2500]
[Mr. Dave, Alluvial Fan, RMNP, 6/1/2010]

[EF-S10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM - 10mm, f/22.0, ISO400, 1/200]
[Bridge, Alluvial Fan, RMNP, 6/1/2010]

A place to sit at the beach...

[EF-S10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM - 22mm, f/4.5, ISO100, 1/1600]
[Bench, Alluvial Fan, RMNP, 6/1/2010]

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 24mm, f/22, ISO200, 1/8]
[Endovalley, RMNP, 6/1/2010]

A little texture:

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 70mm, f/4.5, ISO100, 1/100]
[Pine cone carpet, Moraine, RMNP, 6/1/2010]

Not my best work today, but hopefully not terrible. I have more arty ones from today that may show up later as random pics.

Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment if you'd like.


  1. Um, yes. Hello, sir. I would like to leave a comment?


    Anyway, cute Bambi (the deer)! Cool Bambi the Airstream.

    Dang, that lake looks cold.

    Neato colorful stars. I knew the thing about human sight being effectively black-and-white in low light, and I knew that there are "red giants" and "blue dwarfs" and such out there, but I just never applied the concept to starry nights. Sometimes I have two, and I have another two, but never put them together to realize that I really have four.

  2. It was not too cold in RMNP - not that I'd want to take a dip in the water. As you can see, Mr. Dave was in shorts.