Set the alarm for 545am but woke up around 5am and noticed that two people left the campground (there are only 4 spots) and headed toward the parking lot for Maroon Lake, so I quickly got dressed and did the same and found the lot already full!!! Luckily someone must have stayed there overnight and told me he was leaving and I could have his spot, what a blessing. I walked up to the lake and found a larger throng than yesterday but I went to the same spot where there were a few rocks for foreground and Mike and Richard were both there again. There must have been 200 people easily, and so many people went way to far up the lake and were in all our shots. So many were just horsing around making lots of noise, it just killed the sanctity of the spot. But it was really enjoyable sitting on a rock talking to them in the darkness and the time went by quickly talking about all things photography. As the sky began to brighten, we were all disappointed that the storm yesterday had not left any snow for us and there were no clouds, so it was a duplicate of yesterday’s dull sunrise and I didn’t take too many shots of it but did retake some of the other shots from yesterday because of the ISO problem and a few others as well. Some other photographer had come over and was telling us about a small lake down the road, so I went to look for and found it. I got there just as the grass was lit by the sun coming over the eastern peaks and managed a few shots, but it may be better with it in shade. Great reflections though. Took some more aspen shots and tried some blurred images before heading into town for some lunch and trying to get some pictures up on the blog, but all my battery power was down and I still couldn’t get it done. But when I walked into McDonalds, who was sitting there but Mike from the lake for the past few days, and he was happy to see me and we sat with our lunches and talked a while. After that I headed up Clear Creek Road?? Just to see what was there, but ended up only taking the camera out for one shot of the creek and just got back to the car as it started to rain. More thunderstorms so I thought I’d go back up to Independence Pass in hopes of a clearing storm at sunset, but was disappointed just as I was yesterday. But I took some shots on the way up and some more in the dwindling light on the way down. Dined at McDonalds again, 3rd time having the same meal. I have to come here because no one bothers you how long you stay and they have free wi-fi. I also charged one of my camera batteries because it was almost empty and during the day managed to charge my phone with the back up power and charged the iPad from the car. This will be the third night camping here and may stay another night before going somewhere to get into a shower; my hair is a mess. Maybe I can hold out until Wednesday night so I can see Survivor!! That’s only Monday and Tuesday and I will have a week under my belt.
I have heard that Kebler pass is not yet peak which is why I stayed here an extra night, and I also want to go on the SilverThread Highway as a minimum before clearing out of Colorado. But if the aspens are still gold, then I can stay as an option as well. But I like shots of bare trees too. The bad thing of having no itinerary is that you have to make decisions all the time about where to go next, when to go or to stay to see some more places that others have mentioned. And that’s on top of the minute by minute decisions about if something you have seen is worthy of stopping or turning around to get to some pull-off nearby. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned around on this trip already, but that is the way its always been on a trip.
Hopefully, something will happen for the sunrise at Maroon Lake tomorrow or I’ll just go back to the small lake and do a few more things before I decide where to go next. It all hangs in the balance of tomorrow’s sunrise. If I leave, I will do so without getting the major shot of this stop. A bit if a disappointment.