A River Runs Through It
Time of Day: Early afternoon, overcast
Date: September 27, 2013
The Crystal Mill is one of those Colorado icons that many landscape photographers aspire to shoot.
Problem is: getting there. The road leading uphill from Marble is quite rough. You wouldn’t believe some of the looks I got as I headed up the hill in my Subaru Outback. In fact, after I arrived, one guy informed me that the towing fee generally runs about $800 if needed. He also said, “you made it up here, but you still must get back down.” Ooh-kaay!
Well, I didn’t have any problems getting back down although I will admit it is harder to see the obstacles to steer around heading downhill after a brief rise. I passed a couple of young ladies in their twenties, heading up the hill, driving a Ford Escape with two little ones in the back seat as I was heading back down.
When asked if I would do it again, I have to say: no time soon. Driving that road was most grueling. Jagged rocks the size of basketballs scattered throughout the narrow one lane dirt roadway such that you’re happy when the rocks become football sized with smoother edges. And, if you encounter another car going the opposite direction you must work with them to find a way for them to pass without going over the cliff. No fun. If I ever do that again, it will be too soon. I’m still a little sore from that drive if that’s possible. I think the Subaru fared better than I did.
All this is just to give one the flavor of the challenge of getting to the Crystal Mill. Of course you could always hire a driver which simplifies things greatly, but that’s just not my style.
But as far as photographing the Mill, well, that was a blast! When I arrived there were only a couple of guys there who left soon afterward (including Mr. $800 above). I had the place to myself for an hour before the next person arrived.
It was windy and snowing at varying levels of intensity for most of the time I took photos. Things were still a bit green, but I’m quite pleased with my photo here.
I just love the color of the waters. Not sure, but there must be a copper deposit uphill to yield the aqua color to the waters. I don’t believe the river is glacially fed.
No filters were used in this shot.