Lens-Artists #92: Going Back – The Second Time Around

This week the challenge comes from Guest Host John Steiner at Journeys With JohnBo. He asked us “If you visited a favorite place more than once, how did you approach the second trip photographically? If you’ve only been somewhere once, what would you do differently the second time around?”

I fell in love with Rocky Mountain National Park when we first visited there in late May, 2011. We spent several days enjoying the wildlife and natural beauty of the park. Snow in the higher elevations added to the adventure.

One day our goal was to drive the Trail Ridge Road all the way to the top to visit the Alpine Visitor’s Center. The road was clear most of the way with deep snow beside the road. I took the above photo when we arrived at Rainbow Curve, at an elevation of about 11,000 feet. Our drive to the Alpine Visitor’s Center would have to wait.

Deep snow along Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park in May, 2011

Two years later, in August, 2013, we decided to return to Rocky Mountain National Park on our way home from Alaska. With only one day to explore the park our goal was to see the Alpine Visitor’s Center. We stopped at the Many Curves Overlook on our way to the Trail Ridge Road. The next two photos were taken two years apart at the same overlook. The first is from spring, 2011, the second one from summer, 2013. There was quite a difference the second time around.

View from Many Curves Overlook on May 28, 2011
View from Many Curves Overlook in Rocky Mountain National Park in August, 2013

The next two photos are from another overlook in the park. The first is from 2011, the second from 2013.

View from one of the overlooks in Rocky Mountain National Park in May, 2011
View from one of the overlooks in Rocky Mountain National Park in August, 2013

Did we make it the Alpine Visitor’s Center the second time around? We sure did and the view from there was spectacular.

View from Alpine Visitor’s Center in August, 2013

Many thanks to Guest Host John Steiner for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Going Back

30 thoughts on “Lens-Artists #92: Going Back – The Second Time Around

  1. My wife and I visited the park only once, and we simply didn’t think to stop at the visitor’s center. After seeing your viewpoint photo from there, it will be on our list to visit so we can go to the center. On a cold October day, we stopped at Sprague Lake. I captured a couple of all-time favorite photos there.

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  2. Beautiful beautiful. We drove up there early one spring. They said the road wasn’t open all the way yet but we could pay $20 to drive a few miles. No thanks. We now have a pass, and made it over in better weather.

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    1. Thanks Judy. Thank goodness the fifth wheel was set up in an RV park while we made day trips into the park. That would have been a nightmare! 😱 There was enough room to turn the truck around. Even though we didn’t go as far as we wanted it was a beautiful drive.

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  3. Beth, I love your examples for this challenge. You framed the photos from Many Curves Overlook almost identically; impressive! So, let me get this straight. You were allowed to begin that drive up to the visitors center only to be blocked? Ditto to Judy’s question.

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    1. Thank you Suzanne! I confess, I didn’t realized I had framed those two shots the same way until I started going through my photos for this post! Pure luck I was standing in the exact same place both times!
      The Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is 48 miles long and goes between Estes Park on the east side and Grand Lake on the west side. There are steep grades and sharp turns along the way. We started in Estes Park and were going up in elevation until we came to the road closed sign. The road from there to the Visitor’s Center continues to climb up the mountain and wasn’t safe for driving. Our only choice was to turn around and go back. Luckily, our RV was back in Estes Park on an RV Site.


  4. Perfect selections for this challenge! And both shots of Many Curves Overlook are exactly the same! Wowza!
    Glad you finally made it to the Visitors Center! I see why… it’s such a fabulous view!

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