Highway 131 Loop

This past Thursday I was talking with Ed Dent, MD, a primary care doctor here in Eagle.  We were talking cycling, of course :),  and places to ride here in Eagle county.  One of the rides we talked about is a nice loop ride.  This ride starts in Eagle and heads east down Highway 6 to where it meets Highway 131 in Wolcott.  In Wolcott you take Hwy 131 and head north towards Steamboat.  Some miles into the ride, you come across a left turn on to the Colorado River Road.  This is the same road I road last Saturday.  This section of the loop takes you to Dotsero, CO on I-70.  From here you then ride east along Highway 6 back to Eagle.

I knew I wasn’t ready to do this loop on my bike, but I had heard it was also a beautiful drive for photography.  So this morning I decided to try it out.  As I was driving, I came across a section of the Colorado River with this brilliantly red ridge running next to it.

(By the way, all of the landscape shots are taken with my Nikon D800, the 24-120mm f/4 lens and a circular polarizer filter to deepen the blue of the sky and enrich the colors of the landscape.  If you haven’t photographed landscapes or flowers with a polarizer filter you are missing out on some great colors.)

Once you turn off of Highway 131, the first 20 miles or so of the Colorado River Rd are a well maintained dirt road.

There are some amazing views across this valley from Highway 131.  These photographs were taken while I was still high up on the side of the valley before you drop down to the Colorado River.

At the start of my drive along Hwy 131, I came across 3 Golden Eagles in the top of a tree. Unfortunately, by the time I got turned around and changed lenses on my camera to my 300mm, all but one had taken off.

These next couple of shots are actually from a few days earlier.  I was standing on the balcony of my apartment watching a storm front move in.  The sun as it was setting all of a sudden filtered through the clouds.  So I ran inside and grabbed the camera for a couple quick shots, as the light was fading fast.  This is first one is castle mountain, I believe.  The second is the ridge directly east of it.  I love how the light highlights the ridge details.

Anyway, it was a great drive through some pretty country.  I don’t think I am anywhere near ready to do this loop on my bike!  But something to shoot for, maybe….

Here are all of the keepers from the morning.

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