Sunday, September 28, 2008

An Autumn Drive...Part 1

OK, since I had a lot of pictures and didn't want to overload anyone, I thought I would do this entry in the 3 parts, St. Malo, The Stanley Hotel and the Rose Garden in Longmont. This is part 1:

St. Malo

Its this time every year that I get the itch to go to the mountains and take pictures of the aspens. Its hard not to get excited with all the news reports about the aspens and how pretty they are. This year, we decided to include a visit to St Malo in the itinerary. We started off early on Sunday (not as early as I would have liked, sleeping is always nice). On our way we saw some Balloonists on a morning outing, it was a great way to start a photographic journey.

St. Malo is not far from Estes Park on Colorado Highway 7. The drive is very easy and the cute chapel perched on the out cropping of rock is beautiful any time of year, but it seems to glow in the fall. In the past, Chris and I would drive by the church and maybe stop and snap a couple of pictures from the highway. This year, we decided to stop and take in the peace and beauty of the scenic church. ... OK... mostly we stopped because Chris was going to leave the kids there. But we decided to take pictures first and abandon them later. (kidding!)

On one side of the church is a small creek that drains into a small pond. The water was so still it looked like glass and made for some beautiful Kodak moments. We hiked around the church and I took some pictures of Chris and the kids perched on the backside of the giant rock that St. Malo is built upon.

From the other side we were able to see the stained glass windows reflecting the yellow foliage in front of it. Like I said, in the fall, it almost seems to glow.

There is a new building near the old chapel where they hold retreats and the pope even stayed there when he visited Colorado in 1993. We took some pictures in front of one of the older buildings on the property. There was also a small pond with what looks like a pier below the retreat center. It amused me to think of the pope skinny dipping in the pond. (I don't know if it happened, but I'm trying to start an internet rumor.)

Since I originally said we started the trip to find some autumn gold, aspens, here are some of the pictures I took of the stands they have around St. Malo.

It was a beautiful walk around the old chapel and we all enjoyed the beauty and the exercise. We almost turned around at that point to head home, but decided to head up to Estes Park.

To be continued...

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