The first step to a road less taken is in fact... taking the first step
The world is an amazing place and as photographers we tend to look for those places that we can capture to make memories for us but more importantly to capture those moments and places that create something individual for each person.
So, a road less traveled... you've heard that before, you may have said it in the past, the reality is that taking those paths can create a memory unique to you that can bring you back to a moment in time that you created to evoke a positive time in your life or a memory you want to re-create, or maybe even to find a memory you never knew you had.
When we travel we like to drive and when we drive we tend to open up Google Maps and type in a search ... a place, an object, a park, monument, waterfall or other amazing places this world and country have for us to discover.
Last year we took such a trip, packed up, loaded The Companion (Becky's Black 5 speed 4 door Mini Cooper) and headed west; heading to Colorado to do just what we always talk about, take that road less traveled and see where it takes us. We found some amazing places, if you like you can find some of these photos on our facebook page at JPM Photography - Your Dreams Captured. We will also post a link at the end if you're interested in purchasing a print from this trip.
Back to this amazing few days. One of the days we decided to go up the hill; as they say; and take roads less traveled to find an amazing place to capture the beauty this country offers us. Getting to a general location we opened up maps and typed in a simple word ... waterfalls. We were off 70 west of Denver north of Breckenridge, CO. A few popped up and we chose Monte Cristo Gulch Falls, a Google Maps image was just enough to push us in that direction. These falls, south of Breckenridge off RT9 and Blue Lakes Rd (CO Road 850) Not to be mistaken for the numerous Blue Lake, Lakes St. Dr. etc. In fact a dirt road none-the-less, and that road took us to an area where what we thought was a road less traveled turned out to be a dirt road traveled by quite a few surprisingly. It lead us to a place where we saw the elusive Wild Mountain Goat pictured above and this waterfall called Monte Cristo Gulch Falls.
So on this trip and finding these falls we drove up to Blue Lakes Reservoir hung out and took a few photos of the Mountain Goats and then started to drive back down with our windows open to listen to the sounds and when we heard another waterfall we pulled over, parked and walked the direction of the falls further down the road. We found some amazing falls and happened upon another amazing find... a Bumps Family Rock.
While taking photos of this amazing waterfall we are calling Bumps Falls we came upon a Family Marker Stone with the Names Ed & Lois Bumps. (hence Bumps Falls) and me being the curious where did this come from kind of guy that I am I started doing research on it and looking for people with that name and that might have lived in the area... remember this is off a back road in Colorado would I even be able to find anything about this couple, let alone family?
While searching and using Google and then searching Facebook with the name brought me very few options it didn't deter me from looking. And just when I was going to just move on I actually found a family member and sent the photo to her and she verified that this was her Grandparents Marker and thanked me ... and that was pretty much it. I was pretty content with that I forgot about anything further. If that's all then I was OK with it, pretty cool ending, right? Hold up ... fast forward six months later... to today ... I received a FB Message letting me know that the person was looking for some direction on where we found this ... well here is the message...
"Hello Jim I'm reaching out in hopes you can tell me what road you traveled to stumble upon my grandparent's memorial. As I mentioned, they built a chalet near there that I grew up going to. My father recently passed away and I'm having a tough time finding this location. I'd appreciate any help.my grandparents only had a po box "
"My dream is to buy back my grandparents house. Only no relative has the physical address just a PO Box from their ownership when they built btw 1983/1996. It’s a long shot but you stumbling upon our rock gave me a sign. I’m going to have to make a trip there, now that my dad is gone. Wish me luck! "
Since I'm a geek on remembering locations on where we have been that we loved going to, not only was I able to let her know where, I actually pinpointed it in Google Maps with directions and details on how to find it. Thought that was pretty cool to blog about and a feel good story ... so next time you think taking that road might not be a great story, the ending to your adventure may not end when your trip is over, and you might just run across a storybook type ending... take the road, enjoy the moment and make someone else's day and give them a chance to smile!