Saturday, March 21, 2015

Long Peak and nearby Front Range Mountain Peaks

A gloriously (yawn) warm and sunny day here in Colorado.  Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig (with her new clutch disks) and I motored out into the Metro Denver area shortly after 9AM after breakfast.

The views of the Front Range Mountain Peaks were pretty clear as I neared I-25 so I got onto it heading north, past the downtown area and out towards the Longmont area.  I was trying to find the spot where I had found good views of Long Peak before with Valencia, my 2011 URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig but ended up overshooting that spot.

Still, I think and hope you'll like the spots I found to picture the nearby range of mountain peaks that end with majestic Long Peak on the northern end.

 Taken as I neared Boulder along Colorado State Road 7.
The above shot is in Enhance Auto mode, which I've found has
some issues with the kind of long depth of field shots I like to take.
Often, my motorcycle will be slightly blurry.

 Above and below, shot at different distances from Scarlett, 
using aperture priority with a setting of F13 to ensure everything was
in focus.  This mode also allowed to me add in some underexposure to
bring out the colors and give it some warmer tones.  It did have the effect
of dulling the brilliant blue sky however, which I sort of fixed in post-processing.

Scarlett and I then avoided going into Boulder itself, heading north instead on Colorado State Highway 157 which becomes CO 119 after a few miles.  I did this since I'd lost sight of Long Peak due to the now closer foothills blocking the view.  Soon though, I was next to the Boulder County Fair Grounds and found a nice empty parking lot within to pose Scarlett with Long Peak in the background.

Again, playing with the telephoto len's ability to pull in the distant mountain peak.

After the first shot below though, I forgot I left some underexposure turned on so the shots turned out a bit warmer than seemed right.  No worries, though, a little post-processing to 'cool' them down did the trick.

Motoring onwards, we started heading east on CO119 and I spotted a likely open area next to the highway where there wasn't yet a lot of construction or buildings.  Suitably named, Skyway Drive, gave me some nice views of most of the peaks one can see while heading either north or south on I-25.

 Left to Right, (I think), Mt Jasper, Apache Peak, Mount Audubon, Ogalalla Peak,
Meadow Mountain and finally Long Peak

A view of the southern half of the peaks line

Scarlett and I then just meandered the county roads to the east of the I-25 Super Slab, which was choked with cager traffic.  Lots of views of gas and oil drills dotting the prairie; with ranch homes and clusters of cookie-cutter type housing where there once was just open prairie or farmland.

Large oil rig construction towers imposed themselves on the horizon as work continues to add even more gas and oil drill sites in this part of the Front Range.  

I even went past one of the sites I'd visited as a contractor for Encana Natural Gas, their Wattenberg Storage facility looked unchanged since I was there over a year and a half ago.

Slowly working my way south and east, soon it was just mindless riding in medium to heavy traffic within the Metro Denver area.  I-25 was jammed up south of 120th Street so I abandoned the super slab at 104th Street and made my way through NorthGlenn and soon was heading south on Tower Road towards home.

Temperatures ranged from 47°F (8.3°C) at the start of the riding to a high of 72°F (22.2°C) when I got home shortly before 2PM.  It was, quite warm by then!

Scarlett got 38 MPG by the way.

So, Spring is has arrived to Colorado as of yesterday, now there's really no excuse for motorcycle owners here to not ride!  


SonjaM said...

Again with the marvellous pics... the clear mountain sky... what a view.

72°F? Are you kidding me? We have yet to see these temps in the black forest. Now that spring seems to have arrived the boring time of the year must beginn for you ;-) Well... there must still be some mountain passes carrying the white stuff you like so much. Better go find them until it is too late...

Charlie6 said...

Sadly, SonjaM, I wasn't kidding about the temperatures. The boring ruding season approaches and I must seek "snow covered peaks" as you say.

VStar Lady said...

Once again spectacular vistas; mountains and Scarlett. Unbelievable temps you are reporting. I wonder what summer will bring if March is already 72?

Richard M said...

It seems to have been a short winter or does time pass more quickly the older I get. I'll know if fall starts tomorrow...

Steve Williams said...

47F to 72F. Riding in short pants and a t-shirt by now no doubt. It was 29F this morning here when I rolled the Vespa out of the garage.

Beautiful scenery to ride in but I realize those mountains are a long way off. A big ride to get up into them.

In order to continue the feel of winter, can't you get an arctic air conditioner unit for the URAL?

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Thomas Osburn said...

I have got to work on my photos. When I see these I realize how poorly I really plan and frame my pictures. These are great.

Charlie6 said...

RichardM, it does seem like its been a short winter.

Steve W. Not quite shorts and t-shirt under riding gear weather yet. Next post will explain why.

Thomas O. Tut tut, all it takes is practice, and shooting a lot of photos....once in a while, one turns out OK, then it's on to the post-processing. Thanks for your kind comments.

Charlie6 said...

VStar Lady, I am thinking it's going to be a warm summer...