Fisherman's paradiseAs I was exiting Rocky Mountain National Park to the west, west of Granby, right before sunrise, there was a random roadside pull-off. I wanted to stop and just relax, listen to the mountain stream. As I walked up to the creek and along a trail, I spotted this loan fly-fisherman in the morning mist. Then, the sun illuminated the fog rising from the stream as the temperatures were slightly below freezing. I'm glad I had my camera with me to capture this random moment of time, made possible because I slowed down in my journey. We should all slow down and take the time to enjoy the journey!
These 2 words seem to contradict our society. We're programmed to hurry, rush, cram as much into our schedules as what's humanly possible, and not possible. From the moment our alarms jolt us awake, we hit the floor with an unhealthy, urgent sense of gotta go, gotta go, gotta go, go, go! Gonna be late if I don't hurry. I can drive 8 MPH over the speed limit...will save me 5 minutes on the way to work. Stupid red lights and slow drivers. Might be a few minutes late now. Speed walk into the start of my shift. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Then, work. Projects due, deadlines, meetings, more deadlines, reports that should have been done last week. Lunch time. Quickly walk to the restaurant. Oh no!! There's a line. Gonna be late getting back. Blood pressure rises again. Wait, it never dropped in the first place. Get your food, rush back to work. Inhale an entire meal in 5 minutes or less. Back to the deadlines, meetings, reports, responding to emails. Then suddenly, your hit with the startling realization that one kid has a ball game, another has recital. Gonna be a late evening. Again. Rush home, spend a short time talking to your spouse about the day. Wait. No, never mind, there's no time for that. Send off a few text messages instead. By 8:00, you haven't even thought about dinner yet, then end up rushing to the local fast food restaurant. Put the kids to bed by 10, if the games actually begin and end on time. At 11, your finally in bed, but highly irritated. Can't sleep. Your reading this and chuckle...thinking, YEP! That's happened to me. Your journey through life is getting from one destination or deadline to another, never thinking about the importance of slowing down, enjoying the journey.
After a while, you lose the ability to slow down and relax. It's no longer in your conscious mind, nor is it a part of your life. You can't even take a week long vacation without cramming your vacation full of deadlines, schedules, places to see, things to do. You get back from vacation, feeling ready to take a vacation! Photographers are no different. Feeling the need to travel to, for example, 5 national parks, through 7 states, in 8 days, take thousands of pictures of multiple stops, failing to spend more than a day or two in any one state, or more than an hour or 2 in any one spot, except to sleep. We photographers spend so much time thinking about the destination that we loose track of the journey. This photo highlights what its like to slow down and enjoy the journey. I was heading to the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado for a week long stay, spending time aimlessly wondering through northern Colorado on the way. We saw a roadside pull off that accesses the Colorado river, west of Granby. This particular location is not a national park, nor is it even a state park. It was just a random roadside pull off. We decided to slow down a bit, pull off the highway, and spend some time. No deadlines or schedules. Just a random pull off, to spend as much time as we wanted, listening to the tranquility of the Colorado River and appreciating what the river and surrounding landscape had to offer, breathing in crisp, cool, pine infused Colorado morning air. My wife walked down to the river and just listened. I found a trail and followed it around a bend in the river and spotted a fly fisherman and watched him (or maybe her) for a while in the morning alpenglow. The sun finally rose over the mountains to the east, illuminating the fog rising off of the river in an incredible golden glow. I watched in awe, and so did the fisherman, standing there for a few moments looking around. This photograph is the fisherman getting ready to cast after his pause.
This was the best photo of my entire trip. An unplanned stop on an unnamed roadside pull out, photographing a random fisherman in a completely unplanned scene, capturing a moment in time that will never be repeated. Nobody else was there, just the fisherman and my family, enjoying Colorado, and a divine moment in our lives! When you look at this image, and finish reading this blog post, please, realize that it's important to take a moment and slow down. You will be amazed at what you can experience along the way, and at what you figure out you would have missed!