This past Friday evening I had the chance to venture out with my shooting buddy John (his work can be seen at Glitch-Chaos on deviantART ) and headed for some late day and evening shooting up at Guanella & Boreas Pass here in Colorado. I figured seeing as how we would be driving through the Ghost Town of Como to get to Boreas, it would also some great shots as well.
It is wildflower season in the high country right now, and we wouldn't be disappointed! The waterfalls and creeks were flowing heavily and made for some wonderful shots. Around the Guanella area, these are a sort of highlight for me... Guanella Pass sits at almost 12,000 feet high and runs between Georgetown and US285...it is easily passable in any car with parts being paved. At the summit of the pass, trails lead to Mt. Bierstadt (el. 14,060 ft./4285 m.) Shooting here is a really worth your wild experience, and late day light is very dramatic....and lead to some pretty sensational photographs. So without any delay, here are a few shots from Guanella Pass...
The Ghost Town of Como Colorado
While some may not consider it a Ghost Town in the traditional sense, I sure as heck do! There are still a handful of people who live there, but honestly, there are more empty buildings than there are people....and it makes for some GREAT shooting! Even the original outhouses still stand from the 1800s...it is like stepping in to a time warp....where time just simply stands still,.....a glimpse at how life was back in the wild west.
From the Wikipedia article on Como, Colorado:
Located at the northern end of South Park, the town is a historic mining settlement founded during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush in 1859. It sits approximately one-half mile (1 km) north of U.S. Route 285, approximately 9 miles (15 km) northeast of Fairplay. It is accessible by an unpaved county road off Highway 285 leading northwest over Boreas Pass (to Breckenridge) in the Front Range. The mountains northwest of town form a dramatic background to the town site, which sits on the flank of Little Baldy Mountain. The town was named by prospectors and miners from Como, Italy who came to work the gold fields of the area.
In 1879 the town became the location of a roundhouse of the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad, which was extended over Kenosha Pass to reach the silver mining areas during the Colorado Silver Boom. The roundhouse served as a junction for trains going northward over Boreas Pass and southward toward Fairplay and over Trout Creek Pass at the western end of South Park. The town has many historic weathered structures, including the roundhouse, and has the air of a ghost town that is still nevertheless populated, by 500 people. It has a small commercial district just off the main county road consisting of a post office and general store. The roundhouse is currently under renovation with intention of turning it into a principal tourist attraction in the area.
What it doesn't tell you is all the people who died here, there was a mine collapse that claimed more than 25 peoples lives....there was also a massacre of Chinese mine workers in Como, in which it is estimated 100s died...due to the Italians and Irish at the time, disputing how the Chinese were paid lower wages and feared losing their jobs because of it.
But as I said it offered many photo-opps! Here are some below:
Boreas Pass, Colorado
Honestly this is one of my favorite places to shoot at, there is just a real lack of people up here and noise, it is almost eerie, like you are the last human on the face of the Earth. It starts at Como and comes into the backside of Breckenridge, and has some utterly amazing views along the way. It is a great trip to make, and the wildflowers are just amazing.
We arrived here at Golden Hour and went to town, stopping often to catch the dramatic light as it bounced off the rain clouds, with teh sunlight filtering through, it made for unreal conditions to shoot in. It was quite challenging at times actually, with trying to shoot with my tripod with a bum knee, and at times I just hand hold the shots, but I was able to get some pretty amazing shots off thanks to in body anti-shake in my Minolta!
The wildflowers just littered the road up here, they are literally just everywhere, and the scent they produce along with the smell of the rain, is nothing short of absolutely heavenly! It really is something out of a film, or movie, that you experience. So journey with me on this adventure to Boreas Pass!