A photography walk: Paint Mines

I’ve been busy.

Too busy.

Life changes. A large work load. And too many things going on at once.

Another Saturday evening was taken up with a work related project recently.

If I was more inclined to mainstream pursuits, a Saturday would mean TV watching. And working from home on a weekend night would not be that inconvenient.

But needing a wifi connection for my “day job” ( a loosely used term lately) means weekends have been centered around well, working.

But I still need my outdoor time.

Otherwise I. Get. Very. Grumpy.

I needed a place to go Sunday.

I decided to check out a place I have not seen before. One I saw on a map and have been curious about:  The Paint Mines on the High Plains east of Colorado Springs.

There are trips I’ve done that are high mileage. Or perhaps technically challenging in some ways.

And other trips where I just sat and took in the terrain for many hours. Much like a painting, the longer I sit and observe the more I see. As the great sage Yogi Berra once said: “You can observe a lot just by watching”. 

Then there are other trips I’ve been on the past year or so: Photography walks.

When I don’t have the time I wish, but still want to see something nice, the photography centered walks seem to fit my needs.

I go to a place I have not been to before many times.  Where the mileage may not be high or the terrain technically difficult. Or where I can spend any extended time.

But they invariably have something interesting. And usually something to capture in a photo or two that catches my eye.

I am meandering more than walking deliberately.  And the goal is not the ground covered but “seeing what I can see”.

The photography trip for this past weekend was exquisite.

It started off with typical High Plains terrain….

But then the magic appears…

A bit of the Badlands only thirty minutes or so from the Front Range sprawl.

The Paint Mines have provided clay for ceramics from as recent as the twentieth century to as long as 9,000 years ago.

One look at the rock formations and the colors they are composed of and it is easy to see why.

With the subtle pinks, yellows and reds, the effect is striking.

I’ve not seen these colors in other ares of the High Plains or somewhat similar areas of Wyoming or Utah.

It was a place well worth exploring.

The hoodoos and other rock formations were mesmerizing.

The eastern part of Colorado boring? Not worth seeing? Best to leave alone and spend time else where?

Let others think that way…

I’ll continue to enjoy the High Plains.

And find hidden treasures in this often overlooked ecosystem.

All the photos

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Dale Matson
7 years ago

What camera equipment do you use and do you use the same equipment when backpacking?

Dale Matson
7 years ago
Reply to  Paul Mags

Hi Paul,
Thanks for the response. I see by your photograph of your camera that you added the optional viewfinder. I think this really helps in bright sunlight.