Travel Photo Challenge Day 4 Christmas And The Continental Divide

Christmas 2020 sunset

One reason I don’t generally do photo challenges is that life in real-time is so much more interesting than the challenges. For Day 4 of the Travel Photo Challenge, I am starting off with four photos that are less than four hours old from when I took them to when I’m posting them. To help maintain proper social distancing, and keep things nice and airy, we celebrated Christmas with family outside this afternoon. We had two fire pits and two space heaters spread out to keep us warm.

I’m not featuring another photography today, I will resume with a featured photographer tomorrow. My Day 4 Travel Photography is from December 2009 when Laurie and I hiked on a short portion of the Continental Divide Trail west of Cuba, New Mexico.

The landscape was not as exciting as the badlands, except we could see Cabazon looking to the southeast. Cabazon is the largest of 50 volcanic formations in the Rio Puerco valley between the Jemez Mountains to the northeast and Mount Taylor to the southwest. Mount Tayler is a large volcano that stands at 11,305 ft (3,446 m) above sea level. Jemez Mountains has Valle Grande, a large 13.7-mile (22.0 km) wide volcanic caldera with a high point at 11,253-foot (3,430 m) above sea level. Cabazon stands 1,100 feet above the valley floor. The top of Cabazon is 8,000 feet above Sea Level.

The Continental Divide Trail is a 3100 mi (4989 km) trail between Chihuahua and Alberta. The continental divide snakes its way up the western side of New Mexico, through Colorado, heads northwest across Wyoming, along the border between Idaho and Montana, and then up the western edge of Montana. Runoff and rivers on the western side of the continental divide flow into the Pacific Ocean. Runoff and rivers on the eastern side of the continental divide flow into the Atlantic Ocean.

We celebrated Christmas outside and kept warm with fire pits and space heaters.

A Christmas bunny dropped by to wish us seasons greetings.

Jupiter & Saturn on December 25, 2020.

Looking SE from the Continental Divide Trail at Cabazon and another large volcanic plug in the distance. December 2009.

51 thoughts on “Travel Photo Challenge Day 4 Christmas And The Continental Divide

  1. Those are all very lovely photos, Tim. Looks like you had a nice day there, and a beautiful sunset with some of my favorite bookends of the day colors. We had 40s and rain here today, typical for our region. I like your fire pit and tree. Glad you all had a good Christmas day!

    My favorite travel photo of yours today is the bluish purple snow, lone tree and butte in the background set upon sundown gold.

  2. I took a few pictures of my sunset last evening, thinking that they were impressive – but no Tims comes along with a better one again. Humph! Hahaha!
    Great shots, all, Sir.

  3. As always, your photos are outstanding. I am partial to the beautiful Christmas one, though.. The tree, the firepits – so warm and welcoming. And a beautiful way to celebrate.

      • It was lovely. Actually had two meals in one day where the three of us were together.๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‰
        My eldest made us a delicious breakfast and I made a turkey that I was proud of (can’t remember the last time I cooked a Christmas turkey – my brother-in-law and, before that, my mother, being in charge of that one! This pandammit has brought many changes to the holidays. I refuse to bitch and moan about it – there is more than enough of that going around.

      • We made Apricot French toast for breakfast. The bread is soaked overnight in an egg, milk and cream mixture with Amaretto and freshly made apricot sauce. Then we make a crunchy top with crushed corn flakes. It all gets baked and comes out so good. Laurie made bean soup for Christmas dinner. We had cheese and green chile on it.

  4. Cripple Creek, west of COS, sits in the caldera of a burnt out ancient volcano. On its ENE flank sits Pikes Peak, which is the most eastward Fourteener (non-Natives try to argue Pikes Peak is not; they need to consult a map). Cripple Creek was home of gold rush in the 1890s. As you drive into Cripple Creek, you will see a number of spent cinder cones in the distance, looking in a SW direction. The area was seismically active millions of years ago. The fault lines pretty much locked up when the volcano died out.

    Continental Divide Trail, there was a PBS documentary about hiking the trail a few years ago. The couple hiking the trail started in May when things are starting to heat up in NM. They miscalculated the time it would take from the border to the San Juans (CO side). They reached MT after the first snows; I think they had to wait out a one day blizzard (Novemberish?). Two places you do not want to caught out in the open anytime it snows – South Pass area in WY and anywhere in MT.

    • Thanks, David. I was all over the mountains of Colorado along the continental divide in my youth. Every sommer we did a lot of exploring old mining towns, and hiking in the Colorado mountains.

      • SW Colorado is littered with a lot of old mining towns and camps that are ghost towns and ghost camps. The old mines, gold and silver, it really didn’t matter, but the preference was gold. These days, it is just one giant Superfund site. You might remember when an EPA contractor broke a dam inside an abandoned mine that turned a river orange. A lot of the abandoned mines are like that.

        How far north did you come on your explorations? And, did you go inside the mines?

      • I think they are still fighting over the breach in the Gold King mine near Silverton in 2015 that contaminated the San Juan and Animas with 3 million gallons of acid drainage from an abandoned mine.

      • With the lawyers involved, it’ll be a while before Gold King will be resolved. The thing is there are other mines, bigger and with a whole lot more water than Gold King.

  5. What an amazing spread of beautiful photographs Tim. They are all so beautiful, that sunset is tremendously colorful. I must say that my favorite is your picture of the Christmas setup and how it looks like the homes I would envision in the woods with my dollies when I was little. So beautiful, what a creative and lovely way to still get together. Thank you for participating and for sharing your work. You and your wife and other family be blessed. Hugs and love Joni

      • It was just us two but we had a lovely time together. Thank you for asking. I was just showing my honey your beautiful photographs. So glad you were able to be with family. Hugs ๐Ÿค— to all your woodland friends as well. Love yโ€™all Joni

  6. Wow between the sunset pictures and the landscapes what I tremendous post, Tim!! Good to hear you celebrated Christmas! Thank you for sharing your part of the world, a world just so different from mine. Merry Christmas to you and Laurie!! xo

  7. Those first two photos you show are perfect for a Christmas ~ great sky, but I really liked the second shot, great contrast within the shot and then for the day, what a great Christmas tree. While it was a quieter Christmas than normal, I think this is what also made it special… slowing down to see the beauty of the day.

      • Christmas was amazing. Our neighbours came over and we had a late lunch! Lots of delicious food .. Would you believe Iโ€™m off to a neighbours tonight? ๐Ÿ˜ƒ What about you Tim?

      • We are making black-eyed peas for good lunk in the new year. We do it every year. It worked pretty well considering we’ve do ok through this horrid year.

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