The Million Dollar highway from Ouray to Silverton, CO, is one of the most incredible stretches of road in the country. Waterfalls cascade down every gully and there are too many peaks to count. Although paved, the highway has a few exhilarating/terrifying stretches where the white paint delineating the lanes practically hangs off a 500+ foot cliff. No room for guardrails. No texting and no Pokemon Go.
Moab bakes in the summer so it was a welcome relief to dig my puffy jacket out of the closet and head to the San Juan Mountains. So much green! So much water!
From Durango, Andrew and Amanda genuinely love these mountains. The day before their wedding they summited Engineer Peak. The wedding was held at the Eureka Lodge and the entire party stayed there for multiple nights. This secluded spot is past Silverton, CO, where the road turns to dirt and the Alpine Loop begins, basically the last ounce of civilization before steep 4x4 roads, abandoned mines, and the tree line. The Eureka Lodge is nestled in the pines at nearly 10,000 feet elevation, along the Animas river. It was built in the 1920's as a mining boarding hotel and has been wonderfully preserved. It was rustic and charming and full of history. I wanted to get myself a room and stay for a week to listen to the river and climb a few peaks.
This wedding was special. Watching Andrew commit himself to Amanda and her daughter, was something I will never forget. It was such a celebration. Their vows were genuine and bursting with love. Everything turned to magic in this remarkable location. Amanda's choreographed dance with her daughter was one of the sweetest things I've ever seen, and when they pulled Andrew in at the end, I had to really hold the tears back. But truly I felt immensely privileged to witness such beautiful and meaningful moments, and I'm so glad I could capture this day for them and that they have this film to relive and remember the day.
Nearby the lodge is a small campground where I happily stayed. I set up my tent by headlamp, dreamt all night that I was still filming, and then woke bright and early to hit a trail before my drive home. The trail, like all trails around there, was relentlessly steep but offered huge rewards. I ended just above tree line at a crystal clear blue lake. I then made the drive back to Moab to snuggle my children and squeeze my husband. Such a fulfilling weekend.