• Andrei Stoica

"It's the Journey, Not the Destination"

I have fully validated that quote seven years ago during a trip to the world-famous Maroon Bells in Colorado. The mountain and its reflection in the Maroon Lake below are a magnet for photographers worldwide who swarm the lake shores every fall to capture the colorful landscape. However, in October 2013 the US was going through a government shutdown which effectively closed most of its national parks, national forests, etc. Maroon Lake is on such government managed land and was closed to car traffic, but open for walk-ins during the shutdown. The lake is accessed via a 4.5 mile long paved road and getting to it meant walking that distance way before sunrise. Knowing all this in advance and being the smart ass that I am, I brought in a bicycle with the idea of cutting down the walk time so I can be at the lake in time for sunrise -- the best time to capture the scene.

My best laid plans turned completely upside down, but in a wonderful way! That day was probably one of my most rewarding I ever had as a photographer.

The night before arriving at Maroon Lake, a snowstorm swept through the area and dumped a couple of inches of powder over the forests of evergreens and aspens. When I showed up at the locked gates before sunrise, the road was frozen and the snow was still coming down slowly.