I thought for sure I’d published this Erik Stensland photograph at some time in the past. It has long been my favorite of his, although I’ve at least a dozen more almost-favorites. But this one is special. It transports me to another place. Not just any quiet, misty forest. I know this place and this forest. This is Wild Basin, the southeastern corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. When I was growing up, my family stayed every summer in Allenspark, a little town right at the corner of the park, a stone’s throw from Wild Basin. We could walk or ride horses into Wild Basin from Allenspark and often did. I was never lucky enough to see it quite this way; I’d have been somewhere down below those clouds, picking my way along the trail to Calypso Cascades, or Ouzel Falls, or Pear Lake.
I was in Erik’s Estes Park gallery a few years ago and this particular photo was on display, blown up large enough to fill the entire wall. It was magnificent. To this day I dream of covering a wall in my home with the same print.