Teardropping and Rotten Photography

Updated: Dec 26, 2021

Last year, during lockdowns, employment upheavals, pandemic concerns and a general loss of ability to concentrate on my photography (more on that in a moment), my husband and I purchased a teardrop camper. #teardropcamping

Teardrop camper with tow vehicle
A shady and pretty spot for a lunch break

With less time scheduled for work and other obligations, we had much more time to camp. Our favored camping style has always been 'less is more' so teardrop camping is perfect for us. Boondocking is a term used by RVers to indicate camping without services such as electricity or water and is permissible in many places on federal lands where dispersed camping is indicated. In our case, this type of primitive camping was perfect for enjoying time outdoors while remaining pandemic-safe.

Green valley along Tomichi Creek in Colorado
Historic ranch along Tomichi Creek, Colorado

Driving back roads has always been a favorite activity and we explored far more roads than usual during the summer and fall of 2020. The road that follows this pretty little creek valley and its historic ranch quickly became one we've come back to several times. The varied and layered greens of the valley, the winding creek, the cottonwoods, sagebrush uplands, and, as we climbed the nearby passes, the change to aspen and evergreen forest was so soothing.


Finding a little camping area several miles off Highway 50 not far from Monarch Pass meant we were literally at least 3 miles from the nearest humans! There was one brief exception: a pair of mountain bikers rode through on one of the trails during one afternoon and were the only people we saw after we bought ice earlier in the day. We'll definitely return.

Ranchland along Tomichi Creek near Gunnison, Colorado
Historic ranch along Tomichi Creek, Colorado

However, all the pandemic-induced uncertainties cost me the ability to concentrate on anything. I found through much of the early summer, I didn't even try for decent, much less really good, photos. My camera was always along, but it wasn't being utilized very much, especially in the earlier days of the pandemic. Being outdoors, away from people was relaxing and comforting but photography was challenging.

Teardrop camper in an aspen and evergreen forest
Three miles from the nearest humans

When I went back through the photos I took during these early camping trips, I found that not only did I not take very many images at all, but most weren't even worth having spent the time to take them. These cell phone images were actually some of the better ones I managed early on. Thankfully, through the late summer and fall, things improved. More on that another time. #photography #NaturePhotography #TravelswithMinnie www.DeniseDethlefsen.com


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