No better way to celebrate the coming of a new year than a late December Rocky Mountain wedding! My cousin Lindsey and her now hubby Justin decided to make their way out West from Minnesota to tie the knot at Mary’s Lake Lodge in Estes Park.
The day was fast paced, fun and beautiful. Lindsey was an absolute trooper as she hiked through the snow in her gorgeous red heels while we took photos. The bridal party was one of the most entertaining groups of people I have ever had the honor of shooting, and since half of the guests were family (by the end of the night we were all family!) it was a hoot and a half shooting them too. It’s amazing how much more nervous I was shooting for family than if I was shooting for total strangers. I wouldn’t have guessed it would effect me so much.
As full of stories as the day was, the most memorable moment for me was when I drove down the mountain after a 12 hour day (exhausted, cold and pining for my bed, an hour away) I decided to pull over and take one last photo of the lodge from the bottom of the hill. The stars were gleaming, the moon was lighting up the snow, there was a beautiful herd of elk quietly crossing the field, and the lodge was lit up in holiday lights… it was gorgeous! As I pulled over on what looked like a flat, snow covered dirt shoulder my 4runner dove sideways into a 3 foot deep snow ditch and creaked up onto the two right wheels before dropping back down on all fours (barely!). I don’t think I have ever felt so hopeless and far from my bed as I did at that moment. Not to mention the hot knot of embarrassment I felt because, you see, I’ve always been the tomboy who can 4wheel like a champ and had never done something so silly…. and I had just driven into a stupid ditch and now had to go back up to the lodge to ask for help from the remaining reception guests. Though none of us were able to drive it back out since it was so dangerously close to tipping over, my dad and a few other guys were thankfully able to borrow a truck to tow my poor baby back out of the ditch.
By the next morning the folks who had stayed at the lodge said there was absolutely no sign of where I had been the night before – the wind had blown the snow flat again over my pretty little 4runner snow angel. Because of this, I’ve decided the mountain is a prankster and thought it was hilarious to build a trap right where unsuspecting tourists would think they could pull over to take photos of the lodge on the hill.
And I’m sure the mountain found my plight to be one of the best jokes ever because after all that nonsense…. I never did get that photo I pulled over for. 😉