Photography: Chipmunk Near Trail Ridge Road

Rocky Mountain National Park, Backpacking, hiking, camping, nature, photography

I snapped this photo in Rocky Mountain National Park near Trail Ridge Road. Prints of this photo can be purchased in my Etsy store.  Use coupon code 5OFF2013 to receive $5 off any purchase of $15 or more.

A friend and I took a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park right after they opened Trail Ridge Road, the highest highway in the USA. The road reaches a height of 12,183 feet. At just over 11,000 feet we pulled over at a turnout to stretch our legs and look at the view.

We were high above the treeline and the road had only been cleared for tourists for a couple days, yet dozens of chipmunks still knew right where to go to flash their big glossy eyes at snack-carrying tourists.

I don't feed the animals, as it's rightfully against the park rules, however another motorist did. I saw that it was about to happen, so I got my camera ready. I walked by, reached out, and quickly snapped his photograph.

Little did I know that months later this photo, along with a photo of me, would be on the cover of the Indianapolis Star. It won first place in their 2010 Travel Photo Contest and was feature in numerous sites online. Consequently, this is my most viewed photo to date.

Is it strange that a part of me wishes the chipmunk knew how much people like his picture?
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A Backpacker's Life List by Ryan Grayson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.