A Wedding at The Mt. Princeton Hot Springs: Tori & Toni
I was a little nervous for this October wedding because although Colorado Springs was still resplendent in Autumn gold, as I drove up the mountains to the West, I began no notice a precipitous change in the sudden new-bareness of the trees. I knew that brilliant Autumn colors were very important to Tori, and the reds and golds are so beautiful to photograph. And yet, as I got to my hometown, Fairplay, CO (10,000 ft. altitude), nary a leaf was anywhere in sight. And it was cold. Really cold.
But I drove on, in (naive) hope that somehow the Arkansas River valley would be different somehow… and then I arrived in Buena Vista: not a leaf in sight.
So with a cold and heavy heart I sojourned on, my hopes of one last Autumn wedding fading as each mile ticked away on the odometer.
Then, as I turned onto the highway heading towards Mt. Princeton, my breath caught, and I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. Did my eyes deceive me? For there, ahead in the valley along the creek bed I swore I saw a vibrant splash of color… it was! Hallelujah! The first stand of trees I had seen for 100 miles thick with burnt umber, oranges and yellows! Could it be? Could there still be some Autumn left in the Colorado High Country??
Somehow, amidst all the now dormant deciduous trees in the mountains, Mt. Princeton Hot Springs was still fully clothed in the deep and rich hues of a storybook Autumn. I couldn’t believe our luck. Maybe Tori willed them into existence? Maybe the deep thermal heat of the hot springs kept the trees active just a bit longer? I don’t know why, really, but I am so grateful for the colors, no matter the reason why.
I have made countless trip to Mt. Princeton Hot Springs in my life. On high-school school sports trips, apre-ski with friends and family when we hit the deeply powdered slopes of Monarch, or just to relax with our own kiddos as adults…. but I have never seen it look like this, and I have never seen a wedding there. A few years back they built a brand new event pavilion, and it is awesome. The walls are all-glass doors, which can fully open to the crisp mountain air if the weather permits. It looks straight up at the chalky-limestone cliffs of Mt. Princeton, and I must say, the view is breath-taking.
Tori and Tony planned the most perfect affair for their wedding celebration. Just enough ceremony and beauty, mixed effortlessly with tons of laughter, joy, and fun.