It's a photo that Jim Steinberg said took him 10 years to get. His book practically falls open to the two-page spread celebrating that single image.
In the foreground, a grove of aspen trees glows bright orange. Behind them, the rest of the aspen remain green. The photo is completed by the dark blue of the Uncompahgre Mountains, darkened by storm clouds.
¤ Book signing for "Colorado Less Traveled: Journeys Off the Beaten Path" by Jim Steinberg
¤ 2 p.m. Saturday
¤ Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, 56 Seventh St.
"Time after time, I would pass that spot of Owl Creek Pass Road," said Steinberg, a Steamboat Springs photographer. "It's one of the most beautiful fall scenic drives in the state."
In 10 years of watching that aspen grove, it was the first time Steinberg saw the blinding orange.
"To be able to juxtapose that with the storm and between the two the trees that were still green -- it was the shot I'd been waiting for."
The photo is just one in 208 pages of images Steinberg collected during the past 2 1/2 years.
"Colorado Less Traveled: Journeys Off the Beaten Path" is a travel book, as well as a photo book, created to showcase the parts of Colorado people rarely visit.
The photos are matched with maps, travelers' notes and extensive ecological background by nature writer Susan J. Tweit.
"This is a glorious state, and we want people to visit all of it," Steinberg said.
For one section of the book, Steinberg focused on the prairie in eastern Colorado, which he calls "drive-through country" for most people.
His photos of the Pawnee National Grassland, 35 miles east of Fort Collins, is a rarely visited area that takes a moment's pause to appreciate.
"The flowers are profuse in the spring after a good rain. The prairie is green with grasses and full of wildlife," Steinberg said.