Empower women. Eliminate poverty.


Wildflower Hike to Cataract Lake


By Sandie Godsman, Friendship Bridge volunteer

(Sandie is a member of the Evergreen Circle. She has been involved with Friendship bridge for 15 years and has visited Guatemala on an Insight Trip.)

The 2015 Friendship Bridge Wildflower Hike with John Fielder was a tremendous success! The hike raised $2,000 at Friendship Bridge’s Gala in April, and 20 people participated in the hike this July. We all met at the stunningly beautiful, wildflower-filled Cataract Lake area, north of Summit County at the East end of the Colorado Gore Range. We began our intimate gathering on the lake’s edge, with John sharing fascinating stories about his many hikes in the Colorado wilderness.

He shared stories of his adventures hiking into hidden places to take photographs of areas that were unknown and unseen before he published his books. He said that sometimes an elk or a bighorn sheep would stroll into the site as he was photographing. The animals seemed curious about his being there, would stare at him, and stay right there for some time while he took more photos. He decided to keep the many poses of the animal in his photos. John has a passion for preserving the wilderness, and he believes, “People need to be healthy, happy, and prosperous to be able to care for the environment.” Friendship Bridge can appreciate that health and prosperity of their clients is a priority, too.


Each group had 75 minutes to hike with John and hear many techniques about taking great photographs using the cameras that they brought on their hike.  One participant said, “John taught me to take a photo with three parts: a close up, middle distance and far distance. That one idea really changed the way I take pictures now.” Some of the hikers shared that they had taken over 200 photos using John’s suggestions and the critical view he taught. While one group was with John, the other group was able to hike with Deborah Kramer, our Evergreen Circle Chef.  She did a great job of sharing fascinating wildflower facts and answering any questions the hikers had about the huge variety of colorful wildflowers they were able to see at Cataract Lake. After both groups were done, the participants were delighted to see an incredibly colorful presentation of the gourmet lunch spread, provided by the Evergreen Circle volunteers:

The lunch included seasoned roasted beef; pasta salad with arugula, fresh basil, and cherry tomatoes; balsamic marinated roasted vegetables; orange honey mint marinated fruits; white dinner rolls; chilled white wine; red wine; and rich chocolate butterscotch bars.

One participant said, ” I learned more about how to take better photographs in 10 minutes with John Fielder than I have in my whole lifetime of taking pictures!”

Note from Friendship Bridge: Sandie has volunteered to lead another Wildflower Hike next year in Vail! Stay tuned for more information!