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Sunday, October 4, 2020


 Post by Doris McCraw writing as Angela Raines

So who was Laura Gilpin? Laura Gilpin was a photographer who was born in the Colorado Springs area, Austin Bluffs to be exact. Although the family had a ranch further from the town of Colorado Springs, Laura's mother, Emma, wanted to be near to doctors for the birth of her first child. On April 22, 1891, Laura entered this world. 

If you want to know more about her early life, here is a link to a Wikipedia overview. Laura's Life

So how does Laura fit into how I spend my time? 

1. As a photographer, Laura was always experimenting. For myself, I take my cue from her willingness to keep trying, to make mistakes, and learn from them. Additionally not only does this apply to my writing, but to my photography as well.

                                              One of Laura's Photographs from en.wikipedia

From en.wikipedia

2. Once she focused on a subject she would do her best to highlight all the parts of it she could. As I've been hiking and photographing what I see, I many times will traverse the same general area. Guess what, each time it is different, each time something new shows up. As the seasons' change, so does the panorama.

                                                     One of my recent photographs

3. When life handed Laura challenges she rose to the occasion. Even when left to care for her father, she still managed to make the best of it. While I've not been as challenged as Laura, these last six months of having to adjust to life's curveball, I noted what I could and couldn't do and followed my 'bliss' and got outside and began to enjoy what nature had to offer.

                                            Another recent photo from one of my hikes

I've been lucky to still work, even though it has always been part-time. I've not written as much as I could, but I've been writing. The time outside gives me a breather from stress, lets my imagination wander, and visualize scenes based on the trails and what I'm seeing. Some of the trails made me think of traveling in Medieval times and others walking to town from a ranch. 

So, I've been spending my time following what I have garnered from Laura's life. Plus, I've always admired her work. 

So the next time you may be feeling stuck or in a rut, find someone whom you admire, look at why you admire them and see what you can learn from their life and how they succeeded in what they did.

Laura died in 1979 and is buried in the cemetery I frequently walk, Evergreen. 

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Angela Raines - author: Telling Stories Where Love & History Meet



  1. I'd never heard of this talented lady. How lovely to find out more about her, as well as finding out how she has inspired you.

    1. I've always been intrigued by photography and when I found Laura it was an instant connection. Laura, Ansel Adams, and William Henry Jackson are favorites of mine.
      One of the things I've learned in my life is when I'm stuck, looking to people I admire and how they managed their challenges gives me guidelines and inspirations. Doris

  2. Thanks for bringing this woman to our attention. I love the idea of looking to people you admire when you're stuck.

    1. I shared the idea for it has helped me get unstuck many a time. Additionally, Laura is a hero of mine.

  3. Doris,
    What a lovely tribute to Laura Gilpin. Like all of the women you write about, she was ahead of her time.

    1. Kaye, now that you mention it, I do tend to focus on those forward thinking women. I just seem to be drawn to their outlook and determination. I really do love her work. Doris

  4. I enjoy your walks vicariously through your lovely photographs, Doris. I particularly like the one in this post, of the plants with their spiky exterior. Sometimes black and white photos bring out the uniqueness. I miss walking and should force myself to at least get on the treadmill now that winter's breath is building from the north. I love your advice and second it. When we dwell on things we like or enjoy, we feel better. I have a dear friend who just turned 98. She has been my role model for years. She always laughs when I say that I want to be just like her when I grow up. Alas, I realize I'm not fully grown up yet.

    1. Thank you. It really is a good thing to have a role model and your friend sounds like a great one. Doris

  5. I've always admired your photography skills, Doris. I liked using my SRL camera, but I haven't worked with it in a long time. Now everyone takes pictures with their phones that have automated settings. While I confess, it's convenient to use a phone and easy to download on the computer, I do miss the old manual camera with its special lenses, filters, f-stops, and film. I also miss the interaction with the people in the camera shop where I took my film to be developed. There is only one camera shop that develops film left here in Charlotte. I wasn't particularly good at photography, but it was fun--especially trying to find a way to take pictures of the night sky. I used a yellow filter, but I never accomplished the pictures I wanted.
    It must me a good feeling to walk where Laura Gilpin is buried. Thank you for introducing her to us.
    All the best...

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I keep learning as I go out on these walks. I've got a upgraded point and shoot that really gives me a lot of options. I have to say photography is really adicting.

      I also enjoy walking in such a peaceful place and am glad you enjoy learning about Laura. Doris