All posts by Robert Winslow

For some reason you have to double click on the photo in order to get the proper paragraph spacing. In 1971 Robert hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. By completing this 2000+-mile journey, he became just the 36th person to have walked the entire trail continuously in one year. Along the way, Robert carried an old Argus C-3 camera that he borrowed from his grandfather. It had no light meter so Robert wrote down all of his exposures in a notebook so that he could learn the best camera settings for different light conditions. Upon completion of the Trail, Rodale Press contacted Robert to contribute to a book called “Hiking the Appalachian Trail”. One of his photos appeared on the cover of the second volume along with thirteen other photos on the inside. While Robert was completing his graduate work in biology, he entered a photo contest run by Nikon and won a fourth place. Later, while teaching at Idaho State University, Robert took photography courses in the Art and Journalism departments. At this time, he also began teaching nature photography classes. Robert is an internationally known nature photographer with thousands of published images. He holds a master's degree in Biology and taught Outdoor Education and Wilderness Studies as a full time faculty member at Idaho State University for six years. Since moving to Durango in 1981, Robert has been a full time freelance photographer. His work has appeared in/on many books, magazines, gift items and in over 20 different calendars in one year. His photos have been used in national ad campaigns by such diverse entities as Adobe, Amtrak, The National Audubon Society, The National Geographic Society, The Nature Conservancy and Phillips Petroleum. Several of Robert’s photos are in a new video presentation produced by the WildEarth Guardians and narrated by Alan Arkin to facilitate efforts to protect and restore wolves. The 2011 International Wolf Center Calendar was exclusively Robert's photos. He has won numerous photo awards including Grand Prize winner in the National Wildlife Cover Photo Contest out of over 10,000 entries. He is also the First Place Winner in the Wildlife Category In Outdoor Photographer's Magical Adventures Photo Contest. Robert has run customized individual and private group photo tours to select locations around the world for over 20 years. He is semi-retired from leading these tours so please contact Robert directly if you are interested in traveling to Kenya or other locations. Robert is currently retired from teaching advanced photography programs for The Mountains and Plains Institute for Lifelong Learning and Service. Since 1981 Robert has lived in Durango, Colorado where for some unknown reason he is included in a list of Famous Faces of Durango at He has been married to the amazing Marilyn S. Leftwich, PhD since 1987. Contact information Robert Winslow Robert Winslow Photo, Inc. Mail: PO Box 334 Durango, CO 81302-0334 Courier: 235 Oak Road, Rafter J Durango, CO 81303-7655 Phone: 970-259-4143 Email: Robert's Facebook address: Bob and Marilyn's personal website:

Kenya’s Largest Elephant Killed by Poachers

Very sad news. I just learned that Kenya’s largest elephant has been killed by poachers. In 2010 I stayed at the Satao Camp in Tsavo East and photographed a number of the large elephants. I’m not sure if I ever saw or photographed the big one named Satao, but will attach an image I made at the waterhole at Satao Camp.

Tsavo Elephant 8965W8WMQ


I’ve seen this quote credited to Elephants Awara Masai Mara and/or Mark Deeble

“I am appalled at what that means – that the survival skills that the bull has painstakingly learned over half a century have been rendered useless by the poachers’ use of mass-produced Chinese goods; GPS smart-phones, cheap motorcycles and night vision goggles.
I think the old bull knows that poachers want his tusks, and I hate that he knows.
More than anything, I hate the thought that poachers are now closing in on one of the world’s most iconic elephants.”

Read this article:



Endings and Beginnings

The end of one adventure and the beginning of many others
The end of one adventure and the beginning of many others

When we come to an edge we come to a frontier that tells us that we are now about to become more than we have been before. – William Irwin Thompson.

Hi! My name is Robert Winslow and this is a photo taken of me on the summit of Mount Katahdin in Maine. The date is August 8th, 1971 and I had just completed my 130-day journey from Springer Mountain in Georgia along the entire 2000+ mile length of the Appalachian Trail.

Back then I was only the 36th person to have hiked the entire Trail in one year. Some folks do it in sections over a number of years and currently five to six hundred hikers complete it each year.
As I stood there on top of Katahdin it was a time of ending and completion and a time for new beginnings.

And now over four decades later, after recently retiring from teaching and leading photo tours and workshops, I have reached another ending and another beginning. Adventures, animals and images past and present will comprise this blog.

In a two volume book – no longer in print – Hiking the Appalachian Trail published in 1975 by Rodale Press I wrote about that last day on the Appalachian Trail.

Katahdin is without a doubt the most beautiful mountain on the entire trail, and the day I climbed it was one of the most memorable of my journey. The Appalachian Trail passes through Katahdin Stream Campground, which lies at the base of the mountain, 5.2 miles from the summit. There is a climb of 4,163 feet. Along the trail we had heard that it was necessary to have reservations to stay at the campground, and that camping was not permitted in the park outside of the campground. We had been told by hikers coming south that it was impossible to find a place to stay, and that if we showed up at the campground the rangers would throw us out. Mark, Jim Bruce and myself were not enthusiastic about being hassled at the campground, or for that matter even staying in it, so we didn’t. The day before we climbed Katahdin, we did our laundry and swam in the nearby Nesowadnehunk Stream. Then we stretched out naked on some boulders (we heard only two ladies scream all afternoon) and soaked up the first sun we had seen in over a week.

We camped that night a few miles south of Daicey Pond. In the middle of the night I awoke. The moon was almost full, the stars shone like diamonds. Almost automatically, since one of my hobbies is astronomy, I looked for an aurora borealis, but there wasn’t any. Jim was moving around. I sat up and poked him, “What do you think?” He shrugged his shoulders and we lay back down. A minute later he was jabbing me in the leg, “Let’s go.” We woke Mark and got ready. It was 2:30 A.M. We had to jump from rock to rock to cross a stream in order to get back on the trail. It then took us over two hours by flashlight to get through the swamps to the campground. We talked about the stars, Francis Marion, and how crazy we were, but most of the time we walked in silence.

No one was awake at the campground. We left our packs leaning against the flagpole outside the ranger station with a note saying we would pick them up that afternoon. I tied my jacket around my waste. Carrying sandwiches that had been made the night before, candy bars, water, and my camera, all in a stuff bag, we turned toward Katahdin just at dawn. After half a mile we no longer needed our flashlights. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by a stream, and if I felt a little sleepy here, I was wide awake once we got above timberline. After a brief rest at Thoreau Spring I scrambled ahead, and then quite suddenly I was on the summit.

I had always known that I would reach Baxter Peak (Katahdin’s high point) and the end of the Appalachian Trail, but it was tough to comprehend, just as death is tough to comprehend. I wished that the Appalachian Trail would continue on. I did not want it to end. But why? Walking 2.000 miles from Geogia to Maine, fording rivers, climbing mountains, walking through rain and mud, carrying a 32- to 40-pound pack, watching clouds, and listening to the early morning symphony of bird and wind songs might be considered senseless acts – at least they serve no practical purpose. But back down there to the south someplace hidden in the trees, winding through the hills, and wandering over the horizon, was the Appalachian Trail and at the other end, 2,000 miles away, was Springer Mountain, Georgia, and in between lay a path of unforgettable experiences and wonderful beautiful people. This may sound foolish, but I walked the trail for the simple joy of it and if I gained anything it was the reaffirmation and the strengthening of my belief that despite all the hate, greed, and mixed-up priorities there are on this earth, it is still a fantastically beautiful planet that we live on. There is a constant poetry that flows through all of Nature, and if we open our eyes a bit, we can see miracles. It is an incredibly exciting world; I love it for what it is and am glad to belong to it.

A friend of mine, who is an astronomer, once told me that he had figured out that it was possible for us to travel through space in at least thirteen different directions at the same time. Through this timeless universe we are all relatively transient individuals. The Appalachian Trail had been my home for 130 days and at that moment on Katahdin it seemed like a lifetime to me. Everything that had occurred in my life prior to this hike seemed like it had happened in another incarnation. Standing along on the highest point in Maine, a monadnock, an ancient granite monolith sculptured by glaciers ages ago with timberline 2,000 feet straight down, I know what it was like to be tired at the end of a day, but I also knew that I would sleep soundly because of it. In a few minutes Mark and Jim would join me. It was 7:45 in the morning of another incredible day.

Hope to have you along for the journey. Just now the Winter sun is streaming in through my East facing office window. It is the morning of another incredible day.