Thursday, July 7, 2016

Blue Lakes Hike 6/24/2016

"The land of the great woods, lakes, mountains and rushing rivers is still mysterious enough to please anyone who has eyes to see and can understand."  Norman Collie

Blue Lakes is on my hiking list every year - often more than once.  It's a place like few others...a place of unrivaled beauty and grandeur.  It's hard to believe that people can go there and still say there is no God.  Only open eyes and a blind heart could come to that conclusion.  On this day there were myriads of people up there.  Two school buses of kids were there from Indiana.  They were good kids and seemed respectful of the place and other hikers.  Would I rather have had the place to myself - sure?  But, such beauty is seldom overlooked or ignored.  It belongs to all and I'm thankful I can still go there regardless of how many I have to share it with.  Usually, I go on up to the upper lakes, which few others do.  But, this year the snow is still so deep and the stream so strong that I decided to not attempt that.  This is the most snow I've seen there at this time of year.  Another hiker I met had been there four times already this year.  He stated that the lower lake was completely frozen over just two weeks before.  I also took my Tenkara fishing rod but did not see any fish rising or cruising the lake shallows.  That's really unusual and I hope there was not a winter kill.

What a magnificent morning!  The full moon was about to set.  The hermit thrushes were singing non-stop.....who can fault them!

Trees come and go...but, not as quickly as we do!

This is like a pathway to heaven.

Marsh marigolds were still in bloom.

It's one amazing vista after another.

Wow - what a God! What a creator!

This trail section just speaks "peace".

Calypso Orchid

Blue Lakes - aptly named!

Thank you Lord for such beautiful places!  Thank you for the strength and ability to hike to places such as this.  Thank you for the eyes to physically behold such wonder and the heart to know where it came from.  I am blessed!

Twin Peaks Hike 6/10/2016

"If it's blessings you're a countin', try a morning in the mountains" Jim Stoltz 

This is a hike I've usually done every spring.  Last year the snow was too deep at the end of May.  In October, it was snow that again stopped me.  There was no stopping me this time.  Armed with micro-spikes I was determined to make it.  Fortunately, I was late enough in the spring that I didn't need them.  The mosquitoes and biting flies were the worst I've seen anywhere and I forgot my bug spray.  So, it was the fastest hike up and down Twin Peaks that I've ever done.  Keeping in motion was the only deterrent - so rest stops were non-existent on this day.

A bee was enjoying a wild rose.

I'm not big on this selfie craze now days.  But, here's one anyway at the miner memorial part way up the trail.

The views from Twin Peaks are phenomenal.  Ouray is far below.

Whitehouse Mountain from Twin Peaks

It was the first time I've been on Twin Peaks when there was no threat of thunderstorms and virtually no wind.  It was a great day - despite the bugs!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Out & About 11/6/2015

"Come to the woods, for here is rest.  There is no repose like that of the green deep woods.  Of all the upness accessible to mortals, there is no upness comparable to the mountains."  John Muir

This day was simply an out and about kind of day.  Soaking in nature and enjoying the mountains.  First stop was the trail along the Uncompahgre River near Ridgway.  A couple photos of ducks, birds and deer and high places began to call.

Then it was on up to the escarpment overlooking the Sneffels Range.  The chipmunks were very entertaining.

Mt. Sneffels was shrouded in clouds and as beautiful as ever!

Then I decided to head up to Ouray and see what all that white up there was about.  What a difference 10 miles makes.  It was winter up there.  I decided to see how far up the Horsethief Trail I could get.  Unfortunately, I couldn't go far due to slippery, soggy conditions.  I made it to the blowout and decided the ground was way too soft to try to go along the steep side hill.

Not far up the trail things were all in upheaval and trees knocked down.  It didn't take long to find the reason, a hunk of the mountain above had broken away.  I'm sure glad it did it before I got there. 

The trail was a mess of mowed down trees and rocks.

Past the slide it was a winter wonderland.

I heard several rocks rumble down the mountain as I reached the blowout.  That was enough for me to turn around and head back down.  This was the turn-around spot.

Fortunately I did not encounter any difficulties heading down.  It was another beautiful day rambling the woods!  Thank you Lord!