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Friday, July 31, 2015

Richmond Pass 7.11.15

The grandkids spent the night so the hiking crew could get up early and try to beat the thunderstorms.  I shook them out of bed about 5am and we were hiking at about 6:30.  We're missing one of the "brothers" as he had a birthday party to attend to.  So, it was just me, Garrett and Ryan headed up the Richmond Pass trail.  This trail takes off very close to the highway over Red Mountain Pass.  If you don't know where it is, then you'll likely miss it as the trail sign is back in the trees.  After heading south through Ironton Park, be ready for a 45 mph speed limit sign - the road turnoff is just before it.  There's a very small parking area up in the trees about 75 yards.  This trail is elk heaven.  I have another post of this trail earlier on the blog.  Both times I've encountered elk in abundance.  I wanted the grandsons to share in that so away we went!

Posing at the trailhead - Garrett & Ryan


The day started out beautiful.  Lupine in abundance and sunshine.....that was soon to change!


Looking back over the valley to the Red Mountains.


A fantastic morning - great to be alive and able to get into the mountains and let the mountains get into us.


More of the Red Mountains - appropriately named I might add!


Uh Oh - a view to the southwest shows thunderheads building.  Our storms up here generally come from the southwest.  We'd better get moving.  Being above timberline when these things roll in is not pleasant nor smart!


Wow, it just doesn't get any better than this.  Why the Lord would bless me this much is beyond me!


First elk spotting - a cow off by herself.  She gave us the eye and then roamed over to join the rest of the crowd.


We were high above the herd.  They didn't even know we were around.  They were not disturbed at all, which is just how I like it.  There were probably 50-60 elk in this group.


Mr. Bumblebee enjoying an alpine sunflower...oblivious to the impending storm.


Three mule deer bucks were lounging way above timberline.  They too did not seem to care that a storm was coming.


We'd just barely taken the buck photos above when the rumble began.  We could see the storm approaching up the valley in a hurry.  We hustled as fast as we could, often nearing a run to get back to tree line.  Just as we got there it opened up and did some rumbling.  We got a bit wet, but not bad.  It rained most of the way to the car.  But, when we got there and began eating lunch, the sun came out.  However, it was short-lived as the storms just kept rolling in.  We still had a great hike, even though it was short.  Just a few minutes in God's outdoors is better than hours anywhere else!