Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fishing Big Blue 7/9/2016

"There's always time for one more cast!"

I got a new Tenkara rod for Father's Day.  I was looking for the perfect stream opportunity to test it out.  Big Blue Creek seemed like the spot and this day seemed like the time.  I only caught a couple small brookies.  That Tenkara stuff is definitely fun and has a bit of learning curve.  Since I was alone I took my SPOT signaling device with me.  Somewhere in that maze of willows I lost it.  I had been all over through there and felt there was no way I could ever retrace my steps and find it.  Prayer seemed to be the most logical thing to I did.  I then began trying to retrace my paths and realized that was completely impossible.  It all looked the same.  But, after about 15 minutes of wandering, I poked through a tangle next to the creek and there it was.  My heart was full of wilderness stream fishing and thanksgiving.  It was a beautiful day!

Penstemon on top of the Alpine Plateau on the drive to the stream.

The willow maze where I lost my SPOT - temporarily.  Thank you Lord!

Wow this stream is "purdy".  Post-card purdy!

I'll be back and hike on up this creek!  Several years ago I hiked up it to Slide Lake.  But, I didn't fish on that outing.  I will on the next run.

Camping Alpine Plateau 6/18/2016

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed and to have my senses put in order." 
John Burroughs

We really wanted to camp on the top of the Alpine Plateau.  It is almost at timberline.  However, the road was still closed due to snow.  So, we wandered a bit on the backroads and found a good place to camp.  On one road, within a stretch of only a mile or so we counted 11 piles of bear scat.  That made Joann a bit "edgy" about sleeping in a tent up there.  But, we locked all food in the 4Runner and spent the night without any visitors.  It was quite cool. There was a bit of light frost in the morning.  

Beautiful full moon.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fishing & Hiking Grand Mesa 7/4/2016

"Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread." 
Edward Abbey

Joann and I took off for Grand Mesa on this Independence Day.  We hiked up to a lake off the beaten path.  It appeared to be dead, except for the abundance of water dogs.  So, we left and tried a few other lakes.  The fishing was definitely not good - the only thing biting were the mosquitoes.  We fed them well.  The day ended with a heavy hail storm that turned everything white.  Unfortunately, I was trying to stay on the muddy road so I only got one shot out the windshield.  Any day in God's mountains is a good day regardless of bugs and snooty fish.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Hiking & Fishing Grand Mesa 7/22/16

"Take only memories, leave only footprints."
Chief Seattle

One of my favorite past times (next to hiking of course) is fishing.  It is even better if a hike is involved.  I especially like remote mountain lakes or rivers.  Butts Lake is a favorite destination dating back to childhood.  As a young feller in my 20's my dad and I had Wednesdays off in the summer.  Each week we would load up our little 8' aluminum boat on a bicycle wheel rack and drag it up to Butts.  We had some great times and made memories that will never be lost.  Dad is gone now, but I still often return and still enjoy it like yesterday.

Wildflower show on the way up the trail.

Passing Little Eggleston Lake

Colorado Columbines - my favorite wildflower.

Butts Lake - the fishing was poor.  But the scenery and flood of memories was priceless.  I had an unusual treat of a fighter jet going back and forth across the mountain.  Since Butts is tucked in against the Craig's Crest cliffs, there were times I wouldn't even hear him coming.  He was very low and the rumble would make me jump every time.  Hey....maybe he scared the fish!  Who knows? It was a great day anyway.

Part of the problem may have been that it was so still.  The water was like a mirror.  That usually does not bode well for fishing.

But, all in all, there was no way to find fault in this day.  Thank you Lord!

Sutton Mine Hike with grandsons - 10/15/16

"A walk in nature, walks the soul back home."
Mary Davis

It is always a treat to hike with my grandkids.  They always add a lot of "life to the party".  Fortunately, they still like following gramps around.  I hope that never changes.  This hike is fairly easy and ends with the fun of the Sutton Mine buildings and the infamous laundry line.  It's tradition to add some piece of clothing to the line.  It appears some folks made the return trip nearly naked.  Not me!

View from the Ouray overlook.

The aspens were putting on a show.

Main mine building with Garrett, Dylan, & Ryan

Relics of days gone by....except for the Colorado Rockies cap!

The infamous clothes line.

Richmond Pass 7/15/16

"Hiking is the answer.....who cares what the question is?"

Richmond Pass is always on the short hiking list.  It's just a wonderful hike for any reason.  This day was perfect in every way.

Up through the aspens in the morning sun.

Looking back to the Red Mountains....a pathway in paradise.

Rising higher.  Looking down on the Red Mountains and the Corkscrew Pass jeep road.

It was unusual that there were still snow drifts at the pass this time of year.

View from the pass looking west into Yankee Boy Basin and Imogene Pass.

Abundant wildflowers just above Half Moon Basin - looking east.

Coxcomb Pass 8/13/16

"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves."
Edmund Hillary

Due to a special hunting license, I knew this would be my last opportunity to hike the high country until the following summer.  So, I wanted the season to "go out with a bang".  This hike definitely did that.  It rises to over 13,000' and is just full of stunning views.  I'm blessed!

The sunrise ride to the trailhead was gorgeous.

A Turret Ridge sunrise - wow!

Cimarron Middle Fork morning.

Precipice Peak is one of my favorite photo subjects.

Coxcomb and Redcliff standing tall.

Making a timelapse from high on the pass.

Letting the "dogs" rest before heading back down that valley.

Blue Lakes 7/29/16

"Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt."

John Muir

I know, another Blue Lakes Hike?....YES.  This was a combo fishing and hiking trip. It was a beautiful day and the wildflowers were at their prime.

Mountain views weren't too shabby either!