There is good hiking and a lot of history here. That's enough for me.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
There is good hiking and a lot of history here. That's enough for me.
Friday, September 21, 2007
It won't be long before snow covers these peaks.I passed through Flaming Gorge. The decent and climb with miles of 8% grades was tough on the equipment. If you go to this area in an RV I would recommend leaving it outside the gorge and visiting in a smaller vehicle. I planned to stay in Utah longer but after the decent to Vernal I was out of the national forest and wasn't going to make the climb to get back in. I fueled up and continued for western Colorado.
Camped in a canyon by Stinking Water Creek in western Colorado. That's Spooky Mountain in the distance. I do enjoy the names. It's back to summer weather, at least for a while.
Well, that completes "the loop". I plan to winter in southern New Mexico and Arizona. I am changing my focus to earning a living so I don't expect to update this blog regularly or frequently. It was a memorable summer but finances will dictate if I can do it again next year.
Thank you for reading!
Saturday, September 8, 2007
My current location twenty miles further south of last week's location.
The pine tree cover is more sparse than to the north with still more aspens. I like the more open landscape although the pine forests are still quite thick in the canyons.
There are plenty of beautiful areas that are almost pristine. This one is on a plateau 500 feet above the valley floor. Most people travel in the woods on ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) or horseback, both of which are restricted to designated trails. If you are willing to climb, hike a few miles and make your own trail you can go days without seeing another person.
Another "million dollar" campsite. Of course it's a two hour climb to get here.
I have heard elk bugling over in the next valley the last two days so today I went over to get a picture. There were a lot of elk and bear tracks but I guess they all heard me coming.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
A satellite picture of my location. The photo was taken when snow covered the peaks to the west. I climbed the ridge directly to the west but forgot the camera. I think it's having problems anyway.
There are a lot of deer in this area. The first night here, a doe and two fawns walked within a few feet of my back window. This is the second fawn. I have seen "bear sign" but no bears. I walked outside this morning while frying sausage and eggs and heard a large animal but didn't see it.
When you climb out of the valley the tree cover is sparse. There are a lot more aspens than I have seen to the north and they are definitely starting to turn.
This area is only about 50 miles south of Jackson Hole, Wyoming which is the southern gateway to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. The scenery here may lack the Grand Tetons and Old Faithful but I like it just as well.
As you can surmise, I haven't had an exciting week although every week in the forest is enjoyable.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
As usual, my hike today took me "up". I started up a canyon and reversed directions to get the view from the top.
The ultimate campsites are available only on foot. This one goes in my "top ten". A pine grove with a view and a soft bed of pine needles. Seclusion here would be limited only by food and water.
While "noodling out" the way down, I had a nice view of the confluence of Grey's River and the Little Grey river, joining from the left
It wasn't easy but I got back down. I like this area and hope to remain for a while although I'll be changing campsites every week. It's been getting down to the mid-thirties the last few nights and some of the aspen are starting to hint at turning. I would like to stay until they fully turn.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
As I moved above the tree line it became windy and much colder.
The "view from the top" at 9,703 feet. I left the pickup at 5,800 ft. Very cold and very windy.
A "meadow" at 9,700 ft. Small sagebrush, some grass, colorful lichen and some dandelions seem to thrive here.
The changing light made the same rock formations appear "new" on the way down.
It was nine miles round trip but I didn't see the lakes because I took the wrong trail. I didn't have a local map. But despite that it was a very enjoyable afternoon.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I've been camped along a narrow but deep and fast running creek. Canyons run into the mountains on both sides of the valley.It doesn't take long to get back into the pine forests as you go up the canyon.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
There is a perfect "sitting rock", complete with a cushion of pine needles, to watch the sun come up. The smoke is a little thicker today.
Hiking the ridge was easy and it was obvious that many of the animals use it also.
The ridge eventually ran into a trail. This young deer didn't quite know what to make of me.This squirrel did. He lectured me from the tree stump for some time.
I was on my way back and didn't have the camera ready when I startled a black bear. He ran quite a distance before I got the camera out. I got him to turn around by making a "kissing" sound. He seemed a little too interested so I decided to move on.
So I've seen the Tails of the Three Bears, one grizzly and two black. To paraphrase Lewis' journal: “I find [my] curiosity ... with respect to this animal is pretty much satisfied.”
Saturday, August 11, 2007
There are a lot of Ponderosa Pine which is my favorite tree. This specimen, three feet in diameter, sits outside my door.
I enjoy looking at it but the squirrels feed on it and drop seeds and pine cones on the roof from a considerable height. The noise is loud but as long as they do it during working hours I'm OK with it.
The cemetary at Gibbonsville, the nearest town. It is listed as a "ghostown" on ghosttowns.com but the current residents might object to that characteriztion. It is active and well kept though the mine is abandoned.
Looking north toward Lost Trail Pass. The wind has brought smoke from the fires and that's a reminder to keep moving. I have to stay in the area long enough to pick up a General Delivery in Salmon next week.
It was a steep climb to get the previous picture. The Lewis and Clark Journals comment extensively on the difficulty of crossing this area and I can only imagine how hard it was for young Sacajawea with her newborn baby.
The ridge top is narrow and rocky but interesting so I'm going to hike there this afternoon. I found what is probably a bear den but that won't be occupied for several more months. This ridge is what I call a "slider" as opposed to a "vertical". I'm hiking alone and I'll climb "sliders" since the risk of serious injury is low if I fall but I avoid "verticals".
Saturday, August 4, 2007
I didn't post this morning because I didn't really have anything of interest. It's been a quiet but productive week. I thought if I took a long hike I might find something. I was all set to pan the area for a lack of wildlife.
I found a beautiful and secluded campsite with a view. This and previous experience has convinced me to change my method. When I come into an area I am going to park the RV and scout for sites in the pickup and on foot. I'm camping in good spots but missing the great spots.
The number of streams at the higher elevations continues to amaze me. People pay a lot of money to put a water feature like this in their yard.
After four hours all I had were hot, sore feet. A quick trip to the spa fixed me up. I had seen some deer and what I thought was bear scat but nothing living except a few squirrels.
This spa is open 24/7/365.I was reading at my computer when I sensed movement. I paced it off and that bush is about fifty feet from my window.
Definitely a black bear.