Friday, September 21, 2007

Back in Colorado

I finally left the Bridger National Forest on Monday.

I took a final hike up the mountain on Sunday.

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

Bridger National Forest, Part Three

I've settled into a routine of six nights out and then one night in town for housekeeping chores. I work most of the day and hike almost every afternoon. I won't have time to camp all the areas I want before the cold drives me south. I don't mind the cold but don't want to freeze a water pipe.

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

Bridger National Forest, Part Two

I like this area. It is large enough so that, despite being a holiday weekend, there are plenty of campsites available. I chose a spot that was secluded and undesirable but perfect for me and it has worked out well. I have no neighbors.

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.