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Tag: columbines

West Maroon Pass & Geneva Lake

Saturday & Sunday, August 9-10, 2014

Since Diane and I have been spending a lot of time this summer hiking in the San Juan Mountains I figured it was time to get in a weekend of hiking in the Elk Mountains, before it was too late. We left home bright and early on Saturday morning and drove around the Grand Mesa to Marble where we followed the Crystal River past the Crystal Mill and Devil’s Punchbowl towards Schofield Pass. Diane was not a fan of this narrow and rough road, especially when we drove over the sections of large moving rocks. We stopped at the trailhead in Schofield Park so we could start our hike up to West Maroon Pass. Unfortunately, driving over Schofield Pass took a little longer than I remembered, so we arrived later in the morning than I would normally like to start hiking during monsoon season in the mountains. Since we weren’t attempting to climb any peaks on this hike we decided to give it a shot and see what the weather would do. Some darker clouds moved into the sky early on during our hike and we got rained on a few times, but there were no thunderstorms nearby. While there were still plenty of flowers along it trail, it was obvious that wildflower season is definitely coming to and end as many of the flowers were wilted and dying. I bet this hike would have been an amazing sight a few weeks ago!

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Blue Lakes

Saturday & Sunday, August 2-3, 2014

This weekend Diane and I spent a nice relaxing overnight backpacking trip at the Blue Lakes in the Mount Sneffels Wilderness. I have wanted to hike up to the Blue Lakes for many years and am glad I was finally able to get up that way. The scenery was beautiful and the weather was nice all weekend, too. While it looked like we might receive some of the typical afternoon storms on Saturday, they managed to miss us and we never saw a drop of rain all weekend. There seemed to be quite a few bugs out this time of the year, especially near the large patches of wildflowers we came across, but we managed to keep the mosquitoes away with some DEET bug spray that seemed to work well. While there were a bunch of people camped on the northwest side of the lower lake when we arrived, we crossed the outlet creek and found a nice campsite on the northeast side where no one was camped. Only one other person ended up setting up camp on this side of the lake, so it was nice and quiet.

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Bear Creek & Bridge of Heaven

Saturday & Sunday, July 26-27, 2014

After staying up late on Friday night to catch a concert in Grand Junction, we slept in a little later on Saturday morning before driving down to Ouray to get some hiking in for the weekend. The plan was to hike two trails that have been on my list for a number of years. I have planned to hike both of these trails on previous occasions, but something has always come up and prevented me from doing so. We started out by hiking the Bear Creek Trail just outside of Ouray along the Million Dollar Highway. I did manage to hike a short section of this trail a few years back, but was short on time and didn’t get very far. This time we were planning on hiking to the Grizzly Bear Mine and back since we started later in the morning and knew the afternoon storms would be moving in soon.

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Silverton Wildflowers

Friday – Sunday, July 18-20, 2014

Diane and I decided to spend a relaxing weekend in the San Juan Mountains around Silverton camping, hiking, peak-bagging, driving high mountain passes and looking for wildflowers. We left after work on Friday and headed over Red Mountain Pass to the South Fork of Mineral Creek to look for a campsite. This used to be my go-to camping area near Silverton, but I couldn’t believe how many people were camped along here this weekend. It was ridiculous! As we were driving back out to find somewhere else to camp, Diane spotted a nice secluded campsite along the creek that no one was at, so we setup camp there since it was getting late. We didn’t have time to get anywhere else for sunset, so I just took a few photos over the South Fork of Mineral Creek behind out camp as the sun went down for the day.

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Basin Wildflower Tour

Saturday, July 7, 2012

This weekend we left home on Saturday morning and headed back up into the San Juan Mountains. I had received reports that the wildflowers were in full swing a few weeks early because of our dismal snowpack and dry spring, and I wanted to try and get some photos of them. I have never really set out to specifically photograph wildflowers before, so this would be a learning experience for me. In the end I came home with some decent wildflower photos and I learned a lot in the process. Hopefully next year I can do a little better!

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