For the wine country in Grand Junction, Colorado it is harvest time. I have a few vines of my own so I can make a few bottles of wine. For the last two years I have lost all my Merlot and Syrah vines to freezing conditions. My Chardonnay vines have survived. I am in the fermentation process for the Chardonnay grapes. I actually prefer red wine but I am out of luck for this year.
Here is a recent photo of red wine grapes from the Grand Valley wine country.
If you are in the Grand Junction area I highly recommend taking a tour of the valley wineries. They make some great wines. Here is a link for more information.
I recently went hiking with a friend in the Colorado National Monument and we saw Bighorn Sheep twice during this hike. That is very unusual. We saw 6 of them on the first part of the hike and approximately 30 more toward the end of the hike.
We hiked the Bench Trail which is one of the longer trials in the Monument. We started out near Gold Star Canyon which is where we saw the first Bighorn. It is a steep climb to get up to the bench but after that the trail is not bad. Up and down with a few drop offs and just a very pleasant hike.
At the other end of the trail we came down the lower section of Liberty Cap Trail which is where we saw the rest of the Bighorns. While coming down the trail I fell and ended up sitting on my butt. While sitting down I shot the photograph you see above.
It was a fun hike and a great day.
Lately we have had more rain in the Grand Junction area and the Colorado National Monument than we usually have this time of year. While August into September is our “monsoon” season it has been much more so this year.
This photograph shows storm clouds building over the Monument. Click on image to enlarge.
This view is looking toward Independence Monument which is located in Monument Canyon. The photograph was taken just to the north of the Bookcliff overlook view point.
Lately there has been lots of low and clouds and fog in the Colorado National Monument. So far I have not captured an image that I am really happy with. But I will keep trying. I have great fog images from other years but not yet this year.
If you check out the page in my website for the Colorado National Monument you will find some of these fog shots.
Yesterday a friend (traveler A) and I went for a hike in the Colorado National Monument. We hiked Monument Canyon from the top to the bottom. It was a great day with magnificent scenery. By the end of the hike it started to get a little too warm.
On the drive up to be dropped off at the trail head we saw a Bighorn Sheep in the middle of the road. The following photograph was taken in the Balanced Rock area.
During the hike we also saw three Collared Lizards. It is unusual to see three of these lizards during one hike. The next photograph is obviously one of the lizards we saw. They are very colorful and easy to get close to. They also have a powerful bite. It is best to not try and pick one up.
As promised we are back in the Colorado National Monument for this blog posting. I love it when it rains up there because the rocks are wet and the potholes are full of water. These water filled potholes are critical to the many life forms that live in the high desert. Some of these creatures are too small to see with the naked eye and others are the various mammals that live in this environment. In the desert water is very important. Hiking in this country can be deadly for humans if you forget to bring along water. Be sure to click on the image to enlarge. It doesn’t look very good in the small format.
In this photograph you can see among other things Independence Monument in the background. Independence Monument sits in Monument Canyon which is probably the best place to see Bighorn Sheep. I will be hiking there on Tuesday and hopefully will get some good shots of them. However, I do not always see them in Monument Canyon.
Here is a link to more information about the Colorado National Monument.
Back in the Colorado National Monument today. This photograph is Cold Shivers Point which is about a 12 minute drive from our house. As a result, I am up here quite often. I have more photos to post on my blog of potholes filled with water. Lately we have received a lot of rain in the monument.
Cold Shivers Point
Recently a hiking friend (whose name I won’t mention) and I went for a hike in the Devil’s Kitchen area. Ned and I (opps!) found the Monument to be wetter than we have ever seen it. There were pools of water where we have never seen them before.
If you go up to Cold Shivers Point and go just a short distance north (to your right when facing the dropoff) you will find a whole bunch of really nice potholes. Be sure to stay off of the cryptobiotic soil.
Cold Shivers Point is well named. If you get close to the edge there is an incredible drop off. In this photograph you can see an area where the drop off is on three sides. I have never been out on that narrow point of rock. I have a balance problem so for me it is just too dangerous. Actually it is too dangerous for anyone to go out on that point.
Check back here again soon for the water filled potholes.
Time for another look at our trip to Canada. We started our visit basically in Lake Louise. We camped at the Lake Louise Campground which is in the middle of bear country. While we did not see any bears at the campground other people did see bears. We saw bears three other times in the area but not right at the campground.
Lake Louise is beautiful place with the turquoise colored water. (See a previous posting for why the turquoise color).
We hiked along the lake shore for some amazing scenery. The weather was perfect and we had a great day.
We had lunch outside at the “Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise” which sites right on the shore of the lake. Perfect location for a great lunch with a great view. Here is a link to the Chateau: http://www.fairmont.com/lake-louise/
Let me know if you have questions about this area. Almost all the photos you see on my website are for sale. Just send me an e-mail and we can discuss size and price.
Maligne Lake is located in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. As you can see in this photograph it is a beautiful location with a turquoise color of the lake. The lake is this color due to the glaciers in the mountains. Their slow movement down the mountain grinds some of the rocks into very fine “rock flour”. The fine sediment is suspended in the water and absorbs all the spectrum of light with the exception of turquoise which is reflected back at your eyes which makes what you see turquoise. Many of the lakes and rivers in this area of Canada are this beautiful color.
We took a boat ride down the length of the lake to this island you see in the photograph. This is Spirit Island which is probably one of the most photographed places in the Jasper area.
Here is a link to more information about Maligne Lake: http://www.malignelake.com/
The drive between Lake Louise and Jasper has some of the most amazingly beautiful scenery you will ever see. There are amazing mountain views with glaciers and beautiful turquoise colored lakes and rivers.
We will definitely be going back to the Canadian Rockies for another visit.
This video is Sunwapta Falls in Canada. As you will see it is an amazingly powerful waterfall.
As you can probably guess Sunwapta Falls is located on the Sunwapta River. What a surprise! The water for the falls comes from the Athabasca Glacier which we also saw while in Canada. Next time you happen to be in Jasper National Park you should definitely check it out.
This Black Bear that we saw while we were in Canada is pigging out on Buffalo Berries. They eat the calories every day equal to 75 McDonald’s Big Mac’s. We saw a total of 3 Black Bears in the Lake Louise area.
We had a great trip which included Banff to Lake Louise to Jasper and then back to Lake Louise and then over across Yoho National Park and south to the United States.
More details and photos later on the whole trip. We definitely love the Canadian Rockies.
Sorry for not including more details at the moment but we are at a campground that does not have the world’s best internet access.