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.
Here is another photograph from our recent trip to Imogene Pass. There was still a fair amount of snow up in the high country a week or so ago (mid July). All the melting snow feeds this stream in the photograph. The water was crystal clear and ice cold.
The Jeep trip to Imogene Pass is a wonderful experience. It starts out near Ouray, Colorado and you end up looking down into the Telluride Valley. When we were there the wild flowers were fantastic. I will try to post some of those images.
If you come to Colorado for vacation one of the many areas you should visit is Ouray and Telluride. Of course there is Ridgeway in between the two locations. A great restaurant in Ridgeway is the True Grit Cafe. Yes, the True Grit movie with John Wayne was filmed in this area.
Imogene Pass is above Ouray,CO and between Ouray and Silverton. The views from this mountain top are unbelievable. The day we were there was verging on bad weather as you can see in this photo. I hate photographs with perfectly blue skies. They are usually very boring.
From the top of Imogene Pass you can see both the Ouray and Telluride sides of the mountains. This pass is somewhat difficult to get to and is at slightly over 13,000 feet.
Here is a link to more information about Imogene
We recently made a trip up to Ouray, CO and on to Silverton. We of course had to go over Red Mountain Pass which is always thrilling.
This photograph was taken in Silverton, CO. The Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge train ride is a fabulous experience. It has been several years since we took our last ride on the train and we will have to do it again soon.
Click on image to enlarge.
Narrow Gauge Train
In the summer months several trains run from Durango Colorado to Silverton each day. They follow the Animas river up to Silverton. It is a beautiful ride on an old steam locomotive train through some very scenic country. The round trip takes all day but it is well worth the time and effort.
He is a link to more information: http://www.durangotrain.com/
We recently went camping at Dorchester Campground in Colorado which is near the Collegiate Peaks. To get to this area you go to Gunnison, CO and then east and north past Taylor Reservoir. Once you get past Taylor Reservoir you continue for about 11 more miles on a gravel road. The campground is on the left side of the road.
You can do a search for Dorchester Campground and get more information.
This photograph was taken at sunrise from the campground looking out over the Collegiate Peak Mountain Range. The views of the mountains in this area have to be seen to believe. Don’t forget to click on the image to enlarge.
We went on one amazing ATV ride in these mountains. It was a VERY rough ride up into these amazing mountains. It took us about 4 hours to go 21 miles. More on that on the next posting.
We had a great time. It got down to about 40 degrees at night and it rained several times. On one of the ATV rides we found some people stuck in a snow bank (middle of July). One of the members of our group hooked a line onto them and helped pull them out.