Monday, August 31, 2009

Eklund Lake - Bridger Wilderness

The Jim Bridger Wilderness is one of several wilderness areas in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. This heavily glaciated range includes Gannett Peak, the highest in Wyoming. The tendency is to think of the Grand Teton as the highest, but this range to the southeast of the Tetons contains several higher peaks. This is rugged country, with huge changes in altitude and glaciers in the cirques of the highest mountains. Most of this area is above timberline, which is at about 10,400 feet above sea level at this latitude. This makes for stunning scenery, especially so near any of the glacial lakes left behind when the ice retreated during the last Ice Age. A Wyoming non-resident fishing permit runs about $14.00 a day here, but the fishing is well worth the price. Most of the area is accessible only on foot or by horseback. During our recent visit there, we met people on the trail from all over the world. All of them felt fortunate to be there and were glad the area had been set aside for wilderness use. We were able to get out just ahead of a heavy August snowstorm, but I am already planning and looking forward to our next trip back.
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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rabbit Ears Pass, Colorado

Years ago, when I was about 12 years old, my parents took our family on a drive to Denver to see my cousins. From that entire trip, I remember only a few things; the Denver Zoo, the Moffat Tunnel, and Rabbit Ears Pass.Having just visited the area around Rabbit Ears Peak, I now know why I remembered this area. Late July and early August must be the perfect time to see wildflowers in full bloom. We found this meadow just off the old US Highway 40 and were taken aback by the profusion of color. This scene was not an isolated patch of flowers, but was instead a small piece of a large meadow fully in bloom. This could have been part of any botanical center across the west, but was totally wild area with no attempt at cultivation. As we hiked around the area, every meadow had it's own set of flowers playing a starring role, but every one had a show going on. We were glad we chose this time of year to visit, and look forward to returning again.
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