Spring in the Rockies

Columbines blooming in the yard – our landscaping work paying off.
We got a permit to relocate 2 Ponderosa Pines from a specific area in the San Juan National Forest as part of fire mitigation.
It was hard work but we are looking forward to giving them a new home.
Character Pine in the front yard – we love the curled trunk!
The one in the back is being appreciated by a forest friend.
Time to play! Time to explore Vallecito Resevoir
We found a nice campsite, wooded but a view of the Vallecito Resevoir.
Lots of wetland areas where river flows into the Vallecito Resevoir.
How many goslings? Will they all grow up to be Canada Geese?
We thought we would try Heron State Park in New Mexico. We were not expecting it to be this dry!
But looks like rain is in the forecast – tomorrow we will kayak Heron Lake.
Rain gives us Gorgeous Spring Flowers!

Blue Ridge Parkway

Very aptly named. Our Blue Ridge Parkway (469 miles) experience this visit was between miles 380 and 410 around Ashville, NC.

Two nights in the Pisgah National Forest at Lake Powhatan in the Appalachian Mountains – a full day to explore.

Lots of nice overlooks to enjoy the view.

We hiked a couple miles in this area, seeing the foundation remains of where the Vanderbilt’s had their mountain retreat.

We went to the folk center and appreciated the intricacy of many of the crafts.

A colorful quilt that felt like spring was in the air.

We enjoyed a long visit at 17th PresidentAndrew JohnsonNational Historic Site on the other side of the mountains in Tennessee.  For us it tied together history of the civil War and the Reconstruction Era. Also 1867 was when Alaska was purchased from Russia by Secretary of State William Steward.

Medicine Bow National Forest, WY

So many beautiful alpine lakes in this one area of the Snowy Mountain Range.

The lakes appear to change color during the day as they reflect the mood of the sky.

As we hike by, there are numerous reflection of the surrounding Rocky Mountains.

On top of the world: the first day hike is to summit Medicine Bow Peak.

We were here 7 years ago and took a picture at this spot at start of hike to Lost Lake. https://tealsky.com/2014/09/08/medicine-bow-national-forest-in-wyoming/

Our bit of Paradise for 5 nights! Sugarloaf campground has 16 sites and one can start many great hikes – starting elevation 10,700.

Easy stroll to Libby Lake to watch the changing shadows on Sugarloaf.

Another beautiful September day for a hike to Lake Maria. A great way to celebrate Labor Day.

7/8: Telluride to Lizard Head Pass, Colorado

“Safer at Home and the Colorado Great Outdoors 2020”

Always a free gondola from center of town up the mountain – spectacular!

Such a view without the hike! We loved doing something so different.

We had never seen so many aspens – let alone all golden together.

A bit of whimsy – it sure didn’t feel like jolly ole’ England.

Priest Lake and the splendid reflection.

Guess we better camp here and really appreciate the view!!!!

We day hike to nearby Trout Lake Trestle Bridge on the historic Rio Grande Southern Railroad route.

This was on the Galloping Goose Trail in recognition of these rail cars.

This is in Dolores by their train depot. It ran from Durango to Ridgeway.

Nearby is a water tower to replenish rail cars for steam locomotion.

We camped a few more nights at the top of Lizard Head Pass to appreciate the wilderness.

We hiked to the headwaters of the Dolores River, which joins the Gunnison, which joins the Colorado before heading to the Sea of Cotez.

One last fill of the unique Lizard Head mountain and cool fall air.

6/8: Mt Sneffels Wilderness, Colorado

“Safer at Home and the Colorado Great Outdoors 2020”

Perfect. The fall colors add so much to this reflection in the beaver pond.

We said we need to come back in the fall when we were here in July 2016.

The horses seem oblivious to their surroundings but add beauty to the vistas.

We found a great camp spot a bit closer to the trail.

Blue Lakes Trail heads into the Mount Sneffels Wilderness.

We enjoyed a short break at the first lake, wondering where the trail continued.

There is a view after we gained a few feet of elevation.

The upper lake we enjoyed for a while, where we saw a marmot while taking this picture.

And one final picture on the way down – wow!

4/8: Taylor Reservoir, Colorado

“Safer at Home and the Colorado Great Outdoors 2020”

Look at all those fourteeners! What a view.

A dispersed site off FS755 with a nice view of the reservoir and…

…A great view of the Collegiate Peaks – the other side is Buena Vista.

We hiked the road along Texas Creek enjoying the majestic mountains.

The bulldozer is maintaining the road and closing off illegal campsites.

A nice spot to hang out for lunch and while away a hour or so.

Another lunch spot and a few nights of camping in Taylor Park.

A day trip to this nearby mountain town.

A good wander around and a visit to the scenic historic cemetery.

We pulled up for a hike and stayed the night in this quiet spot.

A very nice bunch of aspens greeted the beginning of our hike.

Several stream crossings took careful attention…

…Or an opportunity to goof around.

But a peaceful destination to hang out was our reward.

3/8: Powderhorn Wilderness, Colorado

“Safer at Home and the Colorado Great Outdoors 2020”

We turned off Slumgullion Pass to Deer Lakes on the Cannibal Plateau in the Gunnison National Forest-

trying our best not to do an Alfred Packer

We found a great spot to camp next to this beaver pond – we watched several move branches across the pond and then disappear underwater.

A hike into the Powderhorn wilderness above our camp.

A peaceful way to enjoy a day. It is wonderful to be off the grid.

Heading back to our favorite campsite to watch the beaver family preparing for winter.

2/8: Rio Grande Reservoir, Colorado

“Safer at Home and the Colorado Great Outdoors 2020”

Still in the Rio Grande National Forest, we head up another valley.

We start above our camp at Thirty Mile Campground for our hike.

Checking the map while overlooking Rio Grande Reservoir.

Entering Weminuche Wilderness, the largest protected area in Colorado.

A bridge sturdy enough for horses crosses the start of the Rio Grande River.

Weminuche Pass is a relatively low crossing of the Continental Divide.

Finding the names for all the mountains while we take a break.

Enjoying the deer back at our camp site while we listened to the river.