Friday, May 31, 2013

RMNP Day 2

Thursday 5/30/13

I wish you all could see the vista I’m looking at as I type this - all cozy and stretched out in the GDB, sipping my Manhattan.  But I dare not get up to grab the camera and break the spell.  I’m camped on a ridge overlooking the moraine-filled meadow with 10,000 – 14,000 ft. peaks as a backdrop.  The jewel in this encircling crown is Long’s Peak. 

 

I can see it from my living room.  (At least when it’s not obscured by fog - which it is at the moment).  We had some snow flurries a little while ago. 

Here’s a photo I took earlier of the massive 14,259 ft. mountain. 

 

All day long the winds have been unceasing at a steady 30 mph and gusting in the 40s.  I was surprised when a Ranger told me that these gale-force winds are highly unusual.   

 

It’s a challenge to walk upright.  But just driving around the park is reward enough thanks to the abundant pull-overs.   I can see now that this is a marginal time to be here weather-wise but I wouldn’t trade it for later in the season.  There are enough people here as it is!
I’m glad the Bighorn Sheep Ranger talk wasn’t cancelled due to the wind.  Did you know that you can count the horn’s rings to determine the sheep’s age?  The Ranger demonstrates how to do this. 
 
He also imparted some amazing stories about wildlife that he has witnessed in this almost unimaginably wild place.  
I got back to the campground late this afternoon to find that my site had been taken!  That’s never happened to me before.  I had a conversation with the interloper.   He insisted that, not only was my receipt not in the post when he arrived, but that “they told me to camp here”.  An obvious lie since these are not assigned or reserved spots. 

I spoke with the Ranger who was going to evict him but I said, no, I’d find another spot.  There is no shortage of good sites.  Or jerks. 
Here are my elk photos for the day.


 
And this big guy.  I’m thinking Black-Billed Magpie.  Can anyone confirm?
 
 
Here are a few miscellaneous pics around the neighborhood.

The meadow below


From the trail behind my campsite

The trail directly behind my campsite

6 comments:

  1. Awesome pics! Looks like some beautiful country making me jealous.

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  2. WOW! How else can you describe this place.

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  3. I am running out of descriptive adjectives for your photos.

    Please know that they are greatly appreciated. I just drink in the views and try to imagine camping there, too.

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  4. I have a collapsible traffic cone on which I wrote that I will be back that I leave in sites I plan to return to. If that's missing they can't just say it blew away in the wind. Can they?

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  5. So pretty! I'm usually in Colorado in July when most of the snow has long-melted, so your photos are inspiring me to get there earlier in the season (although I know this year is unusual for it's prolonged winter).

    Not sure if this would have worked with your campsite stealer, but I carry this little red "campsite occupied" sign and put it out with a rope or a cheap bag chair. It might now always stop jerks, but worth a try I guess:
    http://www.amazon.com/Camco-50792-Campsite-Occupied-Sign/dp/B000EDST3S

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