I knew I was back in the Arkansas River valley when I crossed Wilkerson Pass and this heart-stopping vision greeted me on the other side.
Happy ending, but the day started with more horrific bumper-to-bumper traffic all 50 miles from Centennial to Colorado Springs. And another accident, which is not surprising with the combination of speeding + tailgating. The same thing happened yesterday through Denver.
There was some diversion, though, as I watched hundreds of cyclists competing in some event. The line went on for miles and miles.
After about 2 hours, I landed at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. One of my favorite NP sites yet on this trip.
Fossils not only offer fascinating glimpses into the past, they are exquisite works of art.
It's hard today to imagine this landscape once housing a 12-mile lake, rumbling volcanoes and giant redwoods!
Yet, here’s proof.
|Once over 230 feet high and about 750 years-old, volcanic mud buried the base of this Giant Redwood|
I walked the Petrified Forest Trail. Hmmm .... looks like wood, feels like rock.
This yurt serves as the ongoing fossil research lab.
And this is Ranger Amanda patiently going through pieces of shale. While I was there, she found a beautifully preserved pine needle.
It was a pleasant day to be out walking. I just love the rust-color of the Ponderosa pine bark, and the pines' sweet scent.
And the glorious mountain sky.
And the comely Mountain Bluebirds.
Back on the road, about the time I reached Buena Vista, I suddenly felt like I didn’t want to drive another mile. Maybe because I covered 168 hard miles today. Mountain miles. Twisty up and down, 2-lane miles.
Maybe I just tried to do too much today. The problem with that is you don’t realize it until it’s too late. Anybody else experience this kind of burn-out?If I have to experience road fatigue, I'm glad it's here. I looking forward to visiting some favorite spots and favorite trails. But otherwise staying put. And the weather looks agreeable.
BTW, this marks my 100th night in the GDB. Hard to believe in 10 months .... but there it is!