Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Old Camp Hale

Camp Hale used to be a WWII training ground to get soldiers used to winter conditions. They trained soldiers to ski, rock climb, shoot, and to endure harsh winter weather. Now it is a giant forest service area with camp grounds and lots of dirt roads and trails. Alan and I went a while ago and experienced some nasty rain. I managed to snap a few photos, but didn't take nearly as many as I wanted due to weather and my jeep started making an odd sound that freaked me out. Alan had to make on site repair. It was a fun campground, and I hope to go back some day to enjoy some trails we didn't get to do.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Butterfly stalking at Royal Gorge

The flowers at Royal Gorge were enticing to some butterflies. I stalked one and managed to get a few decent shots. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area -> SPS

While on our messed up Glacier trip, where we went everywhere else, we traveled the road through the National Scenic Area of the Columbia River Gorge on the border between Washington and Oregon. We decided to cross over to the Washington side of the gorge to take the "more scenic route" It was an incredibly windy day, that literally could blow you off your trail. The river was very impressive and the rock walls were beautiful. Another great incidental side trip that started out by Alan saying, "lets go there", followed by me saying,"okay!". Some people are so easy to travel with.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Non-wild flowers

While at Royal Gorge, I snapped a few photos of the planted flowers that were part of the sign. They were truly vibrant colors and the camera picked them up well. There was a butterfly zooming around, and the next post will be stalking the butterfly.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A visit from PA

Last week, I had some old friends come out to Colorado for their first vacation without kids. I got to spend a day with them. I took them to the Royal Gorge and we had a blast. They also got to meet Alan and we all played a competitive round of mini golf. Here are a few photos of Mike and Heather at the bottom of the gorge. They definitely look like they are up to something in this first photo, probably plotting something sinister...

The sign clearly says "NO TRESPASSING", probably trying to determine how to jump the fence for a better view!

These two have been together a long time, and look how much in love they still are. So cute!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

White Rim Blooms ->SPS

While in Canyonlands on White Rim trail we were lucky enough to see a ton of beautiful plants. All of the cacti were in full bloom with bright colors. I enjoyed yelling, "STOP" so I could take some roadside photos.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bears, OH MY!

We also had a few bear encounters on our trip earlier this summer. The first streaked across the road in the middle of the day when we were headed to Glacier NP. The second was at dusk while we were leaving Mt. Rainier NP. He was just hanging out in the road and strolled around the roadside.
We didn't get to see any mountain goats, but the critters we saw were pretty awesome.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

SPS: Critters and tracks

For a late SPS post today, I am posting photos of critters found along white rim trail in Canyonlands NP. We spent two days on a dirt road averaging less than 10 mph.

This little guy graciously stood still long enough for me to photograph him. I had a grand time chasing lizards for the entire two days of the trip.

Alan and I saw this huge bird flying around the canyon, I tried to get a photo, but then it swooped away towards a rock formation further down the trail. We kept an eye out for him, but could not see him again. Once we neared the last spot of sighting, I stopped the jeep, and we looked again. I didn't see him until Alan pointed out that he was flying right towards us. This is the shot I got.

We were the only ones to see this guy and his buddy. They crossed the road right in front of us, and I of course started pointing...and Alan grabbed my camera and took this photo...they were on his side of the jeep. Then they were off into the rocks. I doubt anyone else saw this huge guy.

Finally, on the road to the back way into Canyonlands, Alan pointed out these. Yep, my very first sighting of dinosaur tracks.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tetons at Sunrise

I did not want to get up at 4:30 to see the Tetons. We were in a tent covered in frost and it was really cold. But I climbed out of my warm sleeping back, helped pack up camp, and we went to see the Tetons at sunrise. I am glad I did it, looking at the results. The sky turned a pinkish hue with sunrise and it hit the snow on the Tetons and made them super photo worthy. We saw huge herds of elk, and I managed to get a decent shot of one that was close by. I know it is early for SPS, but I will be out of town this weekend.