Painted Desert

Painted Desert

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

White Ranch & Holy Cross

First, a post-script on the Conundrum adventure... Scott Rappold, whom we encountered in the hot springs, wrote an article on Conundrum for the Colorado Springs Gazette. It can be read at and includes a picture of us crossing the flooded river, I in my orange hat pulled over red-brimmed cap. (You may have to answer survey questions in order to see the article.)

A couple weekends ago I went camping again. Not all that much happened, but I have some nice pictures... first, Sarah and I spent a night at White Ranch Park, as we did at the beginning of the summer. We slept in our hammocks under the stars, and I was awake when the sun rose: 

That is Denver in the distance, above.

When I went to the bathroom I found a baby lizard trapped in there, so I picked him up and carried him in my cupped hands back to the campsite to show Sarah. When I opened my hands, he just sat there.

After 10 minutes or so I put him down on a rock. He had been very docile the whole time.

Sarah had to work the rest of the weekend, so I went off on my own to the Holy Cross Wilderness north of Leadville. I camped at one of the many dispersed camping sites along Homestake Road, and took a long hike on each day. These images are of the Missouri Lakes-Fancy Lake trail loop...

I am not sure what that thing is -- if it was meant to carry oxygen bottles, or maybe a bag of golf clubs. It was halfway up to the mountain pass. I enjoy imagining that someone tried to drag their backpacking pack up "the easy way" and abandoned the idea halfway through, after struggling over 500 rocks and roots.

It was very rainy in the afternoons and evenings. For a while the sun came out, but it kept raining, so I just stayed in the car.

When it dried out a bit I walked to the river beyond the campsite and waited about an hour for animals to come out to drink. No animals came.

No, I didn't wait that long. Here is a picture of the night sky from my campsite; and below, the same river view at dawn. No animals came out to drink.

I drove to the site of my next hike, where there were lots of misty meadows with no animals in them.

Up there, things were just starting to turn yellow...

And eventually I went home, after hiking about 17 miles for the weekend.

This week Sarah and I are going to Zion National Monument, and I hope to have many photos.

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