Wednesday 12th August 2020
We found a great spot to spend the night by Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Northwest Utah. We were the only ones in the whole campground. All that goodness for only $6.50.
Moving towards Vernal we saw a train pulling a gazillion windmill wings. I snapped this pic through the camper window in passing and only managed to get a few of them. Wind power is still doing well out west.
Vernal, a small town in the northwest corner of Utah had the most beautiful display of flowers. All the main streets were loaded with lovely displays like this. Every planter had the same pink and mauve color theme. Whoever was watering and feeding these plants was doing a fabulous job.
We had a nice hike in Dinosaur National Monument. Didn’t see any dinosaurs but this lengthy Kingsnake sunbathing across our trail was a bonus.
It was getting pretty toasty at the lower desert elevations so we drove up to this pretty hike at over 10,000 feet.
After reaching 11,000 feet the trail was all on a ridge. The views in both directions were great.
We finally made it back to Ouray, Colorado. We were there in June and hiked at the base of Mount Sneffels. I really wanted to return and hike to the top and snag a 14,000 foot mountain. The last several hundred feet was very dodgy looking shale so we decided to not risk it. I had the sniffles because I couldn’t top Sneffels.
We did manage to get over 13,000 feet which was our personal best. Good job we packed the coats as it was really brisk up there.
On the way down we stopped for our lunch and a nice rest at Ice Lake. It was pretty with lots of wildflowers about. A bit different from the last time we were there.
Ice Lake was really icy in June.
I’m always thrilled to snag a butterfly closeup. Thank you iPhone camera and selfie stick.
We stayed in Lake City, Colorado for week. At over 8,700 feet it was nice and cool. Surrounding the town are several mountains. Time to snag a fourteener.
We had been informed that it was fairly easy to get to the top of Handies Peak. That’s me on the way up looking pretty cheerful. That mountain doesn’t look very intimidating.
The top is getting a bit closer and the trail is smashing with lots of grass and great views.
Oh crapola. This part was terrifying. I had a bit of a panic attack three quarters of the way up this top section. I had a death grip on some rocks and was asking Dean if we could possibly get a helicopter rescue. I was too terrified to move up or down.
Funnily enough I am usually not scared of heights and will go to the edge of a cliff and look over but Dean hates heights and will stand way back. Now he was the MAAANNN!! He got me settled on a rock keeping me calm with a nice soothing voice. I had a drink of water and finally decided to go for it but kept my eyes only on the rocks just in front of my eyes. Definitely no looking up or down or to the sides. Dean stayed just in front giving me a verbal boost the whole time. Thank you dear husband.
Yippeee!!!!! We made it to 14,053 feet. It felt like the top of the world.
The 360 views were awesome.
All my scaredy cat feelings disappeared and we had a nice little hike along the ridge top.
It sure was a long way down but not nearly as terrifying as going up. What’s that all about? We passed a young guy going up and he asked how technical it was. Of course I had to put my Rose spin on how hard the latter part was. I got put in my place quick smart when he said he had just done 2 fourteeners that day and was trying for triple. I felt like a right wanker until I decided that I had at least 40 plus years on the kid.
After we got down to the lower flowery section it was time for a nice 30 minute lie down. In all it was a fabulous day. It was a ten miler with almost 3500 foot elevation gain. We had to open a second bottle of wine that night to celebrate.
After a couple of days our legs were rested enough to tackle a nice 10 mile stroll on a stretch of the Continental Divide which runs from Canada to Mexico. This part of the trail latches up with a section of the 500 mile Colorado trail. Once we had gained 1700 feet the trail leveled out and we had a great level hike for several miles on the top of a mesa.
We did see a bear running like crazy across the tundra but too far away for a pic. However this cute Pika posed for us.
Flowers were blooming in every rock crevice.
Columbines have such a pretty shape.
Our campground is fully booked so we are moving a few miles down the road. We thought getting campgrounds would not be a problem out here in the back of beyond but it seems every man their uncle is out camping. Every other vehicle we see is from Texas. I guess we all want the same thing. Fresh air and cooler temperatures. Keeping our fingers crossed we get a site.