Monday, September 05, 2005

welcome to my center

here little fella
Originally uploaded by jacquichris.
as promised, Sunday was a full day of hunting at Rawah wilderness. we hiked a different trail this time and put in 8.5 miles with about 1500 elevation gain and loss. it was a spectacular, blustery day well-suited to the somewhat otherworldly landscape of the Link trail.

on our previous hiking on the McIntyre trail, we encountered a few elk, a ragged coyote and a family of frolicking beavers. we also came across too fresh bear scat which encourage a slight route change.

luck was with me again on the Link trail, and we saw no deer though plenty of deer sign. the high point though occurred as we were resting on a summit rock, enjoying lunch.

after a few unseemly squawks of decreasing distance, we were happened upon by an elk cow and her calf. the calf we did not see, for it was hidden behind her in the brush. but momma came within 10 yards of us before the wind shifted and she caught our scent. it was amazing. unfortunately, the trees were too dense to capture her on film so you will have to trust me as to her beauty and profound enormity.

it was a wonderful day overall. after we wrapped up the hike we cruised north past the Hohnholz Lakes and into Woods Landing for a beer and some local color. finally we meandered back via Laramie which brought a treat as i had not seen free antelope before. i actually did not realize they still ranged loose on the prairie. they were gorgeous, though the word is annoying because of their want to destroy fences when they scrabble under them, and i got an excellent shot of a regal buck.

the full trip is located here for your enjoyment.

today i changed plans. although i originally intended to climb Long's Peak, i felt uncomfortable with both the crowds anticipated and the lack of a person experienced with the trail as climbers are occasionally killed on this well-marked trip, either by lightning or when ripped by wind from the mountain at points of exposure.

instead, i opted to get some work done in the lab and thus have fodder for my next post on key lessons in the life of a lab rat. stay tuned!


Dave & Nancy Estes Park said...

Loved the pics! You wild wilderness gal.

Pam said...

I am so happy you had another GREAT hike. To see such wildlife and experience such beautiful scenery must be thrilling indeed!

love, mom