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Friday, August 23, 2013

A Storm to Remember

I love our days in the high mountains. As I awaken, I sleepily shuffle out of the LabMobile and gaze around me, feeling utter happiness that I get to spend another day in my favorite part of the world with my Pack.
On one day near the end of our trip, I started the day with a short mountain bike ride with Shyla. She's becoming a trustworthy trail companion... and I can't tell you how much I love having her by my side. We kept the ride brief since she was still recovering from her upset tummy.

Then, I headed out to ride to a mountain pass on my own. As I rode, I could feel the restless breeze shifting from one direction to another. And, I could see the clouds building. I could feel that Mother Nature had something big in store for us.
I hustled, pedaling hard to make it to the viewpoint ahead of the weather.
As I took in the panoramic view, I realized that two major storms were closing in on me from the north and the south. I put the pedal to the metal, racing Mother Nature back to camp.

As I rode, I came upon a couple of hikers who were hiking the entire Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango. They'd been living on the trail for more than a month. They were happy and upbeat, and seemed to want to chat idly for a long time. I mentioned that the air felt like "all hell was about to break loose", and they laughed, saying that the storms were going to miss us. Despite their forecast, I bid them "Good Luck" and continued my sprint back to camp.

As I arrived and propped my bike against the LabMobile, all hell did break loose in the form of snow, hail, rain, wind, lightning, and thunder. It went on for hours and hours. The clouds had surrounded us so we couldn't see further than 10-20 yards from camp.

Then, around dinnertime, the swirling inpenetrable clouds suddenly lifted, and we were astounded by the sight of the world around us.
Across the valley...
It was gloriously beautiful, especially with handsome R in front of the snowy mountains!
Obviously, the snow hadn't "stuck" to the ground right where we were camping but it had in nearby places. And, the sun even shined for a brief period, making the snow on the mountains look even more beautiful.
But, the warmth of the sun was brief. As we stood on our perch, the clouds started flowing past us for the southeast and southwest, forming streams of misty air. And, the temperature plummeted. It went below freezing that night.
Watching the clouds flowing around the mountains and our campsite was better than any movie I've ever seen!
Then, as the sun set, it turned the clouds to gold.
The light was surreal. It was a warm and golden light from the setting sun being filtered through the clouds.
Then, the sunset painted the most beautiful picture through the clouds.
At dusk, the light faded with the Lizard Head (the pointy mountain) peeking through the clouds.
Despite all the time we spent as captives in the LabMobile during that stormy day, it was one of the most wonderfully wild days I've ever lived through in the high mountains. It reminded us of who is the boss, and it's Mother Nature, not us.
What a glorious world we live in!


  1. Beautiful photos!! Thanks for stopping by our blog!

    Your pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  2. It is so nice to be able to "visit" your beautiful world through your awesome photos. That must have been quite the day for all of you. Hope those hikers found shelter.

  3. Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing!

    I wonder how the hikers made out in that storm?

    What does R stand for?

  4. What a beautiful post! I will come back again and again to see the beauty of the Labs and Mother Nature. Wonderful!

  5. What a beautiful place! And wow, that last Shyla photo is incredible. Frame worthy! She's filling out now; she looks so mature!

    Nola's Mom

  6. What a beautiful post, from start to finish--Your words and photos could not be more perfect! You are right, Mother Nature really is 'the boss,' and she's someone to be respected, that's for sure!

  7. I felt the excitment in every word, I worry about your hikers but they sound like professionals and have covered a lot of ground safely so far, I am sure they were prepared for the cold....
    Girl, you have a wild spirit in you and we enjoy every adventure you take us on.

  8. Mother Nature can turn on a show much better than the biggest Blockbuster...with visual effects. We're happy to experience that through your lens, though.

    XXXOOO Daisy,Bella & Roxy

  9. A Golden Girl in sunshine, golden sky, and a storm, what excitement in one trip. Super photos, I guess all metal things were packed well away with lightning round. This is what makes a holiday so much better than one that has normal ordinary days. Cheers from Jean

  10. You said it...what a beautiful world we live in. I hope the hikers did okay.

  11. What a day! Nothing like Nature to give us some perspective!

  12. What a brilliant post and account of an amazing day. We've just got back from a very small camp in the Cevennes mountains in France and by comparison those are not mountains! It's so relative, we loved it as it was so different from our usual environment, for you it would seem tame. Thanks for sharing your life, it opens many worlds to me to read of where others enjoy their time

  13. We are so happy that Shyla and R are feeling much better. That sure was a very scary experience and thankfully you weren't too far from the Vet's.

    So hard to believe that in August, your temps drop so low. For us that means we get to see more of your beautiful snow pictures.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  14. Out of your many blog entries, I think this one will always be a favorite to me. Wonderful descriptions, greatest pictures of the dogs and the mountains. All just perfect.

    Cheers and hugs,


  15. Those precious and rare experiences when all we can do is open our senses and remind ourselves to breathe!
    Thanks for sharing one :)

  16. WOW is all I can muster for these beautiful scenery pictures, storm or not. Glad you made it back to the 'labmobile' before it started! Thanks for sharing

  17. Wow, glad that you didn't get stuck on trail out in that storm. As breathtaking as they are, Mtn storms can be frightening. I hope the hikers had hunkered down and rode through it okay.

  18. How beautiful! I can see why this is your favorite part of the world. Thanks for sharing these incredible photos!

    Susan and Wrigs

  19. Whenever I look at you I'm fascinated every time of your great pictures ..
    this landscape is really worth seeing .. your dogs of course .. ;-))
    regards Frank

  20. Your photos are always incredible, but these are even beyond what you usually have. Thank you for showing me a part of the world I have never seen as I do through your eyes.

    Anne and Sasha

  21. To others like us who live in a very flat area with nothing much to look at, seeing these photos is like looking at another planet. So beautiful. I thank you for sharing.

  22. You are absolutely right, KB. Mother Nature is boss - always!
    What gorgeous photos!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  23. There is something beautiful about a storm. Thanks for sharing yours.

  24. Many of you have asked about the hikers. I don't know exactly what happened with them but I talked with other "through-hikers" the next day. Almost all of them had set up their tents, climbed into their sleeping bags, and had ridden out the storm in warmth.

    One particularly smart guy had hitched a ride to the nearest town and had spent the afternoon/evening in a warm hotel!

  25. Wow. I don't think I can imagine being there, that's so far removed from what I'm used to.


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