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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wildflowers Galore

Yesterday, I talked about arriving at our Crested Butte campsite and being so happy to see the sunshine. Even better, the sun was lighting up one of the most incredible wildflower displays I've ever seen.

I went for a mountain bike ride on a classic route, while the Runner took both dogs for a high mountain run. Unfortunately, it wasn't a place where I could take Shyla mountain biking with me.

But, the flowers on my mountain bike route blew my mind. The Aspen Sunflowers were taller than me.
They lined the high part of the trail. I literally stopped at least a dozen times to take photos of them. I got a moderately early start on each day we spent there, and I had the trails all to myself. Lucky me!
In some places, purple Fireweed mixed in with the sunflowers. The trail was smooth and tacky - lined with flowers the whole way.
As I look through these photos, I am reminded, yet again, why we try so hard to seize each summer day in the high mountains. Mountain wildflowers have fleeting lives at high elevations. I'd bet that this display is almost finished by now. I feel so lucky to have seen it.
We spent three glorious days enjoying this heavenly wildflower capitol. We'd run/bike/swim in the morning, and recline in the sun in the afternoons.
After those blissful days, we awakened to a change in the weather one morning. Because we were camped so high, we were literally *in* the clouds. We headed down about 3000' in elevation for some exercise. I rode on this pretty trail at about 8000' in the rain.
And then we visited the town and its wifi to research the weather again. We discovered that a stretch of clear and beautiful weather was approaching out in the San Juan Mountains. We immediately hit the road to get there as fast as we could!

We had a super stroke of luck. Normally, we spend the first night in the San Juans camped near a main road, and then I ride a cross-country route to our favorite campsite, meeting the pack there (they drive a 4wd road). For some reason, I started thinking that we should drive directly to our campsite that night, even though it would be a bumpy and painful van ride for me.

As we drove up the 4wd road toward our campsite, we reached a "road closed" sign after about 10 miles. At first, we were morose. Then, we read the sign more carefully, and we saw that the road was closed for the following day - all day long. So, we went around the blockade and made it to our campsite that night.

That was a fabulous stroke of luck because, if we'd followed our usual plan, I would've arrived at our campsite, after 5 hours of hard mountain biking, to discover that the pack wasn't there due to the closed road. We did have satellite communication devices (DeLorme) so I'm sure we would have figured out a solution but it would have been a very rough day. Thank goodness that we decided to break with tradition and go straight to our campsite!

When we arrived at the campsite perched on an overlook, the moonlit view was incredible.
What a great trip we were having!


  1. good call on the move to the new site!

    LOVE those wildflower views! absolutely amazing!

  2. Oh my, the world you see. Stunning photos as usual

  3. Just absolutely stunning! No words for that beauty.

  4. The wildflowers are so pretty - glad you got to see them and then share them with us:)

  5. The wild flowers are so pretty and I love the picture of the starts, too!!

  6. The last photo is superbly stunningly beautiful,I have run out of words for it, You have had a wonderful time up so high. Swim, did you, really? How cold was that water, or was it for R and Shyla only? Cheers, Jean.

  7. Oh gosh- thank you!! thank you!
    such amazing photos!
    Mommy thinks she keeps trying to get some good photos like you do- but she says no one can take a photo like KB!

  8. What a beautiful bike ride! The wildflower fields are fabulous!

  9. Oh wow. That is beautiful.

    Monty and Harlow

  10. Those flowers are amazing and we are constantly impressed with the beauty!

  11. Beautiful scenery, areas like that are where could hike all day and then camping would be a perfect way to end the day.

  12. The colors are simply amazing! Beautiful!

  13. KB,I'm so glad you got in and have warm days. I didn't realize we had fireweed here-saw the flowers in Alaska and loved them. Almost bought a quilt with them in it.
    Enjoy friend, you deserve it. If you want heat, you can always come down to the flatlands for it.

  14. Wow...I like your trials with all the flowers.
    The last Picture is stunning must been great to see that live....thanks so much for sharing this Lovely place

  15. Gorgeous, awesome. of your trip and the wildflowers! Good call on going straight to the campsite. It is good to follow gut instincts. :-) thanks for stopping g by to visit. :-)
    Barb & all the furkids

  16. Am trying to get caught up reading the blogs. I got to yours and AHHHH, just have to slow down and take it all in! What fabulous photos! I love the wildflowers and those blue, blue skies! Thank you for sharing - love your star-trail shots as well!

  17. HOLYMOLY - those pics do not even look real to me - WOW! You really have a keen eye for taking visually amazing pictures KB :) I hope you put together a nice album one day for yourself.

  18. How gorgeous!! Just love the aspect of your landscape shots...can I ask what lens you are using???

  19. Almost doesn't look real, does it? I'm the same way about stopping many times to take pictures. Or even just to look and look and look, and breathe.

  20. That looks like a gorgeous trail! And I love that last shot! I'm jealous you have places like this to go to. My last camping trip, we ran in to SO MANY people I felt like I was taking a walk through the suburbs. I need to go farther north... like Canada.


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