On our journey to the eclipse zone in Wyoming, we visited an area that neither of us was familiar with. We drove down two lane rural highways with 65 mph speed limits, looking for tiny dirt roads leading into the National Forest. Our hope was that one of those roads would take us to a quiet place to watch the eclipse.
Somehow, we ended up doing some of this exploring in the dark. When we finally arrived in the zone where we planned to watch the eclipse, we turned onto a tiny forest road that our map indicated might lead someplace good. We knew that we were in the right place when the forest service sign had this funny picture on it!
We were bone tired that night, and we camped in the first clearing next to the road that we spotted. Imagine our surprise at finding a camping spot easily in an area where we'd read that the entire west might be flocking to in order to see the eclipse. We mumbled to each other that we might find out why the campsite was available when it was light outside. In other words, there might be something bad about it that we couldn't see.
We were right. We were smack in the middle of a charred forest that had burned up last summer.
It sure wasn't scenic but the Runner immediately noticed that vividly colored wildflowers were already blooming on the forest floor, just a year post-fire.
What an amazing hopeful sign in a forest that seemed almost devoid of life.
Large areas of the forest floor were bedecked in bright colors! I know that it will be a long time before the forest regrows but the flowers made us smile.
Needless to say, we moved on that morning to an unburned section of the forest. The locals were wonderfully kind and gave us great advice about places to camp. We found a place that was not burned, had nice views, and was quiet!
Shyla leaped over some Yarrow in glee!
Happy Flower Friday! Even burned forests have incredible wildflowers, much to my surprise!