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Showing posts from February, 2009

Valley Loop Trail (June 2003)

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On the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park are the headwaters of the mighty Colorado River. To get there from the front range, we drove across the park on the Trail Ridge Road which goes above 12,000 ft. In June, you can see how much snow the park crews had to clear from the road. In some spots, there were snow walls 10 feet high on the side of the road.


The road drops down to the Colorado several miles below its source. From this point to where it leaves the park, the river is in the wide Kawuneeche Valley. It meanders through pine forests and meadows.

and an occasional strainer.

The Valley Loop Trail is near the south end of the valley. Here is a picture from the trail as it passes the pine forest. Most of the pine trees are lodgepole pines.

If you go, a dragon fly might land on your shoulder to say hi.

Unfortunately, in the years since these pictures were taken, pine beetles have invaded the Kawuneeche Valley like many other areas in northern Colorado. Many of the trees have died …

Keystone (April 2003)

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Weather can change fast in the mountains. This day, I was snowboarding at Keystone. In the morning the skies were blue and the snow conditions were not good. The snow was hard packed. This first picture is of the North Peak from the top of the front mountain.

Looking down a trail at the base area.

After lunch, we came outside and it was snowing hard. The sky had turned gray and the visibility had dropped. The skies began to open up and white gold came down.

The snow kept coming down harder though the afternoon.
By the time we left there was about 3 inches of snow of the ground. I could still feel the hard packed snow underneath, but it was getting better. They received 11 inches of snow that day...unfortunately we had to leave early. Keystone closes at 8:00pm and there were not many people there that day, so the snowboarding would have just kept getting better until the last lift stopped.