Gunnison Adventure~Part 2

26 Aug

A Few Thoughts

Patricia Franklin

One of the most beautiful trips we took, and one I always anticipate, was up to Paradise Divide above Crested Butte at about 11,500 feet. This is one of our favorite places to go, and we hid a geocache up here years ago, which is still there. We get many great comments about the Paradise area on our geocaching site.

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There are several rare flowers on this trip and some of them only bloom for a very short time, if conditions are right. For instance we saw Glacier Lilies that only grow near the snow banks for a short time after the snow melts;

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Moss Campion (moss in bloom, with the sweetest smelling little pink flowers you have ever seen); Monument Plants which only bloom once, then are dormant for 20 – 60 years, then will bloom again. Rosy Paint Brush with its different shades of bright pink to pale pink, grows at this altitude. We saw a multitude of Lemon Paint Brush and the bright red Indian Paint Brush, too. Then there is the fluffy little Bistort that is soft and pleasing to the eye, but smells like dirty socks. These are just a few of my favorite flowers. There is a wonderful waterfall on the road up that cascades down 1000 feet this time of year, and a beautiful pristine Mirror Lake at the top. Also at the top, a large red mountain above timberline dominates the scene. You never see a lot of people up here.

Going down the other side, a few miles down you see many more people, as it is a popular area. You pass the Biology Research Center located in beautiful Gothic. They established research plots in this area years ago to study the gorgeous flora here. It looks like they are expanding their research, as they are building a huge new building up here. Also as you come down this side, you pass Emerald Lake, which is very deep and is the color of emeralds. This is a favorite fishing, hiking and biking area, with many bicycle trails in use here in the summer. One popular trail passes the famous Maroon Bells and leads you into Aspen on the other side of the mountain to the east.

We saw a lot of wildlife during our stay in the area this year, including several deer, a couple of herds of elk (mamas and babies),a family of raccoons climbing a tree to spend the night, and 3 deer being stalked by a coyote.

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We were parked by the road watching the deer right above us. They were not spooked by us, but kept looking over our heads into the meadow below. So we looked down there and saw the coyote. He was watching them and looked like he was going to try to go around and maybe get behind them. However, we don’t think he would attack on his own. We also had our own little resident doe that stays close to our condo

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One Response to “Gunnison Adventure~Part 2”

  1. Old Things R New August 26, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    I am enjoying this series!!

    Like

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