Friday, August 31, 2012

Bonus 8-15-12 Chapin Pass and Chapin Mountain

Early on a Wednesday morning Ken Oldham led Chris and me up Chapin Pass and then up Mount Chapin. It was a beautiful day even if very hazy from distant forest fires. Leaving the trail head at about 11,00 feet we were on the tundra in about 40 minutes for the rest of the day. After being on many canoe expeditions to the arctic tundra I have continued to love it whether it be high or low.

Chapin Pass sits between Mount Chapin and Mount Chiquita which along with Mount Ypsilon make up the southern part of the Mummy Range within the northern confines of
Rocky Mountain National Park.

From Chapin Pass it is an exhilarating tundra walk to the summit of Mount Chapin,12,415 feet in elevation which we reached at 9:30 a.m. 

Despite the prevailing haze the views from the summit are spectacular.

On the descent we hiked over to Little Chapin in the direction of Fall River Pass. It was only when we neared its top that we could identify a herd of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ewes enjoying the sun on the summit. They were unconcerned with us and we left them alone and as they say in the Great Book we decided to return home by a different route.

Chris and I were grateful to our leader Ken who has been a friend of mine since we were 14 years old. I had given up on hiking on the tundra but this trip opened up great possibilities for the future and the need for more serious training.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bonus 8-16-12 The Wild Okapi Marimba Band

At Perfomance Park on Thursday August 16 in 
the rain with Chris and Becky. I can still hear them now.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bonus 8-12-12 A short hike

I took the Lawn Lake trail to the Ypsilon Lake cutoff. Just
beyond that I found a nice stream with a flat bench seat.
It was a hot day so I soaked my feet in the numbing
water. Great!!!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bonus 8-12-12 Owl

We had Kathy Bowers over for supper last night and
when she was leaving at dusk we heard "OOOOOOO"
nearby. Kathy called us from her car and had spotted 
a huge bird in a nearby dead tree. When we went to
look it was an owl. I could see his back through the field
glasses. We were really close. Jan got his picture in the dark.
When I went to get my camera he flew away.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bonus 8-11-12 Mystery Bird

This mystery bird was in a dead tree by the public beach
where the eagle ordinarily sits and eats his fish. We thought
it might be  a heron.

Bonus 8-11-12 Baldy

In the parking lot of the public beach we saw our Solitude eagle
and a "birder" told us his name was "Baldy" and she has seen him
catch fish and ducks in the lake and then eat them in the tree.

Bonus 8-11-12 Wading in Lake Estes

We waded into Lake Estes to cool bath our knees.
It was around 68 degrees and not really numbing.

Bonus 8-11-12 A surprise in a tree.

We were driving along a side road coming back to the cabin when there  was a minor road block. I thought,  "No, not another big elk in town," but it turned out to be a large black bear that was up in a tree right by the road. The in-town bears apparently spend the days in a tree and come out at night to forage  for food. It has become a local problem as two bears have been "put down" recently for being nuisances and it was purportedly because the locals, both home owners and businesses had not bear proofed their trash. This bear was certainly a treat for us. He moved around a lot but made no effort to come down.


Bonus 8-8-12 Beavers

Tonight I took a long walk on the Fish Creek Trail and on the way
back I saw two beavers at this pond in the creek. They swam
downstream before I could get their picture. I walked down the
trail and cut over to the stream and found their house but no sign
of the beavers. This is several miles down from the
controversial trail construction site.

Bonus 8-9-12 Park Theater

This is the venerable Park Theater where we saw the wonderful
"camp" movie Moonrise Kingdom. The walls were covered with
oriental rugs.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bonus 8-10-12 Trails End

Today Jan and I hiked by the North Fork River in the Commanche Mountain area of Roosevelt National Forest and RMNP. Before that, we drove to Boys Trails End Camp which is a primitive camp connected to Cheley Camps.It is three miles from the highway just south of Glen Haven on the Dunraven Glades Road. It is here that my brother Bob was a wrangler and camp counsellor for someyears after he had attended the Estes Park camp. I have never been here before. 

Campers sleep in covered wagons.

There are four beds to a wagon.

The place was magical. Here is a sign from the lodge.
It was written by Jack C. Moomaw who was a ranger
in Rocky Mountain National Park from the 1920' to the
1940's. He used to come to Trails End and regale the
campers with wild stories as did Charlie Eagle Plume
who would come to the campfire with his long headdress.

Bonus 8-10-12 Mushrooms

We have seen many mushrooms here in the Estes Park area.
With the help of Justina Bricka from Innsbrook we have
identified #1 and #3  as boletes and #4 as a puff ball. Number 2
is still unidentified.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Flower for the Day 8-8-12 The Blue Gentian

While at the Fritschel's cabin they showed
us their newly blooming blue gentians and
Fritz quoted a verse from Rainer Maria Rilke: 

 Thr Ninth Duino Elegy  
...The wanderer does not bring a handful of earth,
The unutterable, from the mountain slope to the valley,
but "a pure word he has learned,
the blue and yellow gentian".
...Here is the time for the unutterable,
its country.
...Behold, I'm alive on what? Neither childhood nor future
opens less.  Surplus of existence
is welling up in my heart. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bonus 8-7-12 Lunch with new friends.

When I was at the Bach Concert at the Stanley Hotel last week I met a
nice couple at the intermission, Fritz and Carol Fritschel. The come
here every summer and live at a family compound in Meeker Park.
Their home is in Honolulu. They asked me to come by their place
sometime so Jan and I went adventuring today. We were to go to Meeker
Park Lodge and ask for directions to their place which we did. The
grandmother at the Lodge gave me directions and then her daughter
gave me pretty much different directions. We took the daughters
directions and were to go right at Camp Creek road and then go a
quarter mile and then go up a hill and then down a hill and look for
a place with a parked car. We made several wrong moves but actually
found their place - 39 acres of peaceful valley with high rocky
ridges on both sides. It is near the Lane Guest Ranch which
advertises all the time in the Wall street Journal.

They were very pleased to see us and were very welcoming. We had
brought our lunch and they were just starting to eat so we joined
them in their cabin for lunch. We had found out before that they were
friends with our friends John and Debbie Balfour in Honolulu. I went
to med school with John and Jan and I had visited John's mother and
brother on Kaui on our honeymoon.

Now it gets weird. Carol was getting a haircut last week when Jan and
Chris went in to get an appointment and heard Jan say she was Jan
Sessions from St Louis and was staying at Solitude Cabins. Jan had
not been with me at the concert that night so Carol thought she might
be my wife but stayed quiet until our visit to their place.
Fritz is a retired Luthern Minister and Carol is a retired university
art history librarian. During our visit it turned out that Carol had
grown up as a Congregationalist (UCC) and went to the Central Union
Church in Honolulu where her minister was Dr. Thomas L. Crosby who
had been my minister growing up in La Grange. Wow.

We had a great visit and they could not have been nicer. Fritz told
me that his given name was Fred but that he was called Fritz as a
child. I told him that Jan's father John Feldwisch called her a little
snickelfritz. What an adventure.  Here are Carol and Fritz.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Bonus 8-5-12 Lunch at Cheley

On Sunday we went to Chapel at Cheley Campand then had
a picnic lunch.

Bonus 8-4-12 Blake at Cheley

Blake was finishing his first term at Cheley Camp. 
We went to the Saturday Sky High Horse Show.

Bonus 7-31-12 Humming Bird on the cabin deck

The hummers showed up as usual.

Bonus 8-2-12 Chris

Chris on Trail Ridge Road with the Front Range in the

Bonus 8-1-12 Magpies

Chris and I drove up Trail Ridge Road. There were
several magpies hanging out at Rainbow Curve.

Bonus 7-31-12 Hunter Jumper Competition

Chris and I went over to the Roof Top Rodeo venue where they were
having a Hunter Jumper competition. It was very laid back. We were
entranced by the jumping.

Bonus 7-28-12 The I-70 Diner

On Sunday we had lunch at our favorite Diner in Flagler Colorado.
They ave great BLT's.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Flower for the Day 8-3-12

We'll be taking a break for awhile.

This is a new yellow dahlia.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Flower for the Day 8-2-12

My Rose of Sharon tree has done well but its flowers are definitely wilted.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

FFTD Wildlife Report 7-30-12

The small mule deer above grazes around our cabin every day.
We found the young elk buck near the parking lot of the Seventh
Day Adventist Church.  The larger elk buck with the Christmas
lights on his left antler  was grazing in a field across from the
Bighorn Restaurant. He has been named the Christmas Elk.