Well, we were off like a herd of turtles Thursday night thanks to road construction and traffic accidents. We got outta Dodge around 8:00 p.m. and knew we couldn't make it to Fremont Indian State Park, so we decided to try Yuba Lake. Full. We pressed on to a lovely little oasis called Maple Grove, managed by the Forest Service. We woke up to the scenery in the first picture, impressed, as we had not seen a thing when we drove in late that night. The campground at the state park is called Castle Rock and was also lovely and beautiful. Swanky, really, considering they had flush toilets, running water, paper towels, AND trash dumpsters. All of that for $13, which really WAS a deal because that same $13 provided a lunch hour at the park's picnic site, AND free admission to the Museum. Fremont Indian State Park is quite a GEM and we recommend it highly! We also attended a campfire program in the evening about the local fauna. Fun times with my K: foil dinners, hiking, and pillow talk under the full moon.
K decided to weatherproof our tent since it would be up in a sunny, breezy place for many hours. While watching him do his man duty, I noticed this spider web around the branch of a Juniper. Perhaps it's not newsworthy to you...but I like noticing stuff like this.
This is my K. Best camping/hiking/road trip buddy in the world! He knew I would love a cool early morning hike so he got up early for me.
These gnarly aspen bring one word to mind: STRUGGLE. This was up above an old mining town called Kimberly around 10,000-11,000 feet elevation with snow patches. You gotsta be HARDY to make your way in the world up around there! The other pic is a close-up of the bark of a Cottonwood tree as we hiked part of the Joe Lott Canyon trail this morning (the creek crossing was a little wide for my short legs...got a bit wet on the way up and clumsily, MORE wet on the way back). Just LOVED the texture of the bark! What? You think I'm a "Nature Nerd?" Seriously?
All of the Prickly Pear blossoms were yellow in this area. I love how the Columbine look like they're flying...always in motion.
I know. It's a lot of flower photos, but over the years, I've improved in my ability to recognize, identify, and appreciate them. The Firecracker Penstemon were catching some morning rays, the Yellow Salsify was screaming for attention, and the Wild Roses smelled heavenly (we both thought so....mmmmm).
Petroglyphs (chiseled) and Pictographs (painted/dyed) are so interesting, but I will always remember what my petroglyph teacher, Kris Keele, used to say, "I hate it when people call it 'Rock Art.' These people were not sitting around doing art! They were working hard to say something important!" I hope in the hereafter I'll get to watch a video or interview a Fremont Indian to ask a few questions... They'll probably laugh their heads off and ask, "Is THAT what you thought we were saying???"
The Canyon of Life. Very interesting interpretations here. This was the last of eleven hikes we did out of a possible fourteen. After all, we need to leave something for ourselves to do next time.
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