Sunday, July 25, 2010

Rocky Mountain High-2010

These are the Ruby Peaks high up in the mountains of Colorado. This is where we spent a week. It is where we found peace and tranquility. It is where we found simple joys from nature. It is where I would still love to be.
We camped at Lake Irwin which is outside of Crested Butte, high up in the Rocky Mountains. We have been coming to this campsite for 30 years. It has changed over the years--we think the word must have gotten out as it was pretty crowded this year. We can remember when there were always open campsites. That is no longer the case. You have to reserve your campsite in the winter. But, who wouldn't want to come to the cool air and get away from life for a while!
One of the things we love to do while camping is to hike. This is Judd Falls, one of the many water falls we hiked to.
Another thing we like to do is fish in the lake. We catch and release our fish, so our technique makes fishing a little more challenging, but we had great luck and caught quite a few fish that were released back into the lake. And then, there are the flowers....
oh my goodness how beautiful are the wildflowers! I took many pictures..let me show you just a few..

These are Gentain or Monument Plants. We see them every year, but what was so interesting this year-they were blooming! They only bloom every 10 years, so we felt pretty lucky to see them.
The buds and blooms are not very showy, but put them in a big meadow and they really stand out!





Of course we saw lots of columbine, Colorado's state flower. We camp pretty high up (10,000 ft) so we have columbine all around.


These are called Sky Pilot. You smell them before you see them. No, they don't have a wonderful sweet fragrance-they smell like a skunk!
The meadows were full of these alpine sunflowers. They are always one of my favorites. There are so many yellow wildflowers in the Rockies I couldn't begin to try and identify all of them. And because they cross pollinate-they are hard for even the experts. The nick names for the yellows up here is "DYT" --"Darn Yellow Things!"
This is a ferny-leafed white flower with a very distinctive spicy sweet smell. It is named Osha and looks very much like our Queen Anne's Lace. It is everywhere! I saw one meadow that looked solid white because there were so many of these pretty flowers.
This is called Jacob's Ladder. I wish I could have gotten a better picture for you-it is such a sweet little flower. You can't tell, but it is a very light blue and usually grows under trees and other plants. I never see them in lower elevations, only up in the mountains.
This is an Elephantella, or Elephant Head. It is really an unusual plant with little flowers that have the look of a tiny elephant head.
There are a lot of Scarlet Paintbrush (which look like our Indian Paintbrush here in Texas) in Colorado, but this is a Rosy Paintbrush which is very hard to find. I was so excited to come across quite a few of these on one of our hikes.




There are so many other wildflowers we saw: asters, lupines, daisies, wild geraniums, sneeze weed, cow's parsnip, chokeberry, wild roses..oh I could go on and on. As you can see, I was very content and happy to just sit in the middle of a meadow surrounded by all these happy flowers.
John Muir once said "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." How very true this statement is. Our cares did seem to fall off, and we find a peace in the mountains like no other. Thank you Colorado, for your streams and rivers; for your beautiful lakes; and for your cool weather and spectacular flowers. We do indeed find a Rocky Mountain High and can't wait to come back again soon!

20 comments:

meemsnyc said...

The Rockies sure are beautiful. I haven't been there in years, it's a nice place to vacation.

Meadowview Thymes said...

meemsnyc--Oh try and go visit sometime, and go in July when the wildflowers are at their peak. Crested Butte is said to have the best wildflowers in the state and after seeing them year after year, I am a believer!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh...looking at those photos is like a breath of cool fresh air (mountain air of course!)

Glad you had a nice time and thanks for sharing the photos - after the heat around here the last week, it was a relief just to gaze at those beautiful mountains!

Kim

JenningsJunk said...

LOVE ALL YOUR PICTURES!!! looks like such an amazing time. So glad y'all were able to decompress and do so many of the things you love!

Meadowview Thymes said...

Kim, it was awesome..and although warm for Colorado, it cooled off at night and was pleasant during the day up in the mountains. It is still hot here..and my plants are feeling the heat!

Thanks JJ--it was a wonderful trip..and thanks to your nice young man--my plants did very well during our absence!

perennialgardener said...

Welcome back Linda! Wow those pictures you took are gorgeous, and that waterfall looked so cool & refreshing. Thanks for sharing your vacation with us. :)

misterreereeder said...

FANTASTIC!!! Looks like you had a good time (or lots of good times). What a way to spend some relaxing days. Thanks for sharing!!!

Meadowview Thymes said...

Racquel--you are welcome! I love sharing our trips to the mountains. It is always such a wonderful get-away!

Hey MR--how are you?? Glad you liked the pictures. We had a wonderful vacation--and I am ready to go back! :)

Susie said...

Colorado is so beautiful Linda. How lucky you guys get to visit every year. I can certainly see why you like to go. Loved seeing all the wildflowers. I bet you were in flower Heaven.

tina said...

Now you make me want to fly out to the Rockies and go camping. Never felt that way before. Looks like a wonderful trip. Those wildflowers are so awesome. I don't recognize any of them but they are still pretty!

Dawn said...

What pretty area and some of the flowers I've never heard of. Thanks for sharing.

Cindy, MCOK said...

I feel cooler just reading about the mountains ... thank you!

Meadowview Thymes said...

Susie, lol, you said it just right. I was indeed in flower heaven!

Tina, over the years I have learned to identify some thanks to a few books, but there are so many flowers I could never learn all of them. Lake Irwin is indeed the prettiest I know of.
PS-I started the MG class today--oh my goodness! :)

Dawn, I bet some of these same flowers grow where you are. I am glad you enjoyed the pictures. I love to share my trips to the mountains!

Cindy, the weather up there is awesome, but guess they have winter and we usually do not. I keep that in mind--Colorado's growing season is much shorter than outs. Great place to go in summer!

Northern Shade said...

I love camping in the mountains, and this is a terrific time to see the peak of flowers, such a short growing season, and everything flowering all at once. Your first three shots capture the peace inducing atmosphere of the mountains, with rugged rock, blue lakes, and rushing white splashed water.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Northern Shade-the mountains give me peace and serenity more than any other place. I always wished I lived there, but maybe it's better to visit from time to time. I can't imagine being able to enjoy all that beauty year round, but you are right about the short growing season. I would miss all the months we can garden here in Texas.

Skeeter said...

Ah, thanks so much for that breath of fresh air! I lived in the foot hills of the Rocky Mts way back in 1986 and loved every minute of my time there. I would so enjoy to be there right now soaking up the beauty and the cool crisp mountain air! It is sad when our secret treasures are no longer a secret isn’t it? Sigh. Thanks for this refreshing walk down memory lane today...

Meadowview Thymes said...

You are welcome Skeeter! Wish I had a whiff of that mountain air right now! It is so humid outside here this morning! I do love those Rocky Mountains!

Ben and Mandy said...

How beautiful! I've missed camping in the mountains this summer so much, but I think pregnancy and camping somehow might not be a good mix. :) Obviously, Ben and I will need to have y'all around to describe all the flora when we make our way back up next summer!

Meadowview Thymes said...

Hi Mandy! How are you?? Can't wait to see you on the 14th!
Our trip was wonderful. Jenny was keeping tabs on us the entire time. She misses camping and she really misses Colorado! Hopefully one day she and Jason can join us at Lake Irwin. Have you ever been there? You and Ben and your little son (is it Jake?) should go there one day!
See you soon..

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