Running on ...
HOME OF THE 'TALL MAN'... (And you can see the blog pictures below in much greater detail simply by clicking on them)
Sunday, June 11, 2017
To the Divide, with beargrass!
I was breathing hard, but I made it all the way to the cairn — or the remains of the cairn — Nora and I built on the Continental Divide 19 years ago. In fact, it was so windy and chilly (38 when I set out) that I went on past to the stand of scrub pine a quarter mile or so past the cairn. This is the place we dubbed "Nora Mountain" and even put a note in a jar to that effect inside the cairn. I brought that back down a few years ago because the lid was rusting so bad, so I'll endeavor to rebuild the cairn and replace the jar with a better lid this summer now that I'm getting back into some kind of shape.
You can see the prairie of the foothills in the distance.
After looking at some old posts, I'm doubting myself about getting to Nora Mountain ... I think it's down from that first ridge and up the next mountain. If that's the case, then maybe the cairn is OK and I just didn't get that far. I got to this cairn in about 27 minutes, and on previous occasions it was more like 44 to her cairn.
Anyway, it was a glorious day, including ...
... the profusion of forget-me-nots. It was so chilly and windy that I didn't get the full effect of the flowers, because I couldn't smell them (they're heavenly).
Here's the profusion, which never comes out in pictures as dazzling as it is in person. This is what Nora and I call "Remember Me Ridge," which is at about 6,400 feet, which is about 800 feet above the trailhead.
I was happy to see some of this not far from the trailhead, so niece Hannah is guaranteed to see plenty of beargrass when she comes next weekend from Nebraska.
These are the "incipient" beargrass flowers that will be fully in bloom in the next week or two. Amazingly, in a patch a couple of hundred feet higher up where I've seen super-thick beargrass in the past, the foliage had frost on it and there were no new stems.
This is at the base of the observation cliff about 15 minutes up. I've identified it before but the best I could do from my books today is something called "Lewisia," which presumably is named for Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame.
There was lots of this, especially on the lower reaches. It's chickweed and this was the thickest patch of it.
I felt good on the run, though I considered stopping at the cliff, which is probably just 3-400 feet up from the trailhead. But I soldiered on, and was rewarded with great views.
I'm going to call it
6; 11; 16; 228
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