Friday, October 05, 2012

In Chicago Basin

One of the most scenic areas where we camped was the Chicago Basin. It was where we stayed on our last night and full day in the Weminuche. It had ample campsites, plenty of fresh water sources, lots of wildlife, and grand views.

Andy tests out the narrow trail in fresh snow and ice.
 We look down on the opposite side of Columbine Pass. Finally at the top!

Looking back up the trail toward Columbine Pass.
The rare White-tailed ptarmigan, once more.

Andy pauses bedside a rather robust spruce.

This talus field has been stable for a long time--witness the undisturbed lichen-covered surfaces.

The trail takes us to an abandoned mine and miners cabin.

Tracks were still present, and they continued into the old mine shaft.

Looking inside the shaft.

You can't stop looking up at the high peaks and at the walls and forests looming about you.

Big summits everywhere you look.

The trail.

After so much climbing to get over Columbine Pass, it was a relief to descend closer and closer to Chicago Basin.

Our campsite and the view from my own tent.

All I had to do for this view from my sleeping bag was roll back the tent flap.

Funny thing about this video is that I didn't even notice the mule deer right at the beginning of the video until she darted for the trees.

We are visited throughout the day by groups of mule deer.

Morning alpenglow.

Strange colors revealed by erosion.

As we head out of the Basin we continue to drop, headed down to the Needleton Trail head.

One of many waterfalls in the trailside gorge that we passed on the way out.

Worth the trip just for the color.

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