Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Spring Trip 2010 – Day 34 – Writing on Stone – Part 2

Still up along the trail….

Spring Trip 2010 2021

and Shantz spot’s something!

Spring Trip 2010 2020

a rabbit (or more correctly, a Nuttall’s Cottontail).   These rabbits are usually seen all over this park, but like I said shortly after we arrived, it had been a bit of a zoo over the long weekend and I think every thing was just starting to venture out of hiding.

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a bit further along, it was our turn to spot these Mule Deer…..this is pretty much at the ‘turn around’ point of the trail.

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Here is one of those deer giving us a good looking over ~ I guess, if I’d heard at this stage, about all those ‘attack’ deer in Cranbrook….I might have been more concerned that this one might have had a fawn hidden away and had been doing more than just watching….as it was, it was just a deer ~ I was more concerned about watching for Rattlesnakes since the day was warming up and they were liable to be crawling out into warm spots to warm up.

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so now we are headed back….the deer would have been just off to the right of this spot….

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We’ll toss in another wildflower now, This is ‘Butte Marigold’ ~ a bit more sensible name than the last few.

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We’ve climbed back up on top…

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Time for a breather, and a drink of water for everybody.  You’ll note Shantz is on a short lead, that is partly due to the cactus and the already mentioned possibility of Rattlesnakes ~ which, fortunately, we never saw.  I actually prefer it when there has been somebody ahead of us on the trail, figuring that they would have scared any away.  As you who know me, know, I don’t like snakes of any sort.  We have actually seen Rattlesnakes here.  On our first trip there was a baby one right on the road leading into the campground, and the second trip, the park ‘snake lady’ had one in a cage….she had found it in one of the campsites…not too far down from the one we were presently camped in.

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Back to more pleasant subjects, here is a Blue Flax flower…

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and another view…..

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There are a few tight spots on the trail where you wend your way between sandstone hoo doo’s…

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Remember I mentioned Cactus?  Well here is one of the Prickly Pear Cactus found all along the route….this one has flower buds just forming…..

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There were more of these Yellow Prairie Violets, tucked in spots all along the trail….

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Prairie Onion as well….

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 and of course, this showiest of the wildflowers….Smooth Blue Beardtongue

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As we’re almost back to the campground, we’ll take a final look at the surroundings…..this view would be looking back the way we’d just come, which is pretty much looking westward.

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and here we are looking ahead towards the campground (those green trees the other side of the rocks)

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and this is looking across the top of the rocks, over towards the visitor’s center….just barely visible up there on the horizon….

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this part of the trail actually has steps carved into the sandstone…..this is probably the steepest part

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and here we are, back at the entrance of the campground.  Those buildings are a shower room and a store.

So I think I’ll post this, and then get on with the last, and longest entry for this particular day.

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