The Summer of 2015 #3–Red Feather Lakes

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July 2015

This recovery from Shingles is slow. I may not be able to hike much, but I can drive, and I can do short walks that aren’t too steep (still working on my knee injury. All the physical therapy I did all winter didn’t work).

So a couple of weeks ago I decided to take a little drive from my base camp (my comfort zone) in Estes Park, Colorado, to Red Feather Lakes, just a little further north, and closer to the Wyoming border.

It’s been about sixteen years since I went to Red Feather Lakes, and that was just a quick drive in and out. I don’t recall much about it except there was a small General Store and not much else. I’m thankful to say that the store is still there, but as with everywhere else in America it is growing and changing. There are signs of the growth along the highway, in the form of a new church and a few more restaurants.

Huge lots of land have been sold, and enormous houses are going up on what look like three acre lots. The five-mile stretch of new homes I drove along had so many No Trespassing signs, it was obnoxious. Every driveway, every side road, and on either side of the road, there were signs and more signs, including This Area Is Patrolled, and Neighborhood Watch and Recognition. There was an area called Crystal Lakes that was like a club, no-one was allowed to drive on the roads at all unless they were a member, so there was no chance of seeing that lake. Those signs certainly did their job, I would not want to have anything to do with such a place, it was bordering on paranoia.

I drove up one road into Red Feather Lakes proper (where the regular folks live). It had narrow, poorly maintained dirt roads, and an ecliptic assortment of cabins, old, new, falling down, fixed up, many with junk outside, many with pretty flowers and landscaped. 

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It is always nice to see new scenery and explore a new place. I get bored being in one place for an extended time especially when I can’t do much. I suppose having a home makes it easier to be in one place, the home itself takes up most of a persons time. Just cleaning it, maintaining it, feeding the birds, landscaping, doing the breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes, or just sitting in a chair and watching TV. I know that when one is living within solid walls, it is easy to become complacent and let the years slip by without doing much else.

Day Two

I did a couple of short walks today, one to Molly Lake, which was about two miles round trip on a closed dirt road.  It is one of the lakes that has not had a trail built around it with places for people to fish. There was no charge to visit this lake. The road had been closed by the forest service. There used to be dispersed camping along it. I can only guess why they closed it…I know that many campers are highly disrespectful of the forest. I’m glad they chose to protect this beautiful little lake. Now only the folks willing to walk or ride a horse will see it.

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I also walked around Dowdy Lake, which had a trail around it. It was very pretty indeed. While I did this walk thunderstorms were building up all around, and I made it back to my car just as the storm directly above the lake unleashed its fury. Thunder and lightening at the same time, and hail. Oh how I love a good storm, one that makes the earth shake.

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I love the picture of the rock in the water here, it looks like the head and shoulders of a stone man walking through the lake. I couldn’t resist taking this shot.

I was also lucky enough on this day to see an owl that flew across the road in front of me, and then a young badger at the side of the road trying very hard to climb up a steep incline made by a bulldozer. It kept falling back into the road, and I hope with all my heart that it made it to safety. Then I saw some moose, a mother with two young ones that were kicking up their heels. All of these sightings were within a mile of each other, and in the area where the new homes were going up.

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I found a very pretty spot for the night, but another thing is happening in our national forests which is making it hard to find quiet places to camp. As the roads are improved for logging or whatever, more and more people with huge RV’s can get further in, and with RV’s come generators and OHVs. Fortunately the one that parked near to me didn’t stay, and I had a night of quiet.

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There is Mitzi, surrounded by wildflowers.

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Here is the fire ring in my spot. The tiny one in front is mine, and the big one in back is what I call a redneck fire ring. There was more trash in that than I throw out in a week or more. This is one of the reasons why the forest service is taking away access to camping in so many areas. It saddens me in so many ways. The folks that do this don’t care about the environment, and when the forest service closes these places they are taken from us all, not just the ones who don’t care. Too many people with no respect for their home are ruining this country.

 

I encourage you to camp in the forest, or on BLM lands and experience nature, but please be respectful of nature and other people.

 

Until next time…

Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature

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