Saturday, July 22, 2017

The GRAND Mesa.

Thursday I headed up to the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway.  The last time I visited this mesa it was after Labor day and it sleeted and threatened to snow...so this is my first summer visit.  The Grand Mesa is reported to be the largest flat top mountain in the WORLD!  It is over 500 square miles in area and about 11,000 in elevation!  Its such a beautiful place with over 300 lakes! I did not see all 300 but the ones I did see I enjoyed!

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 I'm not the only one who was out enjoying the day.  I cheered this young man on as he reeled in this gorgeous catch.  He did release it. 


the wildflowers were just amazing, not just in one place but everywhere up on the mesa!



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I took a hike down a trail 


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Saw this robin perched up high...and then down on the path came this fellow!! Do you know what it is?  I was not exactly sure...



it is a weasel, a Pine Marten!  He was so cool!! He stopped and studied me for a while, then he  turned calmly off into the vegetation.  What a cool encounter!  They actually live in trees! See those claws?

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After the hike I drove higher up the byway where more beautiful lakes were surrounded by wildflowers!  

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and beautiful mountain bluebirds hunting from rock perches...

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the Scenic Byway climbs up and up and there's so many pull overs to check out the scenery....and I took full advantage of them all!! The clouds did start to darken, but I was not going to let that deter me!

Lands End is a side road that is a Scenic Byway all of it's own...and you can see the end of the Mesa here..


and on this trip up this was my planned destination...Lands End. FS road 100.  It had come a quick shower but it was only spitting when I turned.  



I pulled over right away to check out this very pretty lake..



and saw some movement...a bird moving along the rocks and pumping his tail up and down...it took a while to actually get my camera on him....he was so quick...but finally I did....turned out to be #401 for me the American Pipit. 

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Exciting stuff!! Farther down the Lands End road, I came upon some still blooming columbine!

 


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Such a stunning plant! My next stop was at the Raber Cow Camp...back in the day these cabins were put to use when the wranglers and cowpoke brought stock up here for summer grazing..

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...what a beautiful place to spend the summer!!


Then it was time for a lunch break so I wanted to find the perfect spot for lunch with a view...


....this post is way too long so I'll stop Will try to get part 2 up quick because every day is a new adventure!!


PEACE
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

8 comments:

  1. Oh how I wish I was there, all those beautiful flowers and the little Pine Marten what a gorgeous coat s/he sports. And another new bird for you. We don't have Robins here only in the mountains. I would love to stay in one of those cabins and smell all that wonderful clear air and pretty flower. The fishing guy wasn't so hard to look at either. The views are breath taking from up on the Grand Mesa couldn't have given it a more fitting name

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    1. The air is so fresh after a thunderstorm, smells lovely! I wanted to stay and take it all in but alas I had to drive back...I hope to get back up there sometimes soon! There is lots more to see beyond the Lands End cut off.

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    2. Oh and I AGREE..the fishing guy was very easy on the eyes..lol

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  2. What a beautiful place and so high the air there must be so clean. A good shot of the pine martin, they must have hardly any human contact for them to be so fearless.
    Do they still use the cabins? as they would be graeat places for families to camp in.
    A stunning area.

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    1. The cabins are now a historical site so no one stays in there...the forest service keeps them up tho...He studied me for at least a few minutes before he left the path...at first I thought it was an Ermine, but my sis told me nope she has seen ermine and that is not one, so lucky I searched weasels and found it. MY first and only Pine Marten sighting.

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  3. How lovely to have such a close encounter like that! I love the Columbine, it grows in my garden in different colours - all self seeded.

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    1. I love the columbine, they don't like the climate where I live but they sure like those high elevations and cooler air!

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  4. Oh wow ...I should have read these last two posts in order, but both are beautiful on their own...oh my gosh it is lovely up there! I could imagine spending the summer in that cabin! Heavenly. Congrats on the new lifer ... and isn't he a cute little guy! And bluebirds are always special. What a great place...

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