07 August 2015

Stardate 2015.600

Pinnacle Ridge, East and Middle Forks, Cimarron River, Colorado


Snowcatcher and I just finished four days of viewing/photographing mountain wildflowers in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado. The San Juans are our favorite mountains. Although flowers inhabiting lower elevations had gone to seed, flowers above 9,500 feet in elevation were at their peak. This year has been nothing short of stunning!

In the top photo I'm shooting at the diseased and ragged Pinnacle Ridge separating East Fork Cimarron River from Middle Fork Cimarron River. Some tidbits: first, I proposed to Snowcatcher far up the Middle Fork during a backpack trip. Secondly, parts of the original True Grit movie with John Wayne and Kim Darby were filmed up the West Fork. Back then, the area was still pretty wild. In a sense, it still is wild, but it's been "discovered." Several of my favorite 14er and 13er climbs are in this area. Moreover, you may occasionally catch a glimpse of a moose. This cow moose and her calf were grazing along the West Fork.

I lack the photo skills and gear to fully capture the colorful tapestry of the local landscape in its entirety. But here's a go at it. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Volcanic escarpments, Cimarron River, Colorado

Ancient Upper Tertiary volcanic escarpments remind us of a very violent geologic past. Igneous rock of the Oligocene Epoch graces the landscape. These breathtaking rocks (especially at low sun angle) include andesitic lava, breccia, tuff, conglomerates and quartz latite lava.

Elephant Heads

Elephantella (Elephant Head)
Pedicularis groenlandica
Figwort family


Orange Sneezeweed
Dugaldia hoopesii
Aster family

False Solomonseal

False Solomonseal
Smilacina racemosa
Lilly family


Erigeron caespitotis
Composite family

More Cimarron to come...


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