Day 1, Sunday, September 4th, 2011
Well, I finally got to meet some of my Spark friends in person and that was such a treat. Add a beautiful glistening Bear Lake, Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain where massive amounts of fir/birch/pine trees are starting to turn beautiful colors and it really was a "Colorado rocky mountain high" as John Denver once sang. We got to see birds migrating, hear an eerie elk mating call, and see a couple of marmots scurrying around. PS: My friend at work just finished scaling the Flattop Mountain with her boyfriend just about a month back!
Day 2 - Monday, September 5th
Whew...walking from Bear Lake to Lake Helene is a hike and am very happy to have accomplished it. Lake Helene itself is 6.3 miles around and includes Two Rivers Lake. Elevation starts at 9475 feet and ends at 10,690. So it's quite an awesome sight. Breathtaking, really...I had my binoculars and saw a Blue Grouse, some Broad-tailed hummingbirds, and a Brewer's blackbird...pretty neat!!! My husband's favorite tree, the Douglas Fir, is everywhere...how happy he would have been to see all this.
Day 3 - Tuesday, September 6th
Today, we are walking from Lake Helene to Fern Falls and will arrive there tomorrow. A few of us went down the western side of Joe Mills Mountain and then arrived at Fern Creek Canyon. We got to see Odessa Lake below on the left side of the trail. It was pretty steep, but the view was unobstructed and we got to see a breathtaking panoramic view of the rugged countryside. Plus, the Lake looked so close.
Then we found another trail that doubled back along Fern Creek to Lake Odessa's north. We got to see the Fern Creek Canyon and its surrounding mountains (Little Matterhorn, Notchtop Mountain, and Flattop Mountain) which all seemed majestic. We found out that a lot more people hike the trail to Fern Lake from the Fern Lake Trail further east, and since Fern is usually packed with people, we decided to go the Odessa route.
SEE ZWEBIE'S Video of the Falls below!!!
Day 4 - Wednesday, September 7th
I am enjoying this rest day, but why do I have this guilty, nagging feeling that I should still be counting my steps!!! At Fern Falls, mist surrounded us and we were incessantly sprayed with trickling, tiny drops of water. The sound of the Falls was louder than you would have thought. A couple of us shared a picnic lunch and returned to the ranger station for dinner. I was too scared to go kayaking, but it really looked fun.
Since Fern Falls (and Shadow Falls) are both along a tributary of Yellow Dog Creek, we walked along the short trail. Shadow Falls was a higher falls than Fern, but both were really fun to experience. Of course, we found out that it is called Fern Falls/Fern Lake because of the many ferns on the trail where moisture, readily available, allows them to grow in abundance. Since the leaves start to turn color in September and are in full bloom in October, some of the ferns have already turned a rusty golden color. Woohoo…this is such fun…
Day 5 - Thursday, September 8th
I was able to make the moderately steep climb to Bierstadt Lake despite my poor knees! I felt that I have accomplished a lot this past week especially today. There were a lot of families around and it really did provide an amazing panoramic view. There are heavily wooded tops and open hillsides containing sage, grass, and wildflowers. Our lengthy outing took us to Cub Lake where water lilies were everywhere...what a sight to be seen with people everywhere! I was very hungry and greedily ate what was packed in my backpack. Of course, being with Weight Watchers, I made sure the food I had packed earlier conformed to my allotted daily points!!! :o)
Day 6 - Friday, September 9th
Well, its the end of the road and back to Bear Lake. I have lost 4.4 pounds and all due to taking all these STEPS. Thank you, thank you, thank you Ann and fellow Sparkers. See you next week~
And to think this was all in a VIRTUAL trip!!!
For the best pictures I have seen, see Rian Houston's beautiful Gallery at URL
For a look at Fern Falls video by Zwebie