Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I have been out of Colorado on vacation for almost a week. I came back on Tuesday when the wildfires really took off. Thankfully, I don’t live in an area affected by fires. The devastation that is going on is real scary. Driving home, I could see the huge smoke plume from the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs from Denver. I could also see smoke from the Flagstaff Fire near Boulder. I have gone hiking in the area of the Flagstaff Fire a few times.

I had to drive through Colorado Springs to get home. It was quite spooky. The Waldo Canyon Fire took a turn for the worse about the time my plane landed in Denver. The fire jumped a couple of ridges and traveled a couple of miles in about an hour. I went through the Springs around 6:00 P.M. I hit traffic around the Air Force Academy. Traffic was only bad on I-25 for about 4 miles. I was driving through Smoke from the Air Force Academy till I got past Garden of the Gods Road. I was lucky to get through when I did. I-25 was closed shortly after I went through. It was closed to help evacuate the area. I have heard 32,000 people have been evacuated because of the Waldo Canyon Fire. Here are a few photos from my drive.

I-25 near the Air Force Academy

I-25 at Garden of the Gods Road

The view of the smoke plume taken south of Colorado Springs

American Red Cross

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mr. Jones

I climbed Jones Mountain (13,221 Ft.) this weekend. Since it is only a thirteen thousand foot mountain, it doesn’t get hiked much. To access the mountain, I took the Ptarmigan Lake Trail. The trailhead for it is off of the Cottonwood Pass Road west of Buena Vista. It is 3 miles to the main lake. I had an early enough start that I had the trail to myself on the way up. The Ptarmigan Lake has an elevation of 12,147 Ft. It is an easy hike to it though. It is uphill all the way, but the grade is pretty gradual. It is about a mile to the top of Jones Mountain from Ptarmigan Lake. This part is steep, but not rough. The view from the top was great. I was able to pick out the 14ers in the area. I didn’t see any other hikers until I got back down to the lake. I took a lot of pictures. Here is a big batch of them.

A small lake with Turner Peak

Jones Mtn. and one of the lower lakes

Ptarmigan Lake and Jones Mtn.

Ptarmigan Lake and Jones Mtn.

Turner Peak, Mt. Harvard, Mt. Columbia, Ptarmigan Lake, and a marmot

Wild- flowers

Mt. Yale and Ptarmigan Lake

The ridge of Jones Mtn., Turner Peak, Mt. Harvard, Mt. Columbia, & Mt. Yale

Mt Antero (Pointy one on the left) Mt. Shavano & Tabe- guache Peak are also visible

Looking towards Cotton- wood Pass and the Three Apostles


Mt. Yale and Ptarmigan Lake

Father's Day Wild- flowers

Looking back at Jones Mtn.

More Father's Day Wild- flowers

What Father's Day Wildflowers don't quite work. How about this instead.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Good Enough

I’m a little late posting, but I went for a hike last Saturday. I went back to the Venable-Comanche Trailhead near Westcliffe. This time I hiked to Goodwin Lakes. The hike was 10 miles. Nothing too tough. I nearly had the trail to myself. On the way down I ran into a guy doing trail maintenance. Other than that, I did not see anybody else on the trail. I saw that somebody else signed the trail register after me, but I did not see them. So it was another peaceful hike on a weekend in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Here are the pictures.

Meadow with Goodwin Creek

Flowers below Lower Goodwin Lake

Outlet for Lower Goodwin Lake

Lower Goodwin Lake

Creek between the lakes

Upper Goodwin Lake

Upper Goodwin Lake

Upper Goodwin Lake

Lower Goodwin Lake. Tanner Peak and Pikes Peak in the distance.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

The Water Part II

I did a solo hike on Sunday to Comanche Lake in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The trailhead for this hike is near Westcliffe. The hike was about 9 mile round trip. There were not a whole lot of people out. That seems to be typical of my experiences in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It is quite nice.

Horn Peak. I hiked it July of last year

The direction I'm heading

Comanche Lake and Comanche Peak

Comanche Lake and Comanche Peak

Me, Comanche Lake, and Comanche Peak

Looking towards Westcliffe



Cliffs, trees, trail, & flowers


Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Water

I went to Waterdog Lakes today with Charles and Tina. This is my third time to these lakes; however, it was the first time I made it to the Upper Lake. The snow has made it difficult in previous hikes. There is not a whole lot of snow this year though. Compare the pictures below to a hike I did in late June of last year.

Charles and Tina. Same sign in March photo

Charles and Tina at the middle lake


Part of the Upper Lake

Upper Waterdog Lake

Tina and the Upper Waterdog Lake

Charles and the Upper Waterdog Lake

Upper Waterdog Lake

Small lake next to the Upper Lake