This post could have been titled: “Snow Patterns, Forests.” Except that it has a bit wider scope.
It was up the Dolores River valley, from the town of Dolores (after another juicy, giant hamburger at the Depot) to my favorite Colorado mountain town, Rico (elevation 8,800 feet). Where the Enterprise Bar and Grill was not open (only on weekends during the winter), otherwise I would have had a delicious meal there instead.
Rico is surrounded by the San Juan National Forest. As you drive up the Dolores River on Highway 145, much of the access to the river is blocked by private landownership. That is, until you get within the boundaries of the National Forest, where there is much more access.
So I stopped to photograph snow-laden shrubs and tree seedlings.
Higher up, the patterns of the spruce-fir forest from across the valley attracted my attention.
And stands of aspen trees, too.
Then I was startled to see a herd of elk on the hillside above the highway. Why? Because they were yet another indication of how little snow has fallen up here so far this winter. Normally the elk would be much lower, down out of the high country. But not yet.
Soon I was all the way up to Lizard Head Pass. My favorite area. For the high mountain meadows and clear alpine streams. And for the lofty mountain peaks…that were shrouded in clouds on this visit.
Photo location: San Juan National Forest and Uncompahgre National Forest, southwest Colorado.
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© Copyright 2018 Stephen J. Krieg