Saturday, August 20, 2011

Across North Park

The journey continued up the Poudre River to lakes and reservoirs at 10,000 feet. Green is the predominant color except for the number of lodge pole pines that are dying or dead. Some slopes are entirely brown. Others are more interspersed with the dead and the living. This wet summer may preclude a forest fire. However, a well place lightening strike could cause fire to consume the living and the dead across these slopes. That fire will happen. Some time.

Cameron Pass at 10,000 feet is the head waters for the Poudre Canyon. Considering the cool -- make that cold --  nights at that elevation, I opted to continue my journey to a lower elevation. Wandrin Wagon would have been in a photo atop Cameron Pass. However, with construction at the view site, that didn't happen. While waiting for a flagger's permission to proceed, I managed to get a photo of snow fields on nearby mountain peaks.

From Cameron Pass, the road drops into North Park. Great wide open spaces with views that go to the horizon -- or the nearest stack of hay.

There were numerous photo ops. However, with Wandrin Wagon in tow there was no place to stop to capture the ranch buildings or the derelict cabin on the slopes of Cameron Pass.

So moving on... Walden is the population center (about 700) of North Park. The county seat for Jackson County, there were no additions to this courthouse from its original construction about 100 years ago. It appears that growth is not something with which to be concerned. The interior is original with creaking wood floors and transoms over the doors to allow for circulation.

Across the street from the courthouse was this gem of house construction. Faced with rock, it is a tribute to the original builder's labor of love.

No doubt every kid grows up in this town or North Park ranches and can't wait to leave. Most likely most of them do.

Although an attractive little town at 8000 foot elevation, my bet is that the winters are long and the summers are short. No need for air conditioning here.


  1. I'll bet you're right about "every kid wanting to leave", especially if they can go to college somewhere.

    But I wonder how they'll feel about big city life when middle age catches up with them.

  2. This is part of CO we have not visited, will have to add it to the list.

  3. Hey you're in our neck of the woods near Red Feather! There's some fantastic boondocking in the NF in those parts. Enjoy!

  4. Oh one more thing, for the amusement of your readers....."Poudre" River is pronounced "Pooter" by locals! Snicker, snicker, nudge, nudge ;)

  5. Brown forest, eh? I have never worked for the US Forest Disservice, so I probably don't appreciate all their difficulties, but whenever I walk into their offices it seems unreal.

    Is this the field office of a major bank or IBM? All these people glued to their computers and chairs, doing the meaningless drivel that anyone in Big Organization American would do: playing with spreadsheets, writing reports that nobody will read, and attending meetings that lead to no action items.

    Do any of these college boys ever walk out into their forest and see what a mess it is?


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