Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ute Pass

We took a hike which began at Ute Pass and here's the thing.  I've decided that I'm not doing any more hikes that begin at a mountain pass.  All you do is climb up, up, up through the trees and once in a while you might get a view like this.  (Once again we had the smoke/haze problem.)
Which is nice, but most of the time you're just climbing through the trees.  I prefer a hike with more scenery along the way or a specific destination.

But we did see a couple of interesting things.  There was this tree that seemed to have exploded, sending pieces flying in all directions.
(The remainder of the tree is on the far right.)

A couple of the pieces stabbed into the ground and remained vertical.
We assumed it was hit by lightning, but we had never seen that effect.  Maybe Gumo, our ex-national park ranger fellow blogger, can confirm or explain.

Also, as many of you know, the nasty Mountain Pine Beetle has devastated large areas of Colorado. Here's a link to a map of this area showing the progression of the beetle over the years if you're interested.

And here's a representative picture.

But what I noticed on this hike was the natural regeneration of the forest.
Looking at the progression map, it appears that the beetle went through this area about ten years ago.  It makes me smile to see all the new trees, but of course a wildfire would take out all the dead trees plus all that lovely new growth.

Ron and I were admiring the pattern left by the little critters on this debarked log and thought it could be used as a decorative piece.

After all my rambling, I'll leave you with this simple wildflower.


  1. A few year ago we saw a tree that had been hit by lightning at the North Rim of GC. We were amazed at the power and the distance the pieces were propelled. Love following your blog & adventures.

  2. That log would make a great decoration in your motorhome. Please take pictures of how you're going to get it int through the door... ;c)

  3. We also prefer hikes with what we call entertainment value; the hikes through the trees are more for exercise IMHO.

  4. The beetle attacks mature trees so the up and comings are safe...Still its a nasty thing!
    Well a hike through the trees is better than a day at work, RIGHT? :o)

  5. I'm with you - I like scenery when I'm walking. We've noticed around here that the spruce are taking over the pine forests because of the beetles.