Field Notes #3 – Looking back to an autumn day

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Welcome back friends, and welcome if this is your first edition of Ryan’s Field Notes.
I am thrilled to have you here.

Today we are taking a journey into the high country near the town of Ridgway, Colorado
during what was supposed to be a beautiful fall day.

10,000 – 9,000 ft above see level the air is thin, the nights cold, and
views beyond words.
That is where one of my daughters and I were on this beautiful fall morning.
Back packs on, we had started out in the colorful oak brush that crisp morning,
we had covered some country but the skies were beginning to turn grey.

We decided we wanted to go further up country and check out some different
views so we had hiked back to the truck and proceeded to go over Owl Creek
pass, the drive was gorgeous.
We had hopes of trying to hike up the East Fork trail, a trail that
takes you deep into the East Fork Wilderness.
By the time we had made it over to the road that took us to the trail an
unexpected snow storm had settled in.

Not knowing for sure what kind of storm we was getting into we decided
to enjoy what views we could see from the truck for a while.
The snow flurries made it hard to see very far at times and even though
there were hillsides just a hundred yards away with colorful aspen trees, we
could barely see them.

After a little while it looked like the storm was letting up.
We decided to change our plans as it was getting later into the day
and we knew it wouldn’t give us time to go as far as we wanted up the trail.
There were some other trails that we had in mind to try.

Donning our packs we headed up one of these other trails.
The recent snow had put enough moisture onto the ground and the
temperature was just warm enough that it was a sloppy, muddy mess in spots.
In no time at all it seemed the snow was melting away.

Working our way up the trail we saw some movement ahead, wow,
that thing was big. In this country I was used to seeing deer and elk
but this was the first time I had seen a moose. I had heard that there
were some living in the area but I had never had the opportunity to see one.
My daughter and I crouched and watched it feed for a while.
Unfortunately I had not grabbed my longer camera lens thinking I was
only going to be getting some landscape photography in, so
I was unable to get any pictures of this big guy.

Watching him for a while, we then continued up the trail for a ways.
Once we was almost to the top of the hill we was climbing it started
to lightly snow again. We reached the crest of the hill and sat down to watch,
it wasn’t very long before the storm had moved in around us again and we
were being blanketed with snow.
Sitting and listening to the silent snowfall we enjoyed the peacefulness
of the afternoon and waited for the storm to break.
I could tell at this point that it shouldn’t last very long.

As the storm lifted we was able to look out across a most amazing view.
The moisture on the leaves of the aspens seemed to make them
the more vibrant and the contrast of the light snow just accented
what was already such a wonderful scene.

The visits while waiting on the storm, the first experiences of her seeing a
moose in the wild, the being able to enjoy such wonderful views with those
we love…a time and place to never forget.

I appreciate you all taking time out of your busy day to follow along with the Field Notes.  Hope everybody is having a great start to 2020.  See you in the next edition of Ryan’s Field Notes.  
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