Monday, December 27, 2010

Gunnison's Confusing Clouds Part II (Day 20)

8 Sept.

My towhee buddies woke me up again this morning. Much better than an alarm clock! I looked outside my tent and among the many birds, there were 3 chipmunks, a rabbit and 2 deer right there. Good stuff.
There were some nice clouds rolling in and the light was all crazy weird so I grabbed the camera and wandered around for a while. Found a Dusky Grouse (many more pictures of this lovely lady here). I went for a quick hike but got stuck in rain a couple times. The sky was having issues with decision making. Fog, sun, rain, blue sky...all of it. (more crazy sky shots here)
I got back to the tent around 0930 and started packing stuff up. I would have liked to stay in Gunnison for another day or 3 but again...the weather forecast was grim. We drove to Taos, New Mexico and encountered some gnarly storms on the way down. The torrential rain didn't make driving all that enjoyable.
The plan was to camp at Carson National Forest and we got there with enough daylight to find a place but had some issues actually finding a spot. All the official campgrounds were already closed (or flooded) for the season. Eventually we found an off the grid place, though I had to take my civic on some totally sketchy forest service dirt roads. I beat that car up so much but he managed to handle it without too much damage (not sure how...shocking, really).
We were camping fairly close to town and those FS roads definitely got some use, that was obvious. I always hate camping in these spots because they draw in the redneck jackasses who just go out there to get wasted and trash the place. We tried 4 spots before we found one that wasn't covered with beer cans and bottles and crap like that. So it always weirds me out a little bit, wondering if some meth-head fool is gonna come driving up, ya know what I mean?
But alas, there were no tweaked out creeps that crashed our spot. I did hear some loud grunting and snorting in the middle of the night though. Hmm. We were out of there by 6 am the next morning and on our way to White Sands National Monument. We had wanted to stay in Carson and hike up Wheeler Peak (highest point in NM) but the weather didn't feel like cooperating. Outdoor Wednesday


Out on the prairie said...

A very nice area, I imagine it has a bitof snow now.

Gaelyn said...

Always a drag when the weather won't cooperate. Still, you got off some nice shots of the terrain.

Marka said...

Nothing like a crazy-sky-day to keep you on your toes.

ChrisJ said...

I love your commentary. I've done similar stuff -- perhaps not so adventurous -- and I feel I'm there with you.

Barb said...

You've captured the Gunnison area well - those rock formations soar! It's fun to go along on your camping trips - esp. since I don't have to sleep in the tent! Happy 2011 to you!

SquirrelQueen said...

Beautiful scenery, this is the kind of area where I like to camp. Glad you found an area away from the redneck creepy types.

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful photos, Jill! Love the Grouse!

La Vie Quotidienne said...

The little creature in your blog header is exactly like a little Cybis animal (a field mouse I think) that I received for Christmas. You might be interested in going to my blog and checking it out as I did a post on it: 'Christmas Favorite'. Quite a coincidence - they are both adorable, the real one in your header and the china one I received. Happy New Year!

Light and Voices said...

Majestic looking scenes. Happy New Year.
Joyce M

catsynth said...

Unfortunate about the weather, but it did make for some great photos in between.

It's interesting, without the narrative, it would have been just the scenery and nature and what a great day it must have been.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I don't know. I don't think I would enjoy doing something if I had to worry about people and trash and ...all that.
We always seemed to go on our vacations in the winter..and like you, came into some bad was really fun when I look back. Still...I'm sorry you had to try and find a place with no trash.
I remember once we were traveling up the 1 in California..and every turnout with such beautiful views had trash and millions of cigarette butts. I finally got so upset that I got some bags and started picking up those nasty butts and an odd thing happened. It wasn't long before others were pitching in and helping and when we finally pulled away..the place was spic and span! People are..interesting.
Your pictures are just beautiful!!
Happy New Year!!

Southerncook said...

Amazing photographs and what a fabulous camping trip you are having.

Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook