Monday, September 7, 2009

hike at Long Lake

Our friends, Billy and Kay, live in a small mountain community above Boulder CO at about 8500 feet.  I met Billy the year I lived in Chicago where we were both going to college albeit not the same school.  That was 1970.  He and a couple of roommates had the apartment in front of mine.  The year passed and I went back to Houston while he moved on to San Francisco.  He eventually ended up in Colorado where he met Kay.  Billy is a jeweler and sculpter and Kay is now an editor.  She started the local two county newspaper, made a career out of it and eventually sold it.  She freelances now.  They are both wonderful and talented people and we visit whenever we can.

Our little traffic jam mentioned in yesterday’s post was karmic as it allowed us to be in exactly the right place at the right time with absolutely no planning for our path to intersect Billy’s in Boulder during the 10 minute window where that was possible.  Had we not been delayed, he would still have been conducting his business in Boulder and had we been delayed even 5 minutes more, he would already have been on the bus back to Nederland.

On our full day at their house, we went up to 10,500 feet and took about a 3 miles hike around Long Lake.  It was a fairly level hike with a well established and traveled trail. with wooden sections of the path built over the many little running creeks that drained into the lake.  We saw the lake only intermittantly, mostly hiking through the forested slopes.

arctic gentian

I don’t take long shot pictures.  The futility of that was driven home by my years guiding in Boquillas Canyon taking pictures of breathtaking scenery only to be sorely disappointed in the pictures when they came back.  It was just impossible to capture the beauty and majesty.  I focus on the details, especially flowers.  Our friends thought that perhaps it was too late in the season to see many wildflowers and, true, they were not abundant and mostly gone by, but there were still plenty of individuals to attract my attention and to cause us to stop frequently while I got my picture.  You can click on the pictures for a larger version.

rose colored indian paintbrush


monk’s hood


chiming bells

elephant head 

wood nymph

blue gentian

the main stream that runs into the lake



  1. The photos are beautiful, including the long shot of the lake. I am so impressed you could walk for 3 miles at 10,000 feet. I am such a swamp thing - the whole time I was a Tahoe I was short of breath and suffered from a headache. A few more days and I would have been up to speed, but wow!

    Love the synchronicity that involved a traffic jam! Whatever works, I guess!

  2. Oh, my-my-my!! These pictures are brilliant, Ellen. wow.

  3. Really nice photos
    I love camping and walking on trails
    The smell of the trees

    Glad you had such a grand time

  4. I want to be at Long Lake! Can I go there instead of working today? Probably not, huh. Oh well - at least I can enjoy it through your pictures - gorgeous!

  5. Love the shot of the trees in the wood (if that doesn't sound stupid). Hope you're having a great time relaxing, albeit being far too energetic.

  6. These are stunning pictures, all of them. The lake is so peaceful. I can you walk all the way up at that altitude?

    Synchnonicity? There is a blog site by that name. You should post there too.

  7. Thanks all. I loved all the little flower, so different from the ones down here. I took another picture of the little white ones, laying on my stomach on the trail but it wasn't in focus. They were only about 1 1/4" tall. I'm usually not affected by the altitude but this trip I did feel it. It was a leisurely hike but we did stop multiple times to rest.

  8. Breathtaking country, Ellen. Wow! The flowers are really incredible for this time of year. And a three-mile hike at that altitude on your first day! I bow to you...

  9. Hi Ellen
    thank you for bringing us these wonderful views and mountain flowers- you certainly found enough to keep us happy...It must be so fresh and invigorating at that altitude.

    Happy days

  10. Magnificent shots! I love the flowers and am amazed at the variety. I can't imagine snapdragons growing in the wild like that! What a wonderful piece of paradise!

    Thank you for stopping by my blog today...and thus giving me an opportunity to be here:-) Have a great day!

  11. Your photos are beautiful. I hope to visit Colorado someday and hike those beautiful Rocky Mountains.

    This is a peace offering after our little debate over on Nancy's blog :)

  12. I envy such a gorgeous excursion!


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.