An adventure of my life time!

Posts tagged ‘colorful wildflowers’

398. Exploring the San Juan Mountains with David (4): Ice Lake

This hike (7 miles round trip, 2,430ft elevation gain) visits two beautiful lake basins, traverses through meadows full of wildflowers, and passes numerous waterfalls along the way.

It was sunny and warm when we started. Half-an-hour later clouds moved in, and it started raining. As we were still hiking up, the rain turned to sleet. Soon the ground was covered by ice pellets.

Both of us were prepared. But even with a wool hat, gloves, jacket, and raincoat, I was freezing cold by the time we reached Ice Lake. Dark clouds hovered above us. Loud thunders boomed around us. We didn’t have any luxury to enjoy the gorgeous lake before heading back. I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture of the lake for fear of ruining my camera.

Half way down the mountain the rain and the sleet stopped. A ray of sunlight peeked through the clouds and lit up the dramatic peaks around the area. What a nice way to conclude the San Juan Mountains adventure!

Thank you, David!

 

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397. Exploring the San Juan Mountains with David (3): Paradise Basin and Beyond

Today’s hike turned out to be easier than that of the first day. I still huffed and puffed, and we made it to 12,800ft, but the slope seemed less steep and I didn’t stop “every 30 seconds” as David joked. The view from the top was equally breathtaking, and the experience was no less memorable.

(my car)

387. Wildflowers in Sedona, this year only!

Last year, my friend and I went to California to look for wildflowers. Look what we have here in Sedona this year!

 

 

 

349. CA Trip (1): Fields of California Poppies

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Just came back from a week-long trip to southern California.

I had seen beautiful pictures of California wildflowers, especially California poppies. When I mentioned this to my friend, Libby, she was very interested in going there with me. It is “risky” since sometimes, if it is too dry, then there won’t be many flowers. And timing is so important and tricky—it could be too early or too late for the bloom. In fact, there was no flower at Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve where normally covers with California poppies in spring time. I’m glad she was willing to take the “risk” and we were lucky to find lots of wildflowers.

We were very persistent. We’ve driven far and long, searched high and low, hiked up the mountain, and even climbed a few fences to “hunt” for flowers. (We stayed in Stallion Spring, but we drove for hours almost every day in all directions. Ironically, the best field of poppy was within 10 minutes’ drive—they didn’t bloom until the day before our trip ended.)

Having traveled on my own for three years (I started traveling from NC on April 16, 2013), it was such a treat to travel with someone who shares the same interests with me. We were elated just to spot a flower; we exclaimed at the same time when we found a meadow full of simple but delightful “treasures”. Libby is not only a dear friend, but also a great travel companion. I’m lucky to have her sharing the natural beauty with me! She is like my “long lost twin sister”. 🙂

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309. Wildflowers

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Wildflowers just started blooming in the area (Victor, ID to Jackson, WY). Nevertheless, I’ll still share the few I’ve found with you.

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40. I Wish for Half a Dozen Pairs of Eyes!

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One pair of eyes really isn’t enough when you are in Yukon, Canada. I wish I had half a dozen of them.

One set to keep eye on the road since the road condition can be bad at times.

One pair to check the wildlife on the right and another for the left. I have seen porcupine three times, but each time I was too slow so it got away before I could catch a shot. One time, I even went into the woods a little bit trying to find it. Instead of the porcupine, I found a pretty little purple flower, in a place where everything else was gray, brown and dark green.

I certainly need a pair of eyes to see the stunning scenery on my left, second pair for the right side, and a third pair for the rear. The beauty is all around me!

“Close to 80% of the Yukon remains pristine wilderness with 5000 meter peaks, forested valleys, unspoiled waters and untamed wildlife.” Robert Service, a famous poet and writer, described Yukon as “a land where the mountains are nameless”.

Oh, yeah, nameless, snow covered mountains seemed so close that I felt I could touch them just by extending my arms. It is not even a good season yet. Most of the lakes are still covered by white snow. But from the small cracks, you can tell the water is green or blue. Just imagine how magnificent it could be in warmer days with green, blue lakes surrounded by colorful wildflowers or golden colored trees!

So I wish for half a dozen pairs of eyes. Better yet, give me eyes like a fly with 360 degree view so I could take in as much beauty as possible!

I have been so busy – getting up early, returning late, trying to see everything I could. I am sorry I didn’t have time to write for the past two days, which made a couple of my friends worried since I did write constantly during my trip. It is really hard to keep up when there is so much to see. I am overwhelmed!

Don’t take my words for it. And don’t even rely on any picture, even though I am trying my best, since no picture can really capture the essence and the spirit of this world (click on my pictures to enlarge it so at least you could see it better). Being here in person is the only way to truly experience Yukon, the official description of which is “larger than life”.

Well, we often say that life is not measured by the length, but by the width. In this case, Yukon just widened the width of my life! At least, I had a “dream” of having fly’s eye, for the first time. 🙂

PS. If you are going to drive on Alaska Highway, stay at least one extra day in Whitehorse so that you can take a side trip to Skagway. The scenery between the Canada customs and US customs is the best, in my opinion. Don’t forget your passport! And don’t bring oranges with you (I had a bag of oranges I just bought a day before. The US Customs confiscated it even it had “made in USA” on. Bananas and apples and fine.) The gas is cheaper in the US, so it made up for the bag of orange ($4.6 per gallon in Skagway and $5.3 in Whitehorse).

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PS. my photo website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/qing-yang.html

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