WHOA! That's a yellow-bellied marmot, also known as a whistle pig. Possibly one of the goofiest and unintelligent creatures in this region...
Monday, I returned to North Inlet, the stream we hiked past last week. I had high hopes of catching some brook trout, but this was not to be. I was rained on the whole time I fished, I didn't even get a bite. However, I did encounter some wild life.
The weather has been pretty wacky this past week. Cold, wind, rain, mud, even a snow shower with a bit of accumulation! It seemed to me as if May had returned. Morale around the ranch was sinking fast. Luckily the weather finally broke Monday afternoon. I was greeted with this rainbow as I returned to the ranch.
Today was great. I have been itching to get into Rocky Mountain National Park, and today I scratched that itch. I've been told of a couple lakes and streams that are worthy of exploration. I dropped fifty bones for the RMNP annual pass and we set out for the Haynach Lakes. A little over six miles from the Green Mountain Trailhead.
1.8 miles from the trailhead lies Big Meadow. Not a very original name, but very fitting. The trail took us around the edge of Big Meadow. The more we walked around it, the bigger it got. Big Meadow was pretty impressive!
Tonahutu Creek meanders for a ways through a meadow, providing what should be outstanding fishing. I would say one more month, and this area will be on fire! I will without a doubt be back through here. There are a couple sweet campsites in this area. This stretch is roughly around three miles from the trailhead.
We hiked past Granite Falls, about four miles in, and started to run into large patches of snow on the trail. We made it up to a higher meadow, and continued hiking until we unanimously agreed that walking in the snow was a pain in the ass. We were a a little over 5 miles in, SO CLOSE! We sat down on a log and ate some sandwiches in the middle of nowhere, pretty cool if you ask me. I feel like a jerk for not snapping a photo of the snow, just didn't occur to me. I believe the reason is that I'm sick of snow.
There was a very large Golden Eagle residing in this cliff. He was too fast for me to get a picture of.
This is Big Meadow on the return trip. Really impressive.
Ok, ok! They aren't Grizzly bears, but there are some damn big black bears prowling the ranch lately. Also, one confirmed mother with cubs. It seems as if everyone has had at least one run-in with our bears, and they are becoming more frequent. There are bear tracks of all sizes throughout the parking lot, and around the dumpster. The bears are also hanging out right behind the kitchen and MY PLACE. There were two encounters outside the kitchen this evening.
Four nights ago, I walked out onto my porch, looking down on the ranch. I turn around, and not 15 feet from me sat a VERY large, very unafraid black bear. He was completely silent, and had to have been there the whole time I was standing there. We finally shooed him away, but it seemed like we didn't bother him at all. That startled me.
Anyways, life is good. The rivers are starting to come down, and I'm prospecting every chance I get!