A Circumnavigation

There is an unpaved four to five mile trail all the way around Big Meadows Reservoir.  It has a few short climbs, a few streams to bridge or rock-step across, and four distinct microclimates:  intermittent bog, Pacific rain forest, rockslide terrain, and sub-Alpine meadow.  It’s mostly cool and entirely scenic.  We have now hiked it twice.

 

Wildflowers in the Rain Forest
Wildflowers in the Rain Forest
Deaux Bateau
Deux Bateau

Yes, bad knee and all, I made it with the help of a walking stick and two Aleves.

 

The Distant Bog
The Distant Bog (Boat Launch Is Below the Cloud)

The hike is a two hour trip if you dawdle at all, and bringing water is a better than good idea. Go early or late and you will see wildlife.  We spotted a pair of common mergansers, a lone eagle, a mama duck with her young ‘uns, napping fishermen, reading fishermen, an LSU fisherman, and a few diligent, successful fishers.

 

Gone Fishin'
Gone Fishin’
After The Big One Got Away
After The Big One Got Away

We met a group of Asian tourists carrying no water – they spoke California English and told me that water was everywhere – why bother to carry it?  “Giardia” is one of the best reasons, but no one on vacation wants a lecture on intestinal parasites; maybe they’ll be lucky, and if not, giardiasis is far less dangerous than dehydration.

 

Big Meadows Lake Looking South
Big Meadows Lake Looking South

We met a native American fisherman who was closing in on his limit: four trout. His wife kept up with their two dogs, one of whom was trained to respond to her version of a crow’s call – “caw, caw!”.  She called him in crow (or was it Crow?), and the big dog came running.

 

A Feeder Creek
A Feeder Creek

Wildflowers are everywhere and you see some in the rain forest that you won’t find anywhere else.  Kat caught a few on camera, but what we couldn’t catch for you is the sound of water hurrying down into the lake, and that wonderful smell of a damp conifer forest at 9,300 feet.

 

Perched Eagle
Perched Eagle
Bald Eagle in Flight
Bald Eagle in Flight

But for the winters, we could very happily live in Colorado.  As they say in Dallas, Houston, and Lubbock: “It’s the Texas Riviera”.

Weather Forecast:  Dallas, OK City, and the Texas Riviera
Weather Forecast: Dallas, OK City, and the Texas Riviera

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