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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Columbine Lake Hike With John Q

John Q contemplates Columbine Lake.
Ever wonder why some mountain lakes seem to be dyed blue? Well, it appears that extremely pure water is gifted with a slight bluish tint, and it grows more resonant as depth increases. The blue hue of pure water is intrinsic... caused by selective absorption and scattering of white light. So there you go; and you thought this blog was just poetry and a pretty face :))

The forecast was for thunderstorms to crank up early; so what else is new? As my Lovely always says, "if you stay home because of a forecast, you'll end up wasting a perfectly beautiful day." I would add to that, "a perfectly wet and beautiful day." I don't mind getting wet, mind you, it's the lightning that oft accompanies wetness above timberline that pees my pants. Once you commit to leaving the shelter of forest far, far below, well, it's a little like hiking naked... you are ridiculously exposed and there is no place to hide. On a good day, you get a nice even tan with no lines. On a bad day, you get french fried by a gazillion volts. 

It turned out to be one of those days Bobbie warned of... beautiful, a perfect blend of sun and clouds, clouds that threatened but never followed through, sort of like a schoolyard bully. So let's get going, before it rains.

Souvenirs are free... John just points and shoots his heart out

Ansel Adams-esque Grinidier Mountains

Skunk Cabbage and wildflowers coexist peacefully up here

There is still snow to navigate, or glacade... depending on your mood

A couple of "hard rock flowers"

Still lots of wildflowers if you are willing to go above 12,000 feet

"The hills are alive..."

John Q plods the Alpine Way

John Q wants a photo of Bobbie and him... or does he just want to put his arm around her???

When the light is right up here, it's everything

Wildflower in shade still "pop" a little, tho

Put yourself in her shoes... tripping through gardens, on the way to a blue laked basin at the bottom of rusted mountinans  

We begin to hear Columbines libations, gurgling along... watering flowers... happy, free from capture. I know how it feels...
Suddenly, there was an explosion of blue... a concussion of shrapnel-like wave lengths of color pierced my body, especially my eyes. I must have had a heart attack; I was relieved, and surprised, to know I had made it to heaven...    

Well, what do you picture "Heaven" to be?

And Bobbie's there too!!! Glory!

Why is she looking at a map? We don't need no stinking map in Heaven...

Lavender and Rust... what compliments...

Ophir Pass lies somewhere just over that ridge...

Darkness, even in Heaven... always on the horizon...

Just a few more Photos, God, the light is perfect...

Just a few more...
to be continued...


  1. Eye candy of the very best kind: it's free, no calories, and very inspiring! Wow!


  2. Beautiful pictures, Mark. I had always heard that water reflected the color of the sky. Certainly, your pictures build a good case for this theory, but it turns out there are many reasons for the differences in the color of water. I found this interesting article:

    I was always astounded by the glacial lakes and the blue color of the falls--blue ice!

    Nature really is amazing, isn't it.

  3. My favorite color is blue. Amazing landscape photography. Thank you.

  4. Once again, stunning photography.

    If you like fantastic blue lakes you must ogle Crater Lake.

    The wildflower pics remind me of hiking on Mt. Rainier in the Paradise area. Throw in a foraging black bear and, well, you have excitement!


  5. So beautiful. And I'm so glad you are taking me to all these gorgeous places.

  6. This was a great hike, glad the rain held out and thanks again for the adventure into the back county of Ouray!
    John Q

  7. Walden Creek Rv SteveJuly 18, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    John Q - You are not in Indiana anymore! I would say hugging Bobbie during the hike would be as good as it gets!! enjoy!

  8. Thank you for the preview!

    Now I know what to expect for I'm sure you've gotten it right!

  9. All I can think of to say is, THANK YOU, MARK.

  10. Mark,

    Great picture of John enjoying the view. Hope to get out there someday too.

    Mrs. John Q

  11. breathtakingly beautiful!

  12. let's go fishing? great photo's as alway's gary

  13. Great photos. Wish I wasn't working this week - would have loved to join you on this hike. Someday.....

  14. Your pics are wonderful. I just love that area.

  15. First, I want to express my appreciation for all your kind comments. I just came in from a wonderful hike with RV friends and I would love, as usual, to respond to each and every comment. But I'm in utter disbelief, watching the news, hearing in detail about an obscene monster... a savage, an inhuman, evil and most probably, sick, human being who opened fire on the audience in a Denver movie theater. I can't think of a single positive thought... I don't know what to say. My heart is much too heavy.

    First Columbine... now this.


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