Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ya can't roller skate in a buffalo herd

Yesterday began with a beautiful sunrise.

Sunrise from our deck
We decided to go on a little longer hike. So we left for Cub Lake, a hike we take almost every time we are in the area. It is almost 5 miles round trip. We got to the trailhead early enough to get a parking place - Yay! Shortly after we started, a local man about our age caught up with us and hiked with us for about 1/2 hour. About that time we started hiking adjacent to where the December, 2012 fire took place. Oh my! The pine beetle infestation is a major problem here - so many dead trees. Add to that a forest fire due to a careless camper - so very sad! Notice the south side of the lake (left side of picture) - every tree is burned from the fire or dead from the pine beetle.

Cub Lake
The scenery was very different for us but we still enjoyed being on this hike. This duck was super friendly as I sat on a rock. 
Friendly Duck
New growth is evident in most areas. Such pretty wildflowers against the charred logs.
New growth in burned areas
On our way back down the trail, we heard about and were watching for a herd of elk near the trailhead. About 1/2 - 1/4 mile from the trailhead, we spotted them. Ray set up his tripod near a boulder field. We were on one side of the rocks and the elk were off in the distance on the other side. Ray was taking photos and the elk were calmly moving and grazing, when all of a sudden, we were surrounded! The closest elk were 12-15 feet away! My biggest fear was that one of the babies would get on one side of us and its mom on the other. There were two boulders near us that we would fit between where I don't think the elk could get us. It would have meant leaving packs and camera equipment but at least we I had a plan if needed! Ray was busy taking pictures!
Cow elk showing a little interest in us.
Young bull elk
Eventually the herd just passed us by. Well, mostly. The Big Guy eventually followed - glad we waited for him to pass too!
Big Guy - definitely the King of this harem
As we continued down the trail we encountered another bull, almost as large as Big Guy. This one was too close to the trail for us to pass by. After waiting a while, we chose to get off of the trail and climb up some rocks to get around him.
Bull Elk - in need of a harem
Our day ended with a little rain, more sunshine, and this beautiful double rainbow.
Double rainbow from our deck
"Ya can't roller skate in a buffalo herd" but you can get surrounded by a elk herd!


  1. Wow, that had to be scary and exciting all at the same time.

    Beautiful sunrise!

  2. How cool (and scary). Too bad about the trees.

  3. Wow! Sounds like such a marvelous day. I've never close to elk at all. How thrilling for you.

  4. Wow! That sounds scary but so neat to be that close to them. Ray got some great shots of them. The wildflowers agains the charred wood is a great one too.

  5. Elk can be so scary...but we love watching them. At Estes Park where we like to camp the pine beetles have gotten really bad too. blessings, marlene



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