Once again, Steamboat Springs

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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

We thought it would be good to avoid driving anywhere today, and that pretty much left Emerald mountain, just across the Yampa River. We had nothing much in the way of maps, but with a GPS, we figured we couldn’t get too lost.

As it turned out, we went up the hill to the quarry stop on the open, steep, boring fire road. But at each of the trail intersections, there was a little graphic map sign, and by the time we were ready to come back down, we had figured out the code. The whole hillside is criss-crossed with trails. Too bad we didn’t know that for the ascent.

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Much, much better, the descent. Lots of single-track trails through beautiful aspen forest. We could have done without the mountain bikies, but it wasn’t really all that bad, except for the hard climber as we neared the bottom who slammed into my arm. I was mellow enough not to yell at him about maintaining control of his bike.

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We found several varieties of caterpillar. Don’t know what sort of butterfly or moth they will become.

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We started the descent on the Blair Witch trail. This is where it comes out at the lower end, joining some other trail whose name escapes me at the moment, maybe Prayer Book trail.

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I thought it was exceptional to get a back-lit view of a couple of insects busy chomping down grains of pollen.

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And this bumblebee was the size of a small hummingbird!

The trail down ended at the rodeo grounds, where they are clearly preparing for a festival. Lots of brahma bulls in pens here, and we later saw trucks bringing in hay. We stopped at the ice rink to refill our water bottles, then went on up into the town, where we stopped at an upper-class grocery store for a pound of strawberries. Delicious!

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We have seen lots of swallowtails, both yellow and white, but they have been reluctant to pose for pictures. This one was so busy nozzling up nectar that it didn’t mind.

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Back to the motel to pick up various things, then to the library, where we sat on a terrace and mellowed out. I edited the day’s pictures; Jacky read a Kindle book. Around 4, we headed off to Mahogany Ridge brewery and grill, where we sat outdoors and enjoyed an early dinner.

Nice town. We’ll come back someday. Or not.

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