Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Maroon Bells

We had been greatly encouraged to go to the Maroon Bells hiking area outside of Aspen, Colorado. It is such a popular area that in the summer months, anyone going between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. must take a shuttle bus from Aspen for a fee. We like to stop and take pictures and go at our own pace so we determined that we would go outside of those hours. We were in by about 8 a.m. I liked the sign at the entrance toll booth.

Here was our first sighting of the Bells, the twin mountains in the middle that someone thought were shaped like big cowbells.

From the parking area, a fine gravel path leads along one side of the glacier-formed lake. This early in the morning, the water was pretty calm and served beautifully as a reflection pool. (Can we say "symmetry"?)

Here is looking back in the opposite direction.

The views along the sides of the walkway were not too shabby either.

The lake water was crystal clear.

There was a beaver lodge on one end.

This mountain stream feeds the lake.

As we were coming back from our hike, a weasel came running out of the vegetation by the trail and ran  up the path straight at me. I froze and it stopped just short of two feet in front of my two feet. (All I could think of was rabies!) It looked up at me for a second and ran into the vegetation to my left and re-emerged back on the trail behind me. It can be seen climbing the steps of the bridge in the picture below. It went under the bridge and vanished. The ranger in the parking lot said that was a rare sighting. It was sure rare for us, as we had never seen a weasel before.

We have just finished watching the Robert Redford film, Jeremiah Johnson. We were surprised to recognize the Maroon Bells as the backdrop in several scenes. This place was certainly a highlight of our trip and a couple more entries will be upcoming showing more of it.

1 comment:

Mikey said...

That's incredibly beautiful country.