Monday, June 23, 2008

Colorful Colorado?

Colorado's green. Some brown, but mostly green.

Ok, I’m back from my foray into northern Colorado. We went to Lake Granby, near Rocky Mountain National park. It’s a cool area, with many shades of green present. We camped at about 8,400 feet elevation, with cool mountain air to keep us at a reasonable temperature.

Colorado’s been hit hard by bark beetles, which kill pine trees indiscriminately. The dense, overgrown forests of the region are conducive of the destruction the beetles cause. In some cases, only one tree in ten survives. For every tree left at the Stillwater Recreation Area, many logs lay upon the ground. The National Forest Service is working on managing what they can, but the state of Colorado will not pay for any new management ideas. They state that the long mismanagement by themselves led to the conditions that allowed the beetles to propagate, and that they must allow nature to thin the forests back to a pre-human-influence state. This is an interesting theory, but how are they going to remove so much dead wood and prevent a major conflagration or two?

Camping was nice, but we spent as much time getting there as we did there.

I wanted to go fishing, but the local stores at Lake Grand want cash only for licenses, and all three area ATMs were out of service. The stores will not do cash back from a debit card, but they will give cash back from at out of state check (no comprende); however, I didn’t bring a checkbook.

To get from Lake Granby to Rocky Mountain National Park, one only has to drive up the road from Granby. One passes Stillwater Reservoir, where there are some expensive houses jammed into the woods. Then comes Lake Granby, where the main attractions are go karting and horseback riding. Next, comes the park entrance, with a visitor’s center just before the gates into the Park. Trail Ridge Road runs from here up and across the park to Estes Park.


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