The week before we had been turned back from our backpack by cold temperatures and the imminent threat of rain. This could not stand! On Saturday, we loaded our packs back into the car and returned to the trailhead at Pelton Creek Campground (the location of last week’s WIRR). It was still cloudy, but the temperatures were twenty degrees warmer, which made a huge difference. The trail was wide and well-traveled. We spotted a Red-naped sapsucker, which I interpreted as a good omen. Beneath the trail, Douglas Creek was bigger than I remembered it, though…
After a trail intersection, just under a mile from the car, we reached the stream crossing at Douglas Creek.
An arm’s length from shore, the roiling riverette was already thigh-deep. I’m guessing it was chest deep (on me) at the center, and the current was surging. There was no choice- we retreated again. We’ll have to come back in the fall, when water levels are lower.
Our plan B was “Plan B.” For the third time in the last four years, we have retreated from bad weather or conditions to visit Six Mile Gap on the North Platte River. This spot is on the outskirts of North Park, just barely across the border into Wyoming. There’s a campground, a boat launch, and a trail that goes alongside the lovely North Platte River. It also always seems to have good weather and good conditions, which is why we end up there so often.
This river was also filled with snow melt- according to stream gauge information we found online, the water levels were over 10x what they are in the fall. River crossings are not required, though, as the trail stays on the west bank for at least five miles. The scenery is lovely, with plenty of bird watching. Two miles in we found an almost-perfect campsite. Open and filled with wildflowers, it was still difficult to find a level spot to put a tent. We cooked dinner and relaxed on the river bank, watching the sunset.
Sunset on the North Platte
Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at 32mm, f/3.6 at 1/60, ISO 500
Digital Darkroom. Cameras, both digital and film, cannot capture the dynamic range that are eyes are capable of. To compensate, I darkened the sky, and increased shadows (+62). I finished with a touch of Texture.
WIRR stands for Weekly Image Rich Ruh. This regular feature on Das Has von Ruh will show and describe my favorite photo created during this weekly period. My weeks start on Mondays, as does the WIRR. I’m hoping to include commentary on the story, the setting, the specs, or the sentiments, depending on the circumstances.