Since it’s been a while since the last post, I have several ideas for this one, so I may change the subject a few times before I’m finished…
The other day my Texas friends invited me to accompany them to the higher elevations near Creed, Colorado to look for edible mushrooms. We discovered that there hadn’t been enough rain to bring the mushroom crop, so we didn’t see nary a one.
BUT we did take the most fabulous ride on some of the Forest Service roads that go deep into the Rockies. My friends have spent time there in the past camping in their rig. In a way I think it was a chance to revisit some of the places where they enjoyed themselves. It’s possible that in the near future neither of them will be able to travel much because of health concerns.
The Forest Service roads are dirt and rock and often uneven and rutted, and like a washboard. It was slow going. And some of the roads were quite narrow so only one vehicle could pass at a time. But oh, the beauty!
Where my rig is parked the aspens have barely begun to turn. On our ride in the higher elevations the aspens had begun. The rich golden yellow stands out in contrast to the tall spruces and pines, and they are easy to see.
On the road through Creed and around the back of the town on Bachelor Loop we saw some of the historic mines that began the town. And there was a place where the water had been dammed by the beavers. Awesome architecture.
I would say that the most interesting place, though, was the Rio Grande Reservoir, where the great Rio Grande River is bound for a while to hold back its water. I think it’s amazing that the dam is very simple; just an earthen dam, unpretentious.
The black powder hunting season began last Saturday, so there are many hunters in the woods. We found a group getting ready to head out for a pack trip into the forest to hunt.
We had thought that if we had time we’d cut some more aspens for walking sticks; however, we didn’t get back to the park until around 4:00 p.m. and by then we were too tired. We went the next day, though, and cut just a few – within the limit specified by our permits.
When you cut them it’s important to strip the bark off right away, or else it’s a grueling time later. The particular trees we chose had a lot of wounds on them, and as they had been growing all season the bark was tougher than in the spring, when it’s much easier to strip. I worked on only two sticks after we brought them back, and it took a LONG time! My hands were almost permanently curled from holding the knife!
This activity is a new thing for me, and I found that I enjoy it a lot. I’ve begun to have some very creative ideas for finishing these walking sticks using lots of different materials. I look forward to the next step which is sanding them down.