Friday, November 2, 2012

Long Walk On BLM - Part 2

I have tried to blog a few times this week but my blogger-dowloader-thing has been working disgustingly slowly.
Tomorrow I will have to go to the library because we went to Yellowstone this week and I have a lot of pictures.
My long walk with James earlier this week seems like it took place years ago now.
These are more pictures from that walk.
The last section that we covered on that very warm late morning was straight and steeply uphill, one rise after another.
I stopped at one point during our long climb and Jamie promptly sat down in the rocks and dirt, and I smiled as I looked over at her and as she looked out over endless BLM and snow capped mountains.
I smiled because I loved being alone with her  Because we were together in what felt like the middle of nowhere, but what was actually only a few short miles from the house.
The dark areas in the picture above are the last visible signs of a wild fire we had on BLM land not too long ago.
It was started by lightning, as so many of them are in this area, and although LC and I guessed that the fire burned about 500 acres we were actually way off  The newspaper reported that 1300 acres burned that night.........
As we finally (finally) reached the top of the last hill in the area we were walking, I looked out over what I knew was Oregon Basin on the far side of the hills.
The first thing I saw was a flat, very long series of snow capped mountains off in the far distance. 
The Big Horn Mountains.................
Looking back towards Carter Mountain again...............
As Jamie and I began to wonder along the top of the hill I looked down and smiled again.
The first of many orange fungi colored rocks that we saw that day.
Astonishing and almost out-of-place bright color in a world that is quickly returning to all-beige.............
Click on any of the pictures and they will enlarge and turn into a slide show.
The Oregon Basin looks completely flat but LC and Jamie and I have been out there many times and it actually contains untold numbers of trails, dirt roadways, small valleys and small rolling hills
As I stood on top of the hill looking out over forever, I knew that there were many small oil company buildings situated throughout the basin.
Almost all of the land is bone dry but there are a couple of unexpected and natural small lakes located in this no-mans-land.  This is one of them.
I stood in one place for a long time, and my sweet and loving and loyal dog first wandered and then sat beside me, also looking out over the quiet world..............
Wind Rock far below me.................
A zoomed in picture of our Wind Rock.
A link to our first trip to this extraordinary place last summer:
One day last spring LC and I walked up into the hills closer to the house 
It was a very cold and extremely windy day, but the three of us had a great trip anyway
We walked up into the hills and I had fully expected that we would not stay long.
Instead, I smiled and laughed as I watched my Mountain Boy turn into a small boy before my eyes.
He eagerly explored one hill top after another, watching for animal tracks, inspecting rocks, looking out over the basin on the far side of the hills and then the flat BLM land on "our" side of the hills, talking about animals and trees and other living things that we found signs of along the way
We climbed over boulders, crouched down to inspect small holes in the rocks, all the while exploring like two little kids in a new playground.
Enjoying the day and the walk and each others' company.
On this much warmer and calmer day, I did the same thing alone with Jamie.
Enjoying the sense of physical and (for a while at least) mental freedom that this place provided.
It is easy to find places to be alone when you live in Wyoming...................
My dog stretching to investigate a hole in the rocks.
I ended up pulling her away often and then quickly moving on, never quite certain just what might be living in those holes and what might just dart out of those dark places if it got ticked off enough............
Enviably sturdy pine trees surviving and thriving.
Growing with shallow roots attached to the rocks, and living in the smallest amount of soil
I love them. They are beautiful and majestic towers of survival in this inhospitable place...........
Somebody give those kids a different color crayon.............
Jamie and I stayed high in the hills for a very long time.
So long that LC finally called me to check that we were both still OK.
We were OK.
By the time he called, Jamie and I were on the way home.
Steep downhill for a long time and then very long and gradual downhill the rest of the way home
A good day and a good walk...............

If adventure has a final and all-embracing motive, it is surely this: we go out because it is our nature to go out, to climb mountains, and to paddle rivers, to fly to the planets and plunge into the depths of the oceans... When man ceases to do these things, he is no longer man............Wilfrid Noyce

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