Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vacation: Day 7 - Stony Pass (with Rain and Hail!)...

After reading that Stony Pass (12,650' high) was open, we decided to try it today.  I have very fond memories of that road from my visit here with my dad several years ago.  As it turned out, it was even better than my memories.  We had poor lighting for photography (especially closeups of flowers) most of the day, as we had thick cloud cover.  Intermittently we had rain and hail (occaisionally quite heavy), and gusty winds.  So the flower photos today are of very mixed quality; in low lighting I just can't get the crispness that comes with good depth of field.

Despite that little photographic glitch, we (including the dogs) had a wonderful time today.  We saw quite a bit of wildlife, lots of wildflowers (which we could enjoy, even if I couldn't photograph them), and wonderful sightseeing.  In one particular area (starting a mile or so south of the pass, and for the next several miles) we saw more iris than we have ever seen before in our lives).

Here are some of the scenes along the road today:

And of course we found some waterfalls:

On a side road off the Stony Pass road, we found these old, abandoned pieces of mining gear.  The towers hold up the cables on which bucket carried ore from the mines to the processing facility.  I'd love to have seen these in operation.  The cable closeup shows the cable on which the bucket's wheels traveled.  It's much smoother than a normal stranded steel cable.

And here's the flowers, including a nice orange columbine.

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