Colorado Travel Diary - p 2|
20 July 2003
After lunch at Mrs Z's Burger Barn in Kremmling, I discover an area exceptional even by Colorado standards: the Gore Range in Grand County. What it lacks in snow-capped peaks, the Gore range makes up for with broad vistas of sagebrush, interrupted by ridges covered in aspen and lodgepole pine. Now this looks like The Old West! All that's needed to complete the tableau is Willie Nelson and Leon Russell crooning Don't Fence Me In.
At Gore Pass, the star of a flower-filled meadow is Long-plumed Avens, a.k.a. Old Man's Whiskers. Its feathery seed plumes are more colorful than the flower. Other notables here include Monkshood, Blue Penstemon, Groundsel, Elephanthead, and on higher ground Scarlet Gilia, favorite of Broad-tailed Hummingbirds.
This meadow, however, was just a preview. A few miles west of the pass I came to the valley of Blacktail Creek, surely one of the finest wildflower gardens in Colorado. If you can only make one stop for flowers around here, then Blacktail Creek is the ticket. Standing in one spot I see flowering Larkspur, Pink Geranium, Lodgepole Lupine, Green Gentian, Cow-Parsnip, Harebells, Yarrow, Balsamroot, Showy Daisy, Cutleaf Daisy, Yellow Paintbrush, more Mariposa Lilies, the ubiquitous Cinquefoil, a dozen or more Blue Columbine, and Orange Sneezeweed, prettier than its name.
21 July 2003