What an amazing area. This is one of the places SOULFLOWER suggested I stop for some hiking and the views. I didn’t realize I would be going over a high elevation pass. I make it to the campground I wanted to stay at for the night, but it was full. I travel just a little way further and pull over at an overlook area. I stay the night here even though it is illegal. I am the only one here and no one bothers me.There are some hiking trails here and I take Berkley for a short evening hike. It is a beautiful evening although there is a smoky haze from area fires.The next moring we are up early for sunrise, but there is a lot of smoke in the air and the pictures don’t look that great. I hang out for a bit drinking hot chocolate and sitting in the sun with Berkley.After packing up we head on down the road and don’t get very far before we come to a trailhead that is packed. There are cars linging the road of an overflowing parking lot. I figure with a parking area this full there has to be some good hiking and great views. I find a place to park and we start to explore the area. There are a ton of trails here and the smoke doesn’t seem as bad.I end up staying the night in the parking lot because there is a trail that climbs high up a mountain that I would like to do the next day. It is to narrow and crowded to do it today. I will get an early start tomorrow morning and go up it with less crowds.I don’t have any trouble during the night in my illegal camping spot again. It is a chilly start, but I warm up quickly going up the steep incline. Plus Berkley quit about half way up so I put him in his carrrier and continue on. I make it 2/3’s of the way up before I quit and turn around. The top is all rock and I don’t feel like climbing on it. On the way up while Berkley was still walking.Then the rocks… and this is where I turn around. The rocks are loose and hard to walk on.It’s a lot of rock.At my turn around point I do see a couple of pika for the first time. I have never seen them before. They are very cute little things.Pika gathering food for the winter. It was busy. I watch it make numerous trips. They store their grass in the rocks where they live.We head back down and find another trail to do some more hiking on. I come upon 2 marmots sunning themselves on a large bolder. I think that animal I saw while hiking in Yellowstone was a very small marmot. If that is what these animals are. Please correct me if I am wrong.This was an amazing stop. Thank you, SOULFOWER.
Friday August 21, 2020