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North Platte River, CO, April 8, 2006

November 28, 2006

Posted on November 28, 2006

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As my previous post indicates (which actually occured after this post), I liked this place. Particularly since it’s not really very far from Fort Collins, CO, but for some reason does not get much traffic. Also, while the higher elevations are still off limits unless you have snowshoes (and will be for some time), early spring can be very enjoyable at this elevation. So, I made several hikes in the area while waiting on higher elevations to be accessible.

I’ll give a running description of the hike here on my WordPress blog, but check out the full gallery of larger, high quality photos (with descriptions) at my Smugmug site. I like WordPress a lot, but it is not site that is geared towards looking at lots of photos (but it is an excellent blog site : ).

If you are interested in the location, here is topo map of the area. And here is the location in Google Earth (you may need to adjust the scale on the left side of the map).

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As can be seen, the ice on the river is breaking up and moving downstream. Just a short ways up stream from here the ice was solid across the river. This site is used as a put in for rafters and kayakers. To facilitate that effort, they constructed a very nice stairway down to the river. Really helps keep the shore line from getting all trampled, even if it looks a little “out of place”.

There were deer out grazing in the meadows south of the parking lot (see gallery), the sun was fairly warm, and the path along the river looked very inviting, so I took a short hike.

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Some places had some fairly large chunks of ice stuck on the shore. So, no need to bring ice for your tea : ) Well, just kidding, probably not a good idea to eat any of it.

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Along with the deer I saw flowers (cactus),

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butterflies, and some rock lichen that was so orange it was almost technocolor.

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Also saw, and photo’d, the remains of deer that had lost a battle with winter (or, a mountain lion/wolf/etc.). I don’t joke about the wolf. One was seen and photographed not too far (as the wolf runs) from here. They expect that it had traveled all the way from the Yellowstone packs.

Anyway, great place. Perfect site for an early spring hike (assuming the weather cooperates). And, you can always stop off in Walden, CO on the way back home for a nice meal.

-GeoffW

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