My Amazing Trip Through the Rocky Mountains - Part 2

The Rocky Mountains - My Amazing Trip - Part 2

By Dexter Yarbrough. The great thing about Roosevelt National Forest in the southern Rockies is that if you plan a decent route, you are bound to run into a camping area with toilets. After my encounter with the cows, I headed off in the direction of the nearest camping area. According to my map, the trek would be about half a mile southwest. Those cows were menacing looking, but after regaining my courage and composure, I was able to face anything - so I thought.

June is a beautiful time to walk through the mountain forest. The sound of insects and of pine cones crushing under my feet was humbling. No loud cars and loud music! No ambulances racing to the next tragedy. No toilet paper, so I needed to speed it up!

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Nothing to Fear

After reaching the camping area near Bellaire Lake and finding the rugged toilets, I stood and marveled at the beauty of the area. The beautiful mountains off in the the distance and the lake - words just can't describe the serenity of it all. Yet, I was saddened by the damage done to what looked to be acres and acres of brown pine trees. The Asian beetles have really infected the area and pine trees that were once tall and piercing were bended and falling over like the suburban drunks on Rush Street in "Chi-Town." After taking a few photos of the area, I moved along. I didn't come to hang out with folks in their expensive motor homes!

I walked and walked. Up hilly areas and over downed trees. I lost my balance a few times and fell once. I tried skipping over some branches and landed wrong. It was one of those falls, if seen on You-Tube, that would've gone viral. Yep, it was kind of funny, falling, and it was good to know that only the birds were laughing. I dusted myself off and continued on.

Do you ever get the feeling - when you are alone - that someone (or something) is watching you? I got this eerie feeling several times in a 15 minute period. Looking at my watch and the sky, I knew that at some point I was going to have to find a decent camping spot to bed down. But this feeling of being watched stayed with me.

As a young adult, I loved to watch the "Friday the 13th" movies. Strange how when you are alone, certain things come to mind. I started looking around for a white man in a mask with a big knife following me. If "Jason" were to come after me, he was in for a south-side of Chi-town ass whupping! Yeah, I may have been afraid of a few cows earlier, but my courage was back. As usual, reason and common sense came back and I remembered that it was the white girls and their boyfriends that got killed in those movies. I stopped and looked around - no white people. I looked at my own hands and arms - same old brown skin. Nothing to fear!

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The Deer

Then I saw it. I saw what had been watching me! A short distance away were several deer - you know the brown ones my friend teased me about. It was like they were frozen in place - watching, staring, undecided as to what to do. They reminded me of this one time back in the late 1980's when I went to a country bar near Cincinnati, but on the Kentucky side, with a colleague. Soon as we walked in, all eyes and cowboy hats turned to me as we headed to the bar. Try putting one black walnut in a bowl of vanilla ice cream. It don't blend in very well. After a drink and watching one hoedown, I was outta there!

The deer were friendly, as long as I stayed a short distance away. I was able to get within 50 feet of them. They would stare for a few seconds and then go back to eating the foliage. I was amazed at how close I could get to them. I figured they had gotten somewhat use to humans coming through the area. Furthermore, they had those strong legs that could catapult them away from me in mere seconds. I actually thought I heard one of them say, "Dude, your people might be able to run fast, but you ain't seen speed like this. As long as you peaceful, won't nothin' jump off. Dis is our hood!"

The deer even stood around and posed for photos. After taking a few photos, I stepped over the little black pellet-droppings they left and looked for a place to sleep for the night.

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Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

I figured it would be better for me to camp out in the open as opposed to under some trees. I may be from the big city, but I know something about lightning strikes. The weather had been forecasted to be nice for my journey, so I didn't worry too much. A nice stream of melted snow flowing from the higher mountains was about 1500 feet away, so I was in a decent location. Plus, Bellaire Lake was only a mile and a half away. I unpacked and set-up my little tent (practiced in my backyard in Chi-town), red kerosene lantern and other supplies. It had been dry where I was and there were plenty of dead trees, so getting some stones and dry wood wasn't a problem. A click of my trusty Scripto lighter and my fire was going! I had eaten a hearty meal just prior to leaving my vehicle at my destination (no toilet jokes), so I was satisfied with the nuts and dried fruit I bought at a local store. I had water and knew where to get more along my trek, so all was good on that front.

If you weren't already aware, let me tell you - it isn't always quiet at night. Animals and insects aren't on the same sleeping schedule as many of us. There is a whole lot of hissing, chirping, cooing and swishing at night. Either some animals were getting lucky or others were getting eaten. And darn it gets dark in the mountain forests! Before bedding down, I took out my little pocket bible and read the 23rd Psalm - specifically, that part about walking through the valley of the shadow of death - about 10 times. I slept peacefully next to my bible and this big stick I found, only having to get up twice - once to add wood to my fire and one time to, uh, go to the bathroom. The number 1, thank you very much.

After lying back down, I wondered what challenges tomorrow might bring.

Stay Tuned for Part 3 of "My Amazing Trip Through the Rockies!" - Dexter Yarbrough

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Comments 48 comments

Ghost32 5 years ago

Dexter, those are some absolutely OUTSTANDING photos.

I really respect your Rockies "vision quest" (so to speak). I was "all over" certain parts of the Colorado Rockies, 2007-2009, but that was on a water hauling job as a trucker, meaning it was all work, not much "retreat for serenity". Although I did manage to work full time night shift, when fewer bosses were around.

Psalm 23 is good. Got to admit, though, that the big stick sounds at least equally valuable...:)


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Hi Ghost! Thanks so much. The Rockies are absolutely beautiful. I hope you enjoyed at least a part of your time in Colorado.


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 5 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Great story, well written and beautiful photos! Voted up and Awesome.

Thanks for sharing ... you have a new follower ;-)


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks, Brett! I appreciate your kind remarks!


StayPos profile image

StayPos 5 years ago from Florida, USA

Dexter,

YOU are the man, can't wait to hear about your showdown with a grizzly :-) Okay, maybe not quite that, but definitely part 3!

Cheers!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Dexter,

You are the man. Not only are you brave and resourceful you are oh so funny. I'd travel with you any day! Up, funny, awesome and beautiful. I can't wait for part three.


Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi Dexter,

I was in tears of laughter when I read, "Before bedding down, I took out my little pocket bible and read the 23rd Psalm - specifically, that part about walking through the valley of the shadow of death - about 10 times. I slept peacefully next to my bible and this big stick I found, only having to get up twice - once to add wood to my fire and one time to, uh, go to the bathroom. The number 1, thank you very much."

The pictures are magnificient.

I have never been camping but a friend once told me how the crickets kept him awake with all their chirping.

Voted up all the way!


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Hi StayPos! Glad you enjoyed it. More forthcoming! Thanks!


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Hi Pop! Thanks so much. We would certainly keep each other entertained! I always appreciate your words, Pop!


Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi Dexter

Magnificient Pictures! Voted up all the way!

I was in tears of laughter over how you read the part about walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death about ten times.

Looking forward to part 3 of your adventure. :-)


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Hi Sueswan! Yes, it was a very fun and challenging adventure. Prayer helps and the words of the Psalms calmed me! More of the adventure to come. Thank you so much!


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Dexter,

Now I'm hooked. I'm ready for Part III. Ok, you thought you had a funny fall but you don't know that I am the Queen of Falls. Yeap, when I fall, I FALL. I used to love camping and outings, and once I fell on a heap of cow manure, fresh I might add, and very stinky. My audience where my classmates, not something you'd like to see in your high school yearbook. Those were the days. When the Blair Witch Project movie came out, that did it for me and the woods.

Keep the laughs coming!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I recall walking in the woods in Northern Minnesota when I was just out of high school. I was with some friends and our car broke down. I would see fireflies which are really pretty tiny, but they looked like lanterns to me then.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Hi Faithful Daughter! Thank you. The bad thing is I always thought it was funny to watch people fall. I haven't fallen into any cow manure but have stepped in some. Yuck! Part 3 will be out soon. Thanks!


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Hi Dahoglund! Sometimes I think being with people in the woods is scarier! Friends like to play jokes and make noises! lol


Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

Awesome and beautiful, Dex! You know, I love, love, love the sounds in the city at night, but there is a holy splendor in the sounds of the forest at night that cannot be equaled anywhere. This series is amazing, and the photos are spectacular!


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks, Mo! I REALLY appreciate your kind words. The mountain forest has its own kind of nighttime majesty. Have a great birthday!


Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

:-) Thanks very much, kind sir. I think I shall. Welcome home!


David Warren profile image

David Warren 5 years ago from Nevada

Hi Dexter, Thank you for this amusing and well written hub! I had the lucky opportunity of staying in Estes Park CO a few years back. Did a lot of hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park but have to admit as times were better we stayed in a cabin with a full kitchen and jacuzzi so definitely can't use the term camping although I LOVED the abundant wildlife and mountain scenery.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Dex, I have to admit I am nervous for you, I hope you have your bear spray in your kit bag, I am looking forward to and anxious for part 3!!! great writing and humour and brilliant photos, voted up of course!


Alladream74 profile image

Alladream74 5 years ago from Oakland, California

I really enjoyed your hub and pictures


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

I'm really jealous now, except for the toilet paper part, I would not have forgotten it! HAHAHA.......Seriously, I can't wait to hear more. I love natural living.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Hi David! Estes Park is beautiful! I have been there many times. That cabin with full kitchen and jacuzzi allowed for you a great time, I am sure! Thanks so much!


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Hi Movie Master! Thanks so much and I actually did have some bear spray! I appreciate your kind words. Part 3 coming soon.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Hi Alladream74! I always appreciate your kindness. Thank you.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Hi Cardisa! Yeah, the toilet paper! Ha ha ha!! Part 3 forthcoming. Thanks!


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.

Dexter,

Great job. I did a lot of stomping all over that area and up into Wyoming. Your description took my back and the beautiful pictures made it more vibrant. Awesome!

jim


caltex profile image

caltex 5 years ago

What an adventure! The pictures are awesome. You are a brave man, Dexter. Glad you got home safe to tell us about it. Looking forward to the next installment.


iZeko profile image

iZeko 5 years ago

Yeah, he-he, deer like to play the staring game…especially with people who don’t have toilet paper.

This hub is going UP!!


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Hi Caltex! It was fun as well as challenging! Thanks so much!


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Hi Jim! Thanks so much and glad you enjoyed it. Have a great 4th!


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Hi iZeko! Ha ha ha!!! The deer sure do, yes! Thanks!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

.... well it's obvious by these words and these images contained here in part 2 that you love nature and life - and life and nature loves you ........

lake erie 7:09pm - beating the heat by spending a fair amount of time in the water ..... Ontario, Canada


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks, Epi! You are truly an inspiration to me!


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

A great conclusion to your story, Dex. I love camping in the Rocky Mountains. Once, I remember getting out of my tent in the morning and a huge moose was standing right there in front of me! I almost jumped out of my skin!


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Wow! A moose! I would have run in the opposite direction. I have one more part to complete the adventure. Thanks!


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

Great, I've love to read more about your adventure.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

I will try and have it completed in a few days!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Another great hub and thanks for sharing.I vote up without a doubt.

Take care

Eiddwen.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks Eiddwen. I hope you will check out part 3 as well!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Well i wasn't disappointed. This is as good/funny as chapter one. You captured beautiful pictures with your camera. I liked that you read the bible before going to sleep. I'm so glad i found you on Hubpages. Thank you.

Cheers


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Hi Always Exploring! I am so glad you enjoyed reading. It was a great adventure. Thank YOU!


feenix profile image

feenix 5 years ago

Hello, Dexter,

Terrific hub. Absolutely terrific. I mean, like, this is National Geographic stuff.

Now, because I am a clothes hound, I am curious about the kind of duds you wore while you were trekking through the Rockies.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Feenix! Your approval means a lot to me. Thank you so much. As for clothes, just jeans, a lumberjack shirt and hiking boots!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Bambi is beautiful!! Voted UP/Glad you made it out safe!!! :)


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States Author

Bambi is beautiful! Thanks, Sunshine!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

It does get dark in the forest, doesn't it? The first time I ever went to the mountains camping I was amazed that I literally could not see my hand in front of my face. I had never been in such total darkness.

Loving the store...on to part 3


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States Author

Glad you are enjoying it, Billybuc!

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