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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!
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!
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.
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
- My Amazing Trip Through the Rocky Mountains - Part 1
By Dexter Yarbrough. Oh, yes. I have been to the Rocky Mountains for short day trips. But this time I am going to rough it!
- My Amazing Trip Through the Rocky Mountains - Part 3
By Dexter Yarbrough. At the end of Part 2, you may recall, I had laid down among all the night time nature noises to get some much needed rest.
- Dexter Yarbrough on Hubpages
By Dexter Yarbrough. When I first came to Hubpages, I didn't know what to expect. Within hours of signing up, I had fan mail welcoming me and a few followers.