August 2006 in Rocky Mountain National Park, Ditch Camp #3. The wildlife was abundant and some overly friendly. The Rangers call this an Estes Park Deer (their ears are red tagged) that come over the divide to get away from hunters. Daisy (Mary named her) was initially shy but hung around for hours, eventually getting within a few feet of us. She had scars across her flanks and side probably from a fall and was thin enough that her ribs showed clearly. Still she was a joy to have around camp.
The following day we continued our journey to Skeleton Gulch where more critters waited.
Jack the moose lived in and around the meadow, wallowed in the nearby mudhole and ignored us for a couple of days. The picture I posted was taken right before he turned and regarded us for the first time. He stalked us back to the tent. We did a couple of circles around the tent before ducking into a stand of fir trees. Jack stuck his homely face at us, sniffed the tent and wandered away. Moose can be dangerous but Jack seemed only curious.
The prayer flags pictured are always strung near our campsites. They have fluttered in the wind from Missouri to Colorado, from below sea level to 11,000 feet.
There is nothing like waking up at the edge of a mountain meadow. Peaks surround you, a small group of mountain goats prance across a steep slope, purple and red flowers sparkle with dew, and the tree top fog lifts to let the sun warm cool skin. Carrying your home on your back up steep trails for two days is a small price to pay.Namaste, Wayne