Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Whew! Wild couple of weeks, flash flood & Cameron Peak fire damage

 It's been busy around here for the past couple of weeks. The resort has had a bit of a problem with a bear making it's way through on a weekly basis so a bear trap was put out in a attempt to catch and relocate the bear. No success so far.

Scenic spot for a bear trap, set during the week when 
there are fewer guests around. Baited with pears and chocolate syrup.

Many of my readers are aware that there was a 200,000 acre fire at the west end of the Poudre Canyon, over Cameron Peak and down towards Estes Park and just around here too (yikes!) during the fall of 2020.

Quite honestly, we have avoided going to see the fire damage as it was bound to be as upsetting (or more so) than the widespread beetle damage.  Well, last week a flash flood event occurred about 10 miles west of us and the resulting mudslide destroyed 5 homes and took the lives of at least 3 people. From what I've read, the burn scars that are associated from a wildfire ravaged area prevent the absorption of rain water which eventually destabilizes the soil. As you can see from these shots, not only were trees dislodged but also huge rocks and boulders tumbled down as well. So sad. 

The area destroyed was in a hollow which funneled the debris 
and mud/boulders right down through it to the river.

The bridge survived but it's partially plugged up by the debris
which includes the remains of the smashed houses.

All we saw down our way was the river running high and black from ash with logs and other debris coming by. It never exceeded it's banks here but it did leave a trail of logs and stuff all the way down the canyon and ran muddy for a few days.

The Poudre down by us, flowing fast and dark from ash & mud.

Even though the wildfire burn damage really had an affect on the landscape, there is still plenty of pretty to see.  Lots of wildflowers and with all the rain, plenty of greenery.

Fire damaged stand of pines

A path through the wildflowers - lots of pollinators too.

A sign showing a map of the Cameron Pass area also shows Rustic for an idea where we are this summer.

Rustic is located just north of Rocky Mntn Nat'l Park

We had a picnic lunch packed so we proceeded to continue west towards North Park. The landscape out there is more like what you'd see on the high plains - long views with "lotsa flat".

This rancher is safe from the Zombie Apocalypse, lol.
There are mountains at the far end of the shot - too hazy to see.

Hazy day makes it hard to spot the mountains in the background.

Plenty of standing deadfall, which on some private lands has been cut and stacked in large burn piles. I wish they'd cut it all down and let it be used as lumber, firewood etc rather than just sit there making the landscape look so dead.

All the pale brown on the hillside is beetle kill.

Just 2 of the many burn piles. Some trust lands and state forest
lands are being lumbered.

We had some lovely views during our drive and a good topline view of the Cameron Pass areas heading back east. It was a hazy day though, we likened it to a "Uzilevsky" moment. He was known for his linear landscapes.

Uzilevsky moment heading east

Once back home I prepped our rack of ribs by dry-rubbing them and making my special marinade/mopping sauce.

And an everyday visitor to our next door neighbors site is this guy - soo cute!

This post seems kind of long, hope you didn't get bored. Thanks for visiting!


  1. That is such a beautiful area your RV park is located in with so many opportunities for hikes and such. Every year it seems devastating fires and floods are destroying these lovely areas. Hopefully that part of the forest will be spared in the future and will recover. Its heartbreaking to look at burned sites, isn't it. Need a picture of the bbq ribs ;-)

    1. Yes, we are so blessed to have been relatively unscathed during the fire. We love the view from our "yard". We try to get out and about to soak up as much western scenery as we can. The ribs were so good with fresh corn and steamed broccoli - pic next time. :)

  2. That mudslide is crazy! Knock on wood we have not had any fires locally yet but we do have a lot of smoke from the west and north. We have some bug kill but not a whole lot. We have yet to spend any time in Colorado but we will have to try and get down there at some point!

    1. They had a huge mudslide around Glenwood Springs that closed I-70 indefinitely, truly devastating. In our area they are dropping wood chips (from helicopters) for mulch hoping something will start growing.