Cameron Peak Fire

My two most recent “relatively real time” posts (not counting yesterday’s post about the American Pika) were about my same-day, half-day visits to Laramie and Cheyenne, Wyoming back on June 9. I had driven down from Lander that Wednesday morning but because of the distance I made it my first overnight trip away from Lander. I decided to spend that night in Fort Collins, Colorado, about 45 minutes south of Cheyenne, because the next day I wanted to travel scenic Route 14 west of Fort Collins and take other scenic roads back to Lander.

The next morning, as I started my trek west on Route 14 (which I made several posts about back in 2017), I was distressed to discover that much of the area had been damaged or destroyed in a wildfire. When I reached a ranger station later in the morning I stopped to ask when the fire had occurred and discovered it was just last year! The Cameron Peak Fire was first reported by several hikers on August 13, 2020 and quickly spread to more than 10,000 acres in just three days. On October 14 it became the largest wildfire in Colorado state history, eclipsing a record set just 7 weeks earlier in another part of the state (and THAT fire eclipsed a record set out near Grand Junction even earlier in 2020). The CPF ended up consuming over 208,000 acres, including part of Rocky Mountain National Park, and wasn’t considered 100% contained until December 2 (and wasn’t completely out until January 2021, with the help of snowfall).

I was so bummed that I didn’t even stop to take any photos but have decided that I will go back and drive the route again next month and post photos. I may even go back in my archive and see if I can find “before” photos from my 2017 trip.

During this trip, and shortly after I had passed the road on which I had taken several photos of moose (and marmots) in 2017, which is near where the fire had first been reported last year, I arrived at Cameron Pass, at an altitude of 10,249 feet:

I continued on my way towards the popular ski village of Steamboat Springs and these were some of the things I saw along the way:

Soon I arrived in the little town of Walden, the “Moose Capital of Colorado”. I didn’t see any moose but I did find this tiny trailer parked next to the road:

It was for sale, asking price $12,500, and I have the contact information if you are interested. It actually got me thinking…. but then I would need a bigger vehicle to tow it and *poof,* there goes my gas mileage.

I stopped briefly in Steamboat Springs for gas but found the town unremarkable (sorry SS). I continued on to Craig, Colorado where I turned right and headed north, back to Wyoming. Once I got on the road which took me back to Lander I stopped and took a photo of the road and mountains behind me, which I posted “silhouette” photos of in the Laramie post earlier in the blog. They were now lit up by the sun and looked very different than they had the previous morning.

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