Author Topic: Scouting for the 2011 Crested Butte Wildflower Photography Workshop  (Read 2695 times)

keithsnell

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I have to admit that I'm a bit tired after a LONG day of scouting in preparation for the upcoming workshop.

I started my day bright and early leaving from my campsite at Lake Irwin campground, at an elevation of 10,200 feet.


Lake Irwin Campground

My first scouting location was to Robinson Basin.  The road starts above Lake Irwin and climbs through some very difficult terrain.  The road isn't maintained, and gets worse every year.  If I hadn't done it before and knew it was possible, I would have turned around last year.  This year the road was even worse, with a few washed out sections and many "streams" running down and across the road from the recent rains.


Road to Robinson Basin

In the "easy" section just above the campground, someone had put a makeshift barricade in the road, probably in an attempt to warn the less prudent not to go that way.  Of course I went around the barricade. :)  I had heard that the flowers were much farther behind their normal bloom schedule this year because of the very heavy (and late melting) snow pack.  My drive up Robinson Basin soon confirmed this, and I turned around in search of better possibilities.


Gothic Road to Emerald Lake

I had also heard that the road to Emerald Lake and West Maroon Basin was also closed due to snow, but I decided to see how bad it was.  The road was indeed closed, but I decided to go ahead and hike up to the lake.  The area surrounding the lake was covered with a profusion of wildflowers last year, but the shoots were just starting to come up through the melting snow.  Darn, three of my favorite locations weren't panning out.

I did see some late blooming lupine just outside the town of Gothic that might provide some possibilities.


Lupine surrounding the town of Gothic

But just because the higher elevations weren't panning out doesn't mean it's going to be a bad year.  Although they aren't following their "normal" bloom pattern, it is possible to find flowers at the lower elevations, like these on Brush Creek Road:


Brush Creek Road Lupine and Sunflowers

And these further up along Brush Creek:


Brush Creek Wildflowers

Tomorrow I'll continue my scouting at some of the lower elevations, but for now it's time to head up to the campsite and fire up a pot of beef stew.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 03:56:14 PM by keithsnell »

keithsnell

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A few more from today's scouting:















Time to head back out for more!  :)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 03:42:33 PM by keithsnell »

burzilai

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Yey! thanks for the current  lake Irwin photo Keith, I've googled so many sites to see the campground it is a nice place, we are going to arrive there very early saturday am hopefully there will be a spot, if not we'll spend the night somewhere in gunnison or somewhere along hwy 50 :) Gothic road was so beautiful last year although I was late for the blooming...like 10 days late but I was still able to take some pics.
Shee :)

keithsnell

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Hi Shee,

Even if the campground is full there are typically many spots you can camp in (without paying) if you drive on past the entrance to the campground.  There are lots of spots tucked in under the trees, or when you get up higher you can just pull off the road and put up your tent in the meadows.  If you go too far you'll start seeing "private property" signs and you will want to camp before you get on private property.  Good luck finding a spot. 

Keith