During our first year living in Colorado, we were able to visit Mt. Evan Wilderness Area two times … in search of those amazing mountain goats that reside there. The visits did not disappoint. Honestly, even if they did, the trip up the mountain is so spectacular that all wouldn’t have been lost. With views like this at almost every corner of the paved, but no guard rails road, I have to keep reminding Tom to keep his eyes firmly on the road ahead. Similar to the road up Pikes Peak, this adventure up is not for the faint at heart. :-O
Reaching the summit at 14,271′ high … I believe this is the true meaning of Rocky Mountain High! Don’t try to run out and jump for joy, especially for us ex-flatlanders. The air is thin, the wind is strong, and generally the temperatures are cold.
The real stars of the trek to the summit (or at least near the top) are the mountain goats which reside there. This time our trip was in very early September … just a week or so before the road closes for the season.If you’re lucky, the goats can be found congregating near or at the top … if you’re even luckier, you can photograph them with many of the Colorado mountain peaks in the background.On this particular day, there was an entire gang up there! 🙂Of course, the stars for me anyways are always the young ones … with their energy, curiosity, and endless antics always a pleasure to photograph. Like many other species of wildlife, I could watch them all day … laughing almost the entire time as they romp around.Clearly everyone wanted to be the king of the boulder at this moment.There generally isn’t room for all of them, so staking your claim to the preferred spot is essential.Sometimes a form of “intimidation” is employed to get one of them to move … LOL.Sometimes one simply gets head butted off! Learning to navigate the steep, rocky terrain is essential to a young one’s survival … and these guys start off young!Once I settle in from my fear of witnessing one of them mistakingly falling off the ledges, I can’t help but feel a bit of envy at their lives. I mean, can you just imagine climbing out to a ledge, laying down, and getting these kinds of views? OK, maybe if you’re like me and afraid of heights, you might not ever be able to relax, but this otherwise would seriously be a zen or namaste moment.The young mountain goats are quite fascinated with the human visitors that come by to observe and photograph them.When they’re not playing with the others, the young generally follow the adults around instinctually.Gosh, I wish that I could visit with and photograph these fabulous mountain goats all year long, but in reality the mountains are totally covered and the road inaccessible for most of the year.One last look at them before we begin our descent. Such an amazing visit.Of course, there’s much more to see along the way down … lots of lakes, mountain views, perhaps some elk, bighorn sheep, pika …… and of course, a friendly marmot or two to bid you adieu and remind you to “Come back soon”. 🙂Hope that you enjoyed your virtual trip up to the Mt. Evans Wilderness Area in CO. Yep, I think I like living out here.Next Up: Let’s try our luck with some birding and such in Utah!
© 2017 Debbie Tubridy / TNWA Photography