This short video includes a 4 short video clips I took of our hike to the snow-covered Kroenke Lake at the base of the Continental Divide.
Clip #1 = view of an unnamed peak near Mount Yale and snow in the forest
Clip #2 = view of the snow-covered meadow near Kroenke Lake
Clip #3 = “Hello from the base of the Continental Divide”
Clip #4 = driving away from the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area with Mount Princeton off in the distance.
One of my goals for the trip to Colorado was to return to the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area. After some cursory planning, my step-father & I decided to spend three days in the backcountry near Buena Vista, Colorado. The ultimate destination was Kroenke Lake, which is situated at the base of the continental divide in the San Isabel National Forest. The plan was to hike as far as possible the first day, setup camp for the night, the following day hike to Kroenke Lake, and the final day hike back to the trailhead. While we were expecting there to be some snow still on the ground (it’s June after all), we were not expecting to hit dense snowpack within the first mile of hiking toward our destination. We ultimately pitched our tent on a snow bank that was nearest to dry land about 2.5 miles from the trailhead. Earlier this year I purchased snowshoes and by the end of the trip I sincerely wished that I had brought them! All in all, I love backpacking in this part of Colorado! My next goal for this area to is to climb one of the Collegiate Peaks.
Date Acquired: 12/20/2009
Resolutions: 250m (reduced)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Credit: Jesse Allen, NASA’s Earth Observatory
I was looking for satellite images of last weekend’s blizzard and found that today’s MODIS Satellite Image of the Day just so happens to be of the Washington, DC area. MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) is a key instrument aboard the Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites that documents changes on the surface of the earth. Terra’s orbit around the Earth is timed so that it passes from north to south across the equator in the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon. Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth’s surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands, or groups of wavelengths that are used for numerous scientific purposes. You can view these satellite images in real-time and see exactly what has happened on the surface of the earth within the last 48 hours.
After driving up a snow covered road, we arrived at a snowy Bear Lake, which is at 9,475 feet above sea level at the base of the continental divide. We put on extra warm clothing and went for a walk around (and across) the lake. When we were leaving I went up to a ranger and asked how thick the ice was. To my surprise he said it was about 3 feet thick. The only disappointment of this visit was that the clouds never receded back over the divide and I was never able to see the tops of any of the mountains.
The continental divide has always fascinated me as one of the most important geologic features in North America because it hydrologically splits up the continent into different watershed basins. Standing from the top of the continental divide in the summertime I’ve seen firsthand how the divide influences the weather on both sides of the divide. Looking West from the top of the divide you see a lush green forest and when you look off to the East you see a dry desert environment. This is due to the way the easterly moving clouds can be too heavy preventing them from being able to rise over the 12,000+ foot mountain range. They crash into the divide, release their moisture on the West side, rise up, then continue eastward over the divide. But sometimes they stick around the mountains and are called cap clouds.
It should be noted that there is a place in Glacier National Park in Montana called Triple Divide Peak, where water ultimately flows to the Arctic, Pacific, and the Atlantic oceans. When I was younger and visiting Glacier National Park I was not aware of this peak, but when I visit the park again, I’d like to climb it.
This morning I was greeted by Dorothy the neighborhood doe and her friendly herd that live near my mom’s remote property in the mountains of Colorado. The leading deer named Dorothy apparently has grown up in the area and even comes when called by her name.
Below are 9 more photos that I took when she & her herd came by the house:
Today we drove up a snow-covered County Road 96 outside of Lake George, Colorado to the 11 Mile Canyon Dam. The photograph above was taken from the edge of the restricted area near the Spillway campground (see map below). It shows the face of the 153 foot tall 11 Mile Canyon Dam that was constructed in 1932. The water from this dam forms the South Platte River, which flows through the city of Denver and supplies a substantial amount of the city’s drinking water from reservoirs further downstream.
Earlier today I left Washington, DC to go visit my mom & stepfather in the mountains of Colorado. My flight took me from Dulles International Airport to Salt Lake City Airport to Denver International Airport and I took the photograph above when I was boarding the tiny jet in Salt Lake City bound for Denver. Prior to my arrival in Salt Lake City there had been a large snowstorm and off in the distance you can see the freshly fallen snow on beautiful mountains that surround the city.
Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:
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