July 6, 2015
At about 3.5 miles of climbing up, we reached the ghost town of Alta. Silver was discovered here in 1864 and by the summer of 1872, the population had grown to several thousand with 180 buildings. So how did Alta become known as a ghost town? At one point in it's history, it was considered to be the "bloodiest town this side of Kansas" with over 500 murders in one year.
In 1885, a snowstorm and resulting avalanches killed 15 people and destroyed much of Alta. It is reported that 50 feet of snow was deposited on Main Street.
The results were obvious, the Salt Lake Winter Sports Association, later known as the Alta Ski Lifts Company raised $10,000 for the construction of a Collins Chairlift. It was not until 1970 that Alta was incorporated as the Town of Alta. Today it is a world renown ski resort with numerous hotels and condos that one can ski to and from each day located on the back side of Telluride Ski Resort.
From there it is less than a mile to reach Alta Lakes. At 11,000 feet this area has become a popular day-use and primitive camping (no fee, no water, no electric...there is one vault toilet) area for summer fishing and hiking.
|Very well camouflaged Mallards were hard to find.|
|There were several people fishing.|
|A new bird for me...a pair of Green-winged Teal Ducks|
It was drizzling rain and quite chilly as we wandered around the lake and in the surrounding woods. Looking up...
and looking down...
The highlight for me was a robin. Her movement on the ground got my attention and then I saw her tugging on a worm.
She hopped on the rock and then flew to a nearby tree. At this point I left to join the others for lunch.
|Another good example of camouflage...|
When low and behold, she flew to a branch just above where we were. I didn't even see the nest until hopped over to it.
Surprised and not wanting to make a sound, I missed the picture of the babies (I saw three of them.) with mouths wide open as she stuffed in their lunch.
An absolutely wonderful day.
So until next time...
|Ophir Pass...I cant wait to share!|