July 25, 2016
As I begin this post, we are in the middle of another awesome thunderstorm. We have grown accustomed to the flash flood warnings as these storms seem to roll through the area with some regularity. And the lightening displays are nothing short of amazing ! In southern Arizona, the monsoon season begins the middle of June and doesn't end until the end of September. What a treat it is to experience the rain in the desert...a nice reprieve from the blazing heat we experience on other days.
Our hike began at the Fossil Ridge/Gold Creek trailhead located at Gold Creek Campground (about 20 miles northeast of Gunnison). We followed this trail for about 1/2 mile. A fork in the path with signage points left for Mill Lake.
This was the last "big" hike for us in Gunnison. This trek through the Fossil Ridge Wilderness packed a big punch as we gained 1,700 feet in 2 miles.
Fossil Ridge was designated a wilderness area in 1993. The valleys and shallow lakes were formed by ancient glaciers. The limestone ridge rises between 13,000 and 14,000 feet. Fossilized remains of prehistoric sea creatures have been found in these ridges.
Our path took us through a forest filled with pine, spruce, fir and aspen trees, wildflowers, birds, mossy water crossings and ferns Mother Nature planted in dead tree stumps.
The destination was Mill Lake. And the best part is that we had the lake all to ourselves...an advantage of getting an early start. This beautiful alpine lake is nestled in a glacial cirque cut out of the Fossil Ridge. It sits at 11,700 feet elevation.
I tried really hard to get a picture of the fish jumping out of the water. Very entertaining to watch.
The white granite mountain is a splendid backdrop for all the green.
On the way home, a marmot ran across the dirt road. A squeal from me and Joe's quick reaction saved the day. It quickly disappeared in a hole behind a rock. It slowly reappeared and we discovered it was a she...a sweet mama protecting her baby. She kept her eyes, ears and nose busy as the baby slowly made it's way out of the hole.
Yesterday and today he had MOHs surgery and tomorrow he will have the last one done along with a skin graft on his nose. Stitches will come out in about two weeks.
The visit to the oncologist turned out much better. PET/blood work results show no signs of cancer. We will return to Tucson in February (6 months) for another check.
It's always such a relief to have this behind us.