June 8, 2008

Missing Meadow

Beautiful, sunny day today. The temp was about 60 in Roosevelt, and in the low 40’s up Paradise Park Road, which was our destination for today’s ride.
We started about a mile and a half up the road from the forest service boundary, turning onto a two track that had a convenient pull out for parking the trailer, located at about 8400 feet. From there, we trotted and loped up the road another couple of miles and 1200 feet. Again, very little traffic on the road.
At 9500 feet, small patches of snow lay in the trees, and the road was wet. We took a turn to the right on a jeep road that had puddles, pools and even running water in places from snowmelt. We sogged and bogged on through that for a couple of miles, surrounded by a thick lodgepole forest. We got off the road and tried to find our way through the trees to a meadow area Steve had seen on Google Earth, but we never did locate it, and finally tired of dodging tree branches.
On the way down, I noticed that the aspen leaves were absent until we reached 9200 feet, at which point they were small and new. Two hundred feet lower, and the leaves were fully out and mature.
We paused to take pictures in a pretty meadow of buttercups and dandelions. Just below our trailhead, we saw yellow balsam root flowers out in force. The ride down was windy and a little cool. We were glad to have our handy, all-purpose Aussie dusters.
The total ride was about 8 miles, 1200 feet, in 3 hours.
Conclusion: Not a route we would do again. We’ll try to reach Mosby Park and Mosby Sink by another route on another day.

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