Two weeks ago, I was going to escape the heat in the valley by going camping with friends at Lola Creek Campground. When the Halstead Fire broke out, that campground and the road to it were closed. So we postponed the trip to last week while we decided ton another place to go.
A friend of ours had been to Big Trinity Lake Campground over the weekend and said that even though fire had broken out on Trinity Ridge about ten miles north, the campground wasnt smoky and was still open.
So we drove twenty plus miles down a rough dirt road to a spectacular lake surrounded by wildflowers still in bloom. I didnt expect to see such a good wildflower show this late in the summer.
There was fireweed everywhere and if fire runs through the area, that plant will be one of the first to return. There were several colors of paintbrush and even though that plant needs a host plant (usually a grass), it appeared to be thicker than its host.
Up a dry south facing hillside, there was a short variety of sagebrush. Several different varieties of buckwheat in full flower filled in around the sagebrush.
Thick willows surrounded most of the lake, but there were several areas where grasses filled in and the view of the lake was spectacular. Closer to the lake were plants that like more moisture such as monkshood and pink monkey flower.
We saw a bald eagle swoop down to the lake to catch a fish to take back to its nest. There were other birds to see in the area I recognized a western tanager, hummingbird and robin. There were small mammals, too chipmunks, squirrels and Uinta ground squirrels (also called whistle pigs). There were numerous butterflies, too.
In mid-afternoon on Wednesday, forest service employees came to the campground to let us know that the campgrounds and roads in the area were closing as of sundown. I sure hope that area is spared from fire.
Ill definitely have to go back to this campground again to view the wildflowers.
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