David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
09/22  Plan B, Part 2
09/23  Canaveral National Seashore -- Freaky People
09/24  Seminole State Forest
09/25  Swimming in Pepsi
09/26  Arachnids
09/27  The End Of The Trail
09/28  Go West Young Man
09/29  Mountains in Arkansas? Who knew?
09/30  Kansas ain't so flat
10/01  Two Kinds of Flat
10/02  Points of Interest
10/03  No Place To Hide
10/04  Look! Grass!
10/05  Everyone repeat after me: Medo is not a jeep.
10/06  Without Incident
10/07  The Fever
10/08  Goodbye, Black Hills
10/09  Lunch with Bison
10/10  ''You're in Oregon Now.''
10/11  Sea to Shining Sea
10/12  My anemone's anemone is my friend.
10/13  Fast Times at Seven-Thousand Feet High
10/14  Redwoods and Grapes
10/15  Welcome to the Jungle
10/16  I live to move furniture.
10/17  Whole Lot of Critters
10/18  Deserts
10/19  ''Please state your nationality''
10/20  Essence of Guano
10/21  Cannonball
10/22  All Done
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Two Kinds of Flat

2005-10-01

Cristos Wilderness Area, Zapata Lake Trailhead, Colorado (37.617 N, 105.564 W, 9000 feet)Kansas did eventually get flat. But I passed the time by listening to Rider's Radio Theater, something I'm not likely to ever hear in Richmond. Then I entered Colorado and it got a little hilly and then flat again. Then I got into the mountains and then it got rally hilly and then really flat.

In my travels I've come across two kinds of flat. There's a flatness that extends to the horizon (about six miles under ideal conditions). Things in the distance eventually disappear due to the curvature of the Earth. That flat I can deal with. Then there's the flatness that never ends. This can usually be found between mountains. Basically the land isn't really flat; it's more of a giant shallow valley or bowl. From any given point you can see any other point. (It's like living on the Ring World or Halo if that means anything to you.) It leaves you feeling exposed--like all privacy has been stripped away. I AM currently camped on the side of a mountain overlooking one of these plains. I can look out the car's window and see five hundred square miles of land, if my calculations are good. Conceivably, the thousands of people living down there could look up at me if they had a telescope.

Anyway, today I visited Bent's Old Fort, a replica of a trading post that existed on that spot in the 1800s. It was actually very cool. In its day, this little pile of wood and clay was the only representative of civilization (good or bad) for hundreds of miles.

From the fort I drove down Highway 10, a stretch of road so long and desolate that it has its own permanent "road closed" sign ready to swing into place.

Then I climbed through North La Veta Pass. This is where classic Colorado begins with its mountains and aspen and pine--very scenic, but it always is.

I'm now camped out at 9000 feet. I strongly suspect it will get cold here tonight. Now that it's dark the stars above are amazing. And the plain below shows more lights than I would have ever guessed existed.

And I think I just got bit by a mosquito. It must have been rolled away in one of my blankets. I can't win.

My head feels funny. It's the altitude. Hopefully I will acclimate quickly, for I intend to tackle a ten mile hike up to Lake Zapata in the morning--a half mile up over five miles of hiking.

I almost hit several deer this morning (real deer--not those Florida runts). I also spotted an antelope. What I'd really like to see is an elk.









contact me at le@liverworks.com
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