Above, or at the top of the level of, the Smoak

Summer.  Later summer — usually forest-fire season.  Adds color to the sunrises, and ~

A view of The Mesa (the W. Colorawdough Grand Mesa) on a clear(er) day — some months ago!  Since then …

One can stare directly at the rising (and setting) sun(s) for a while, due to the smoke atmospheric interference.

Yes, the “season” — this year has been worse than usual.  A fire to the northwest (off Douglas Pass), large fires further west in Utah, a big one to the southwest on the Uncompahgre Plateau (climbing daily up the ranks of the largest fires in state history), and if the wind shifts from the east, there are fires in that direction too.

Betty wanted to go bike-riding, but not while inhaling the smoke.  “Let’s go to the top of The Mesa” she said.

An hour later, 18 miles by twisty sometimes one-laned gravel road (and equal distance on paved before that), and 4,500 feet higher, we got out to ride.  Still hazy, but at the Land’s End over-look, we could see the top of the smoke-cloud at or below our feet!  The whole (Grand) Valley was filled, couldn’t see a thing below a thousand or so feet — and we rode relatively smoke-free.

The skies weren’t totally blue and clear, but much more so than back at home.

Betty (and RockSea) approach the truck coming from the east after an hour of riding.

RockSea trots along sedately, why push it?

Back home (4500-feet lower and perhaps 15 miles from the mountain’s edge) we can barely see where we were earlier that day.

5 thoughts on “Above, or at the top of the level of, the Smoak

  1. It sure has been terrible this year. I read that the Bull Draw fire is now 54% contained. A long ways to go. Our daughter’s Jason logs up there and he said they have opened the divide road.

    Liked by 1 person

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