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We are at 7000 MSL and surrounded on all 4 sides by mountains. There is a 3000' peak about 15 miles from here that is just begging to be climbed and camped on. The town is small and the nearest Walmart is 50 miles away but who cares. There is a miniature "Bass Pro Shop" right next to the hospital. It is loaded chock full of all kinds of goodies. This place is CRAWLING with Bull Elk. I saw 5 today (2 cows and 3 bulls) just driving over the mountains within 25 miles of here. I plan to do a lot of shooting, both with a lens and my trusty .30-06. You can tell this is a hunting town because there is a taxidermy/processing business right across the street from the hospital. I wonder what my wife will say when a large box containing a 36" "C"-width Bull Elk rack showed up at the front door.

I am waiting for the "altitude sickness" to kick in. It is really a temporary anemia brought about by the differences of air density. I have gone from sea level to 7000 (and has high as 8500) feet in the last 2 days. I anticipate I will be kind of tired for the next week or two until my body has ramped up my hemoglobin to handle the reduced oxygen. I got some iron supplement pills today which should speed things up.

The highest mountains are already getting some dustings of snow. It won't be too much longer before we start getting it too. But unlike that black hole of an Alaskan town Barrow, this place will be beautiful. I will probably work the next 7 days straight but will work 4 12 hour days with 3 days off per week. I anticipate getting in a lot of hiking, camping and photography in the near future. Unlike Barrow, I drove here and brought my 600mm F/4 AIS with me so I am set.
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  1. Rick M's Avatar
    Sounds like a great spot! Enjoy and post some pics for us jealous folks!
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  2. STM's Avatar
    MAJOR LEAGUE BUMMER I found out today (heavy sigh). Elk, like Moose in many states, are a "by lottery only" large game animal when it comes to hunting permits. I found out that the deadline was Feb 15 of this year to submit your name for the Elk Lottery. Of course Whitetail and Mulies (Mule deer) are still open but even if I have a trophy Bull in my crosshairs I can't drop the hammer on him. Bummer. But of course it does not mean I can't shoot him with the 600mm f/4 which I plan to do at every opportunity

    The skies here are so clear at night and there is essentially no "light pollution" that it is breathtaking. I anticipate taking many time lapse star trails photos in my future, oriented around the North Star. The milky way is plainly visible each night as are even very faintest stars. I may have to adjust my exposure to only record the brightest stars or the skies will be nearly whited out with all of the ones I can see.
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  3. Whiskeyman's Avatar
    Wow, it sounds like a great place to visit. When I moved to Colorado Springs 14 years ago (yikes, was it that long ago?) the thing that killed me wasn't the altitude, but the dry conditions. Going there from Florida, you might easily get dehydrated and not realize it, which can be incapacitating.

    Keep the water intake steady and high, and hopefully you'll be good-to-go for your entire trip. I envy you, both for the location and the 600!

    WM
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