LITTLE BLUFF JOURNAL - JULY 2020 (previous months)


Colorado Sierra Creek campsite cam July 8 - a delightful 44 degrees and breezy for sunrise today at 9,064'. (scroll down to see the COLORFUL photo from yesterday morning that I failed to post) HAPPY WEDNESDAY!

Journal updated on July 4.


2021 ARKANSAS WALL CALENDAR now shipping! - click here

JULY SHIPPING NOTICE: Orders for picture books, guidebooks, and maps will be processed and shipped daily. ALL Tim Ernst books are autographed, however personalized copies of books and all print orders may be delayed since Tim will be on the road and unavailable during much of July. (This Journal will be updated whenever possible.)


My 20th picture book - IN STOCK AND NOW SHIPPING - order here! (See the new online gallery here.)

07/01/20 After putting in nearly a full day of work to get ready, we loaded up our camper van and headed west about 3pm. We drove across a very warm Oklahoma, stopping kat 1:30am for a few hours shut-eye in a little city park in Guymon. We have our camper van set up with 14 days of provisions so that we’re able to manage life without interacting with a single human - our little fridge/freezer are PACKED FULL! It is such a nice way to travel.

07/02/20 Nice drive through the volcano country of northeast New Mexico, then up and over the pass into Colorado, then over another pass into the San Luis Valley and past Great Sand Dunes National Park, finally arriving at our campsite just outside of South Fork.

The puppies knew immediately when we left the highway for the three-mile gravel-road drive to our spot that we were about to enter the “chipper zone” - the land of endless chipmunks with about acres to chase them on! And oh my goodness did they hit the ground running! Ten minutes later both pups had changed color (to dust color), and had their heads buried in one of several chipper holes. They were happy campers.

Us humans were exhausted after the 18-hour drive, but that ‘s OK - here at Sierra Creek we have nothing but time. Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned that before, but our little spot on this steep hillside that got burned off by a big wildfire in 2002 is the headwaters of Sierra Creek - there are actually three tiny dribbles of water that come together around us and form Sierra Creek. While on our property the creek is just big enough for the puppies to make a mud puddle out of. The creek runs about two miles before joining Willow Creek, and then just a little while farther it runs into the big Rio Grande River, right in the middle of the Blue Ribbon Trout Waters section of it - we can see that area from our campsite.

Even though my body was weary I made a quick hike to the top of the road here - a mile-long 500’ climb, all above 9,000’. I’m happy to report that my head and body had no issues with the altitude, yippie! There are no snakes here, nor poison ivy, or ticks or chiggers, and it’s so GREAT to be able to just get out and roam around. But we do have a bear and a mountain lion roaming the property nearby.

Here's the big rock just below our campsite - my view of it from our driveway entrance as I was getting back from my hike -


07/03/20 What can I say - it was a SPECTACULAR light show for sunrise today, which is pretty common here. Kind of like the ones we’ve had back home at Little Bluff - must be the time of day, haha! We don’t have a plan or schedule and don’t know how long we will be here, but I hope to post a photo or two. We do plan to mostly stay away from people and keep to ourselves - kind of like back home at Little Bluff, haha...There are a couple of projects that sill keep us busy (one of them a multi-year project to thin our aspen forest and create what I'm going to call a "Georgia O'Keeffe fence" to stabilize the hillside above our campsite (I'll explain later).


FYI, Pam's dad will process and ship any book orders that come in so our shipping schedule will remain the same - I just won't be there to personalize any books nor make prints (I pre-autographed guidebooks and picture books so they all will be autographed). We have a caretaker staying at the cabin - I wonder if they will mow the yard?

07/04/20 A beautiful blast of color at dawn - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL IN THE USA! A quick update from yesterday - we did make a trip into town to attend the annual South Fork Fire Department Catfish Dinner fundraiser. It was a drive-thru, and there were HUNDREDS of vehicles in line. Every single person inside vehicles was wearing a mask, as of course were all of the firefighters and volunteers helping. The entire event was SO WELL ORGANIZED. And OH MY - the catfish, hush puppies, and all the rest were just amazing! You had to place and pay for your order online, then they scanned you phone while in line, drinks were delivered, then the meal, all within just a minute or two as the line kept moving right on along. Firefighters are such a class act!

Speaking of masks, since pretty much everyone in Colorado is wearing a mask, we feel SO SAFE HERE. They "get it” in Colorado. Such a simple idea - going out into public, wear a mask. No freedom is being compromised - you just spend part of your day with on additional article of clothing. The more folks wear masks, the sooner our country will be able to get back to not wearing masks, and the more lives will be saved. THANKS to everyone on the planet wherever you are for wearing your mask!

Today will be a work day for us at the campsite, but at the end of the day we’ll have burgers on the grill to celebrate the 4th (and to fill our bellies!). No fireworks in Colorado, but the amazing light show at dawn was pretty nice!


07/05/20 Here's the view from our meadow looking back towards the campsite at first light today - that steep hill catches the first rays of golden light, and is all Rio Grande National Forest land and goes up to Beaver Mountain, Del Norte Peak, and tens of thousands of acres of wilderness. Only the first 10,000 acres burned in 2002 - the rest is all lush with huge stands of aspens, ponderosa pines, Douglas firs, and many others - and lots of deer, elk, bears, and a few mountain lions too! Many lakes and streams with trout...


07/06/20 This rainbow happened yesterday evening during my hike just above our property was one of the most intense I've seen in a while, and went on for more than 30 minutes!



07/07/20 Some nice color at dawn (sorry, I forgot to post this photo below) - our view is to the northeast, and the farterest mountains we see are the majestic Sangre De Cristos near Great Sand Dunes National Park. HAPPY TUESDAY!


Two virus notes. Here's a short video from the Commander of an Army Medical Unit with basic covid info in this public service announcement.

AND THANK YOU Governor ASA HUTCHINSON for putting the people of Arkansas FIRST! MEET THE PRESS 07/05/20 - "If President Donald Trump decides to hold a campaign rally in Arkansas, the state will insist that all participants are socially distanced and wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus" Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday..

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