I walked around the truck and sure enough, they were gone. I felt like I had been punched under the ribs and it took a few moments for me to get my breath back. At that point, I went about setting up camp. I think we would have moved camps because no trees, but friends were following us up and I didn't want to deal with trying to find them if we moved. There was a tiny stand of aspen we set the jack-toilet up in way down the hill, which I did while burying my anguish at the state of the forest.
The next morning I was up with the sun at about five. I took the dogs and went on a walk-about. I had been really angry the night before thinking the devastation was man-made, but as I walked the land that morning I became more and more convinced that it was a tornado that had caused the destruction.
Here, in pictures, is what a forest looks like after a tornado has blasted through. I think it happened in May sometime, because there were riders out on ATVs nailing the barbed wire fence back on the fenceposts and removing deadfall from the fence line. They run cattle behind that fence and if it had happened earlier they would have addressed the issues earlier. I'm pretty happy that events transpired to keep us from camping there the end of May.
I will say it over and over: the trees were just gone.
One of those trees was the tree Taz climbed when he was a kitten and we brought him camping.
One of the other one's was the tree where my BFF strung a dream catcher in it's branches.
What was left of an Aspen grove you couldn't see through.
There were huge swathes of Aspen pulverized into kindling.
The world's wood chipper
This grove was unbelievable, since there was a circle of destruction around the trees left in the middle.
There were stumps standing up in the debris, where the trunks had been twisted free, not pulled up or unrooted.
Absolutely mind boggling.
That is a tree stump without the tree.
A lot of tree stumps.
Some of the trees were splint lengthwise, but most were just torn apart.
This tree stump was 10" across.
The shredded remains of juniper ground bushes.
Walking down to the meadow.
Meadowy bog filled in behind a beaver dam.
T and C went climbing to the top of the rock
We hung out under a rock in the shade.
The heat is taking me hard this year.
A rare T sighting. He got so sunburned but still seemed to have a great time.
I was less angry but still sad when I worked out that nature had devastated our camp site. I am thankful for the little voice that says "not this weekend" although I don't know for sure when it happened. We will go camping again, just in a different place. Someplace with trees for the hammocks and rocks for us to climb and fewer moose (Skittle saw a moose in the forest and was gone. We got her stopped but it was a close thing and she didn't want to come back. It was lucky we had Lily on a tether or it might have been really bad.)