After a short squabble with the timid ranger we were off. He paced back and forth twice then came over and asked Bruce to park the car six inches more to the left. We were unaware it's standard procedure to park "between" the posts. I was impressed that Bruce kept it together as he typically has choice verbiage in these situations historically.
51 degree to start in early Feb is gift. I enjoyed Coffee Flat up through Randolph and into Red Tanks Canyon the most. There were some nice wildflower displays in Barkley Basin too. Heading down through Upper La Barge Box it was hot and I wasn't feeling good "heading down" of all things. The wildflowers here are the best of the loop as of now. Well that you walk through anyhow, we saw some sweet distant displays too. Albeit good substantial stretches, I give the entire loop a moderate. Definitely worthy of a trip if you enjoy poppies.
Heading over to La Barge Spring was draggy. We had a late lunch since Bruce wouldn't shut up about "I'm starving" (just a non-stop whiner all day). We started getting the shade advantage pushing "super" past it boundaries to Charlebois. 8+ visit and I still couldn't find the Master Map...lol After talking up Charlebois it was a let down compared to Randolph and Red Tanks Canyon, yet still worthy of the extra jaunt IMO.
I have no clue how Bruce put up with me until this point as I'd been queezy since the start. Then I hit the mojo juice and I was on fire and feeling like a rock star for the finish.
Great loop and Bruce got to see a lot of new territory along the outskirts