Friday, July 8, 2011

Vacation: Day 15 - Last Day in the San Juan Mountains...

Today was our last day in the San Juan Mountains.  Tomorrow morning, at oh-dark-thirty, we're piling ourselves into the truck and aiming for St. George, Utah.

We only had the jeep for a half day today, as we had to bring it back and clean it before turning it back in.  So for our last little trip, we went to Clear Lake – a nice, easy drive off State 550.  The lake itself (at right) was half-frozen, and the lush pastures around it were too immature to sport the deer and elk we looked for.  We were hoping to see some wildlife, and we did: some elk just north of the Red Mountain Pass (on State 550), and then two moose and a snowshoe hare right at the beginning of the Clear Lake road.  All of these sightings were within the first 30 minutes of the drive; the rest of the time we saw only the most common things (chipmunks and marmots).  We did have one other fun sighting: we stopped at a campsite to look at what we thought was an axe someone had left behind.  As we walked around, a grey jay fluttered around us within arms reach, very curious.  Also, Debbie walked up to within a foot or so of a small chipmunk, who seemed completely unperturbed...

We also took another fork in the road that leads out to some campgrounds.  At the very end of the road, just east of a campground, is a series of beaver ponds (and the proud lodge).  These were beautiful, mature ponds with lots of willow around the edges.  The oldest dam has flowers growing on it.  Here are a couple views of it:

And here are some other scenes from the day:

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