Friday, July 1, 2011

Vacation: Day 8 - Cunningham Gulch and More, with Friends...

Late last night friends (Dick and Marsha Y.) rolled into Ouray for a two-day stay with us.  They'd never done most of the things we're doing on this vacation before – never been four-wheeling, never been in the San Juan Mountains, never sought wildflowers.  This is no longer true, as they spent the day with us on a relatively tame four-wheeling trip.  We started with Cunningham Gulch, then ran up the road toward Animus Forks and up Placer Gulch (where we were turned around by snow drifts across the road), then ran up to Animus Forks, and finished off with Picayune Gulch.  We saw some marmots, a pika, and a few deer (we were hoping for much more).  But we had fantastic weather (all sun!) and had some beautiful sight-seeing and wildflower viewing.  Marsha didn't like some of the steep dropoffs, but she perservered like a trooper, and enjoyed the places we got to...if not the getting there so much...

Some sights really stood out.  For example, in Placer Gulch we ran across this beaver pond.  There's something quite odd about this beaver's dam: it's completely covered with white flowers!  We figure that Mrs. Beaver had something to do with the landscaping effort...

Then there was Dick, pointing out an animal hole of some sort in Picayune Gulch.  He looks worried in the photo, but he really wasn't worried, just curious what it might be.  Right in this same area we found a steam boiler just sitting in a meadow, with no mining operations anywhere in sight.  We have no idea how it got there – but it sure seems like rather a large thing to have accidentally dropped off!

Some other scenes from the day:

We visited Animus Forks (an abandoned mining town):

And finally, here are the flowers I shot today.  I found a nice specimen of orange columbine, well-lit for a change – and even managed to catch a bug in the act:

No comments:

Post a Comment