There were parts of the first half of the trip that we really enjoyed. For instance, within 15 minutes of getting on the dirt roads, we'd seen two does with fawns, quite close to the car. Then as we drove up Hermosa Creek and toward the pass, we reveled in the trip through a mature forest, rich in understory growth and that “old forest” smell. We also spotted (and had outstanding viewing of) two adult male western tanagers, one of the most beautiful birds we know. But in general the path we took was remarkably light on wildlife, for reasons we don't understand. The habitat looked like it was designed for deer and elk, yet except for a couple of isolated deer, the rest of the trip we saw nary a one.
Ophir Pass... It's the least attractive, least interesting pass we've seen yet in the San Juan Mountains. We're not going back there again. I'd approve donating it to Venezuela or some other thugocracy...
Here are some more scenes from the day. The cabin and the associated sign were sort of interesting – I had no idea that uranium and vanadium ore were found together, or that vanadium ore was called “red cake”:
Finally, here are the remaining flowers from the day: