It started off with Race helping me write this blog post. He perched on a stool right next to me, and watched intently to see what I was doing. In moments of particular concentration, he cocked his head sideways and his ears stood up. Once or twice he made a tiny growling sound; that was my signal to rewrite a sentence :)
Our route took us from Silverton up and over California Pass, past Lake Como to Hurricane Pass, down California Gulch, up Placer Gulch, over the top of the hills to Picayune Gulch and down it to the Animas River, then back to our cabin. We had intermittent sunshine and just a little rain – and at one point, a few hail stones. We never hit a storm like we did yesterday, darn it.
We did see some deer during the day, along with lots of chipmunks and a few marmots. But we never did see a pika, nor a moose. And we've still not seen an elk on this entire trip.
Several times during the day we met groups of FJs coming toward us (a photo of one such group is below). We didn't count them, but at a guess there were 4 or 5 such groups that we passed, and 30 or 40 FJs all together. These were organized groups, with a leader and a “caboose” (a vehicle designated to make sure none of their flock gets lost). The FJs were all attendees of the FJ Summit going on in Ouray until Saturday; these were organized trail rides. The FJs were anything from stock vehicles to fully tricked-out rock climbers, and they were from all over the country. Debbie and I would really dislike being part of such an organized outing – there would be no stopping unless the group stopped, no gawking at wildlife, no dogs playing in ponds, etc., etc. Plus the route is fixed – you can't just wander at will. Nope, not for us – we need to be free...
The highlight of the day, for us and the dogs, was two extended sessions of them playing in the water. The first time was in a shallow melt pond just below the top of California Pass. We threw a ball out into the lake, and the two of them would “catch” and retrieve it. The dogs were having a blast, but they were wet, cold, and tired by the time we loaded them back into the truck. The second time was a repeat of an earlier session, in the ford over Animas River on the road up Burns Gulch. This time, we threw the ball into the ford for them to retrieve, and the dogs had just as much fun there as they did in the pond. However, Race cut up his paws just a bit on the rocky ford, so we're going to have to restrict his play for the next day or two...
|Racer helping me write this blog post...|
|A beautiful little gulch on the way up to California Pass...|
|A watchful marmot, behaving normally...|
|Playing in a little melt pond near the top of California Pass...|
|Race bounding up out of the pond to catch the ball...|
|Watchful dog mom, above the melt pond...|
|The scene around the melt pond...|
|Lake Como (between California Pass and Hurricane Pass), from directly above it...|
|A pack of FJs on the trail - an organized trail ride by the FJ Summit. They told us we were going the wrong way :)|
|Lake Como and California Pass, from Hurricane Pass...|
|On the way up Placer Gulch...|