Not only did we have the trails to ourselves, but these were particularly pretty trails that were full of interesting stuff – spectacular mountain scenery, tons of gorgeous wildflowers, some wildlife (though not as much as we'd have liked), mine wrecks galore, and healthy, vibrant forests and meadows. It was as pleasant a day as we could have imagined.
We sat for a while in an especially pretty place, with the FJ parked on a little knoll overlooking a meadow with a stream burbling through it. This was our lunch spot, where we had some great beef jerky, dried mangoes, pistachios, chocolate, and cold drinks. Yum! We also let the dogs out there to run and play in the grass, chasing the ball all over the place.
At one point we spotted a bird we didn't know, perched in the top of a small fir, munching on the new growth that was just emerging. Turns out that it was a bird we did know, albeit in a color variation new to us: the “gray headed” variation of the dark-eyed junco. That's a bird we know well from Jamul, but the one here looked like a completely different species – with a slate blue/grey body and head, a slight darkening around the eyes, and a big rusty red patch on its back.
We did see a bit of other wildlife – one deer, lots of chipmunks and squirrels – but no marmots or pikas today (mainly because we spent the whole day below timberline).
After finishing with the trails above, we headed for the “Amphitheater” trail just south of Ouray. We didn't like it nearly as well as any of the other trails we've been on, and it was relatively full of people. We'll just add that one to the list of trails to avoid in the future :)
We ended the day by dropping down into Ouray for a milkshake from Mouse's Chocolate and Candies – we each had a “Double Fudge Chocolate Wow” milkshake, lightly malted. Delicious!
|A pretty stretch of road |
through the aspens
|An abandoned mine|
|Parked below a tailings pile|
|Surprisingly close to the peak|
|Moss and more, in a seep|
|Porcupine damage on cabin|