Debbie made it to Inspiration Point... And she saw about 15 Rocky Mountain goats, including 5 or 6 babies. Woo hoo! The trip wasn't nearly as hard on her knee as I was expecting. In fact, the worst part about the trip for her wasn't the rough road – it was the simple length of the trip (five hours). In that time her left foot got quite swollen and painful. This is normal for a foot that's not being walked on, and that issue will go away once she starts putting her full weight on it while walking. It looks like the practical limit for a drive for her is about three hours until that happy day.
We left around 4 pm, and didn't get home until after 9 pm. When we arrived at Inspiration Point, around 7 pm, it was quite dark from thick clouds overhead, and there was a light rain. The visibility wasn't the best, and the mountain goats weren't as near by as when Tim and I were here earlier in the week – but they were still closer than any we saw in the San Juan Mountains two years ago, and we had great views of them through binoculars and telescope. No photos, though.
We left Inspiration Point for home around 7:30 pm. Within a half hour or so it was dark enough that we needed our headlights – and by the time we reached Mantua it was pitch black out. I used the overhead lights for most of that time; really appreciated the visibility all that light (four high-power headlight bulbs) provided.
The road was incredibly busy with traffic on the weekend. Lesson there: never go on a weekend! Despite the high volume of traffic, though, there weren't many people actually at Inspiration Point. That part, at least, was quite pleasant.
We took Cabo and Mako with us for their first four-wheeling trip, and for the new altitude high for them (9,400'). They did just fine. Mako was either asleep or sleepy for nearly the entire trip. Cabo was awake, observing, and sniffing like mad for nearly the entire trip. Both were good car riders, with (as with all our other field spaniels) not the slightest hint of car sickness or fear. I walked them once, at Inspiration Point, and despite having other people and even a dog around, they didn't get afraid or overly excited. Good puppies!
There were some pretty scenes as we headed back, looking west: