Monday, August 14, 2017
No lightning, No thunder, lots of apparently inedible fruits of the earth. 29 hikers (maybe more?) We enjoyed a gentle path to an almost "rocky shore" where we wondered what are they doing over there? Lots of red mushrooms and quite a few yellow ones.
It's a Yurt!
Mushroom (Norma Nowfel)
On Wednesday, look for Wayne as the leader, while I attend a meeting of the Old Spanish Trail Association in Alamosa. (I'd rather be with you). See if you can get him to help the next week, as Judy and I go to Fort Collins
for a rather sad, but inevitable ceremony for her sister's husband. He was a leader of a water improvement team up at Creede some years ago. That means that the fish in the Rio Grande were no longer dangerous food.
On Saturday, the 19th, the Old Spanish Trail Association will be featuring Costilla County and where one of the branches of the trail was. It will be an auto tour over some of the back roads there, as well as some of our history in this valley and some big scenery. We will embark from the town plaza (left at the only filling station in town (bathroom for a purchase--the only one in town). Gathering there before 10 a.m.
We will arrive in San Luis, the county seat in time for a late lunch and a climb up the beautiful Stations of the Cross--by a local artist who has a smaller verision in the Vatican in Italy. Then, I'll urge some of you to follow me back to Alamosa for your shopping, etc., passing the oldest little church in the valley and an interesting (safe) crossing of the Rio Grande in a beautiful setting.
No charge! Just be at the town of Costilla, New Mexico, right on the State Line, at 10a.m.
where we will depart in several cars (including your own if you wish) through some of the back roads and rural communities.
To Pogue Lake we did go. Beautiful as always. Fun to find the way through the tangles of trees. We watched a young Texan bring in a brown trout that was too big to keep. Flowers were numerous and exquisite. We enjoyed the presence of two new repeaters, one from last year. Both were good path finders, even when the path seemed to disappear.
As most of you know, this is one of the least strenuous of our hikes, but the lovely landscape urges us to take our time and appreciate the variability.
We had a request at the parking lot--to find a nice wandering mule. We saw footprints but never confirmed that they belonged to the mule who had wandered off from Roy's campsite. It could be that the mule got homesick and headed out—the truck license plate said "Texas."
Thursday, August 3, 2017
A beautiful, brief hike took us along a segment of the Continental Divide Trail. We're fortunate to have so nearby one of America's longest national trails (3,100 miles). Our little town volunteered and was named as the state's first Gateway to the CDT, thanks mainly to the persistence of one of our former hikers (and a few other citizens).
We met a Forest Service trail crew from Creede—3 hardworking ladies moving fallen trees.
As usual, we saw many flowers, several of which I couldn't identify. Your help would be appreciated.
I hope to get back up this trail in a few weeks, with more knowledge in my head.
— Doug Knudson
Friday, July 21, 2017
One of the most beautiful places on this earth, let alone this community starts on a lovely irrigation lake with timberline just up the (steep) hill with a narrow trail. The diversity of flower in bloom is enough to start a discussion of "what's that."
More than that, on the "stairsteps" and above the views on this Wednesday were exquisite. We were entertained by the young elk who had to stop every so often to rest. The colors of the rocks are varying from reddish to nearly black, with many in between. Even the Columbines offer variations in shades. And there's always one of those red flowers that brighten the view, if not the mind.
I hope that next week on Wednesday we'll find another clear day in another place on the Continental Divide. The place is near the top of Elwood Pass. Flowers will be abundant; we will be wary of lightning, but the colors even close to the cars are gorgeous at this time of year. If you wish you can take it easy while others hike for 2-3 miles out and back. This is another of our primo sites, popular with people from Pagosa Springs, Washington, DC, and the San Luis Valley. The non-hikers miss out a lot, but still find colors and vistas all around.
I expect that we won't go to the lake, to keep it safe from the storm clouds.
Thanks to Dennis for his pictures. As you'll see here we both appreciated the numerous photogenic, plants which kept surprising us as we brushed past them. If you have never gone part way or all the way up the Stair Steps, you owe yourself one of the finest displays of flora and rocks in our neighborhood--introduced at the beautiful lake.
— Doug Knudson