Currently Listening To: Dragonfly ~ Nahko and Medicine for the People
As per usual, I failed at staying up-to-date in writing. A lot has transpired since my last post. We went to Salida, Colorado over a long Father’s Day weekend. We experienced FIBark, took a drive down to Great Sand Dunes National Park, and, the visited a ghost town and fed chipmunks before heading back to Denver. The night we returned, the girls were picked up to leave. They headed back to the East Coast for two weeks to see family, before departing on July 3rd for Tokyo. We will see them again in December. I am hoping that I can get one or both of the girls to write a post or two once they are fully settled and have done some exploring.
Since they left, we have had dog-sitting duties, spent another weekend in Salida (where we hiked Monarch Pass Trail and post-holed through over a mile of snowpack, and got up to Cottonwood Pass and hiked to the ridge to get some fantastic 360 degree views), and then spent the long 4th of July weekend down outside of Fort Garland. We have only camped once since we arrived here a year and a half ago, and that was just an overnight in a campground that was not our favorite. This camping was classic no amenities camping. In the desert, where it is dry and dusty. But it was a blast.
We hiked up to Zapata Falls, just outside the the Sand Dunes, and naively thought we might have shade on our hike. Instead, we hiked four miles uphill in direct sun followed by swarming mosquitoes (we have not experienced mosquitoes since we left New Jersey) that made it uncomfortable to stop moving. The mosquitoes were far worse at the water’s edge. Once at the falls, to reach the crevasse where the waterfall is requires wading through hypothermia-inducing cold water. We recently scored expensive trail running shoes on the cheap and they came in immensely handy for navigating cold rushing water and slippery rocks.
We also visited the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge. In the middle of the desert, because of the ditch boom in the late 1800s, the irrigation ditches lent themselves to the creation of this refuge in 1962 for migratory birds and mammals. We had the place to ourselves. That may have been because the two mile nature trail that runs along the Rio Grande River was closed due to flooding and the nesting of an endangered bird species.
On Sunday, when we headed back home, I realized that we were only about 35 miles from the New Mexico border. So….in an attempt to delay coming back to Denver and reality, we headed South first into New Mexico. It was a pretty drive. We turned at Questa and drove through Carson National Forest and the found ourselves driving through Red River Valley Ski area (which was a happenin’ place, by the way! And beautiful to boot), the huffed it up to Bobcast pass and the Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area, and dropped back down into Eagle’s Nest Village in a high alpine valley. We dropped out to the plains through Cimmaron Canyon and then Palisades Sill
All-in-all it has been a busy few weeks. This weekend we are staying local, but I am looking for something fun to do today or tomorrow. It has been in the mid-90s since Wednesday and we are not expected to get a reprieve from 90+ degrees until a week from Monday (and then it will still be 88 degrees). I am hoping to get a photo post going to give some visuals for what we’ve been up to.