“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
― Oscar Wilde
Treasure Falls, Colorado
I'm not ashamed to admit it. I love chipmunks. And here, in and around Pagosa Springs, CO, there is no shortage of them. I first saw them a day or two after arriving, when I took a walk covering most of the lower part of Pagosa Springs. As I was walking near the rocks by the river, there were chipmunks EVERYWHERE. And they are so cute, and they just scurry around all over the place. Yesterday, I was showing my mom around and I swear the one was doing yoga. I got a picture of him in upward facing dog. At Treasure Falls, there are also a lot of chipmunks, and both times we have gone, people have been feeding them. This is one of my pet peeves. People feeding wild animals. Not only does this acclimate them to humans to an unhealthy degree (with sometimes disastrous results), but it also teaches them to rely on people for food, and not to hunt for their own. So, DON'T DO IT!!!!
Chipmunk in upward facing dog
My mom arrived with my Prius! She got here Monday afternoon, and we spent most of the day getting acclimated. Then, my aunt and uncle had had people mention that if you go out to the city dump, sometimes you see bears. They have been out there 3 or 4 times, and not seen any around 5(ish), which is when they had been told to go. Well, by the time we headed out it was 8ish. When we got there, the first thing we saw were deer. There are also deer that come out in the evenings at the other cabin, and this is twice we have seen young bucks with velvet on their antlers still. This one took off, bounding across the ground, and I got some great action shots. We continued walking, and my uncle thought he saw a bear coming off the mountain, but then didn't see him again. Until I spotted him. We sat down and watched him (we were up on a large hill, he was down in the valley at the dump) wandering around, digging for food, sitting down to watch us. Made for great pictures, and what an experience! It was my mom and aunt's first time to see a bear. My uncle and I had seen ones in Alaska, and I had also seen both black and grizzly in Canada (pictures at Picasa), but it's always an amazing sight.
Yesterday, my mom and I did a repeat of what my aunt, uncle, and I had done the other day in our drive up the mountain. Of course, we stopped at Treasure Falls (see top picture), and then continued up the mountain, stopping more often than we had with my uncle, and completely enjoying the view....from the Prius. We met some interesting people while in the mountains. The first guy was driving a large (almost looked like a VERY souped up Hummer) type of vehicle, and on the side, it talked about Germany, and all these countries it had been to. When we talked to the owner, he was from Germany, and is traveling around with this vehicle (shipping it to various places), which looks like an RV inside. His website is http://www.rewola.de. It has information on the vehicle, and a little about his travels. We met him at a panoramic view area on the side of the road. The next people we met, were at the Continental Divide. It was 2 guys with hiking backpacks. We got to talking to them, and they were hiking the Continental Divide Trail, which is over 3000 miles long. When I asked how long it would take, they said 150 days. I was surprised, because that is about how long it takes to do the AT (on average), and when I mentioned it, they said the AT was harder, even though about 1000 miles shorter. The one guy had also done the AT and PCT (Pacific Coast Trail), while it was the second guy's first long hike. On the drive back, we saw a large flock(?) of turkey in a field (20+ birds), and several more deer.
Earlier in the day, we had also done some shopping at the cute little shops in downtown lower Pagosa. I had explored some last week, but we went into a lot of shops that I hadn't made it to. One, called Next Door, had a LOT of neat things: signs with various sayings, neat paintings, rugs, etc. Some of it was very reasonably priced, and some was a little high (at least for me), but it was still neat. We also went into an art gallery a little further down, that was filled with locally made, Native American art work. Everything from inlaid wood trays and pictures, to Indian flutes. Someday, when I win the lottery, I'm buying out the shops in Pagosa Springs. :-)