San Juan National Forest, Pagoosa Springs, CO - July 16, 2008

San Juan National Forest, Pagoosa Springs, CO - July 16, 2008

HI EVERYONE,

WE’RE  “ON THE ROAD AGAIN” AS WILLIE NELSON’S SONG GOES.
WE LEFT THE CANYON DE CHELLY AND THE NAVAJO PEOPLE AFTER A GREAT VISIT.

THE ROAD TOOK US INTO PAGOOSA SPRINGS, WHERE WE TURNED AND HEADED NORTH INTO SAN JUAN NATIONAL FOREST. AFTER A THIRTY MINUTE DRIVE INTO THE FOREST, WE CAME TO WILLIAMS LAKE CAMPGROUND. THIS WAS THE LAST CAMPGROUND IN THIS SECTION OF THE FOREST, AND THE END OF THE ROAD.

THIS CAMPGROUND HAD NICE LEVEL PARKING PADS FOR OUR TRAILERS, AND CORRALS FOR OUR HORSES AT EACH CAMPSITE. A CENTRAL BATHROOM  AND DRINKING WATER WAS AVAILABLE.

THE ELEVATION HERE WAS ABOUT 8500 FT. WHICH MEANT PLEASANT DAYTIME TEMPERATURES AND COOL NIGHTS IN THE FORTIES.
 

AFTER A HARDY BREAKFAST ,WE SADDLED UP OUR HORSES AND STARTED OUT ON THE TRAIL. THESE MOUNTAIN TRAILS WERE ROCKY AND DIFFICULT AT TIMES BUT WOULD OFTEN OPEN UP INTO A BEAUTIFUL GREEN MEADOW.

SHORTLY AFTER STARTING OUT, THE TRAIL MADE A TURN AND BEFORE US WERE YELLOW WILDFLOWERS BLOOMING AS THICK AS HAIR ON A DOG’S BACK.  IT LOOKED LIKE A PATCH OF SUNSHINE. THE WINTER SNOWS WERE MELTING, AND STREAMS WERE RUSHING DOWN FROM THE TOWERING MOUNTAIN’S SNOW TOPPED PEAKS.

SOME OF THESE FAST MOVING STREAMS WERE WIDE AND HAD WHITE WATER RAPIDS ON SO THE HORSES DRANK ON THE WATER’S EDGE AND THEN MOVED AWAY. NO WHITE WATER RAFTING FOR THEM! 

PINES, FIR, SPRUCE AND ASPEN TREES SHARED THEIR SHADE WITH US ALONG THE TRAIL. ASPEN TREES WERE ESPECIALLY PRETTY AS THEIR LEAVES SHIMMERED IN THE AFTERNOON BREEZE.

IT WAS THE FIRST OF JUNE AND A VARIETY OF WILDFLOWERS WERE IN FULL BLOOM WITH EVERY COLOR IN THE RAINBOW.

WE SPOTTED SOME ELK AND MULE DEER ALONG THE TRAIL. THEY WATCHED US FROM A DISTANCE, AND THEN MOVED SILENTLY AWAY THRU THE FOREST.

WE ARRIVED AT A MEADOW CLOSE TO A MOUNTAIN LAKE FOR LUNCH WITH A POSTCARD PICTURE OF THE HIGH MOUNTAIN PEAKS AROUND US. A RED TAIL HAWK WAS SOARING OVERHEAD ALSO LOOKING FOR LUNCH.

ON THE WAY BACK TO CAMP, THE THOUGHT CAME TO MIND OF PINCHING YOURSELF TO MAKE SURE YOU WERE NOT DREAMING.

THE NEXT MORNING WE AWOKE TO WET SNOW FLURRIES WITH A COLD BREEZE BLOWING. WE DECIDED TO GO TO TOWN AND VISIT PAGOOSA SPRINGS.

PAGOOSA SPRINGS IS KNOWN FOR ITS HOT SPRINGS. THESE POOLS OF WARM WATER WERE ON THE BANKS OF THE RIVER THAT FLOWED THRU THIS SMALL RESORT TOWN.  SHOPS LINED THE STREET, SO WE HAD PLENTY TO DO THAT DAY AS THE TEMPERATURES ROSE QUICKLY AFTER LEAVING OUR MOUNTAIN CAMP.

WE PREPARED TO BREAK CAMP AND TRAVEL TO OUR NEXT DESTINATION IN CHAMA, NM IN THE RIO GRANDE NATIONAL FOREST.

AS WE STEPPED OUTSIDE OUR TRAILER DOOR, A GROUND SQUIRREL WAS AROUND OUR CAMPSITE CHECKING ON OUR HOUSEKEEPING AND HOPING TO FIND A MORSEL OF FOOD FOR BREAKFAST.

HERE'S WISHING YOU MANY HAPPY AND SAFE TRAILS, AND SO LONG AGAIN UNTIL WE MEET IN THE RIO GRANDE NATIONAL FOREST.

BOBBIE AND LARRY GREENE

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