I spent two days in the Durango area visiting Rob and Sue Graham - friends from my college days.
There was only time for a short 4-hour, 6-miler in the mountains. The trail head started off Dry Fork Road; meandering on trails overgrown with Gambles' Oak until reaching a plateau. This oak is diminutive by oak standards. Heights average 15 feet with a
circumference of 15 inches. A wildfire had burned off the above ground
portion of the trees, resulting in regrowth of dense thickets from the
base. From there we walked to a view point of the La Plata mountains; still snow capped.
Had I stayed a week or two my lungs would adapt instead, I gasped for breath hiking to 9000 ft. in elevation.
|Mule's Ear (Wyethia amplexicaulis)|
|A break from bushwhacking thickets of Gambel's Oak (Quercus gambelii)|
Rocky Mountain Clematis (Clematis pseudoalpina
|Greater Short-Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi)|
|"I bow to no mountain"|
|Rocky Mountain Iris (Iris missouriensis)|