I am never leave this place easily. This was one last look backward before I left the the prominent mountain range near our campsite. I know how fragile life is so I always say a little wish that we will be back here again.
It was about a 40 minute climb until I crossed over a pass and entered a new mountain range with a wonderful singletrack path leading the way.
It was a glorious day, with no threat of storms the entire day. This was the view when I was partway up the climb to the highest point in the ride. I had prepared myself to be forced to push my bike up this very long and steep climb. I've done this route before, and I couldn't ride this climb. It was too steep.
If you look closely in the next photo, you can see the thread of a trail that I'd climbed up starting in the left middle of the photo and then sinuously climbing up to where I was. I was at the top! The majority of the hard work of the ride was behind me.
As I descended, I ran into wildflowers, and you know that seeing them brings me to a standstill! An entire alpine meadow was filled with flowers. I really couldn't do it justice with my camera.
After relaxing with the wildflowers for a while, I headed further down. I saw a sight that is probably foreign to most of you. A big herd of sheep was spread out across the hillside and the trail.
There was no human with them. Rather, a sheep-guarding dog kept a close eye on them. When I first started through the herd, the dog got up and kept a close eye on me. I know that these dogs have a job that they understand very well - protect the sheep against any threats, and humans can fall into that category. So, I got off my bike and talked to the dog softly. He lay down and looked utterly relaxed.
I arrived at the trailhead with almost perfect timing. Our time in the southwest of Colorado was almost over. We stopped for ice cream in a nearby town, and then we drove partway home that day. We stopped to camp that night at a special place before driving the rest of the way home. More about that later.
Enjoy your weekend!