We’re camped near a large beaver pond. It rained this afternoon, so we put on our rain jackets and went fishing. But there are so many trout in the pond that we seemed to catch something with every cast. We had five fish in no time, and we fried them with breadcrumbs for dinner.
We spotted the beaver while cleaning our fish. He swam really close to us and repeatedly swatted the water with his tail. I think he was trying to scare us away.
Yesterday we left our camp at Angel of Shavano and climbed through a forest dominated by lodgepole pine. The air felt cool and fresh, and wildflowers were everywhere. We ate lunch on the Continental Divide then crossed onto the western slope again, spending the night in an old log shelter on the edge of an alpine meadow.
After dinner I sewed several patches on my shorts… I hope they last until Durango.
It started raining in the early morning and continued until late afternoon. We spent the day hiking up Cochetopa Creek into the La Garita Wilderness Area. Cochetopa is a Ute word meaning buffalo crossing. Unfortunately, both the buffalo and the Ute are now gone from these mountains.
It was a spectacular hike, eventually leading us above timberline, along a ridge below San Louis Peak. Mist hung in the air like an army of forgotten spirits, and everything felt mystical.
About 6:00 we reached the dirt road to Creede and started for town to pick up our resupply package of food. Before long we stumbled across a man on horseback, wearing chaps, boots and a worn, brown Stetson. He introduced himself as Sheriff Bill Fairchild. His face was hidden by a bushy red beard, and he cussed a lot, laughed a lot, and talked about women a lot. He’d blown a tire on his horse trailer after a search and rescue effort, so Richard and I helped him lead his horses to an aspen grove, tied them, and then helped him jack up the trailer and change his tire.