Nighttime visitor – Praying Mantis
Bike ride saves. I stop to help some things cross the road, this was a first for me, a hickory horned devil – had to Google it – “Mature hickory horned devil caterpillars are quite large and can grow up to 5.5 inches (14 cm) long. Overall the caterpillar resembles a ferocious dragon, but it is not dangerous or harmful. The spines are not poisonous and not very sharp.” Wish I had known that, I helped it with a stick, would have loved to hold it….
Things that sting
1:1 Macro of a tree frog
Before the trip, I researched, ask friends and looked at maps, my buddy JD said stop at Palo Duro Canyon State Park if near Amarillo, Texas.
We tried all day to get a camp spot there, but could never get anyone to answer, but we still went and drove the loop…
Hiked to the big cave
One of the things I wanted to see on the trip was a wild tarantula, leaving the park, I spotted one in the road
Finally it had enough of photos and went to attack/defense mode.
Busy day. Started with a sunrise ride at RAT
Then off-roading Engineer Pass
Michael Breen Mine ruins
As we got above the tree line and onto the shelf road, a hail storm hit – Watch the video here
but it cleared up on top, notice the hail on the windshield. Lunch spot!
Since the pass isn’t the top of Engineer Mountain, we hiked last 1/4 mile up to the 13,218 foot summit.
The actual pass…
Ute Ulay ghost town
A big hole in the dam
We took the long way home, something like 12 hours over the mountain and through the woods.
Two majestic elk and one derpy elk
I will stop every time for a moose picture
We were heading to Montrose to get groceries and get James’s truck tires balanced when I saw this guy on the road, I immediately knew he was a cyclist and thought he had been hit, we did a U turn and were the second and third to stop, guy had a major concussion and scrapes. He hit that pot hole (painted) and launched. As we were keeping him still, holding up shade and waiting for emergency folks we asked if he was local, he said where am I? He was from Iowa… I guess someone made a call and by the time I passed this again, a road crew was fixing these massive pot holes…. this is why cyclists ride to the left of the white line and not on the shoulder…
Ridgway Area Trails (RAT) mountain bike trails, this was my favorite rides of the trip, it starts with a 20 minute climb of switchbacks up the mountain and then super flow-y and fun trails!
Sunrise ride on my unnamed trail
Last day at this campsite, nothing special, but super quiet at the end of the road.
Searching for a new spot outside Ouray, look at the drop off! This ended up this was the way to Imogene Pass.
Finally saw my first moose.
If you mountain bike, you know the joy of hitting these at full speed!
It took awhile in the dark last night, but I found this spot in the national forest to camp.
The first elk sighting of the day, there were several cars stopped on the road, so I left the truck running and walked up to get a better angle when I hear… “dog” I turn to see Kodak chasing full speed across the field toward this elk (She jumped from an open window) she either:
A. heard me and listened when I said stop
B. thought better of the outcome
But didn’t get all the way to the scene of the goring.
A nice walk, more elk, a good early morning.
After making breakfast, I decided to run Hurricane Creek, I was a little nervous running it solo, but ran into a small group of Toyotas and tagged along.
My first off-roading trip in Pongo and she is amazing, walked up everything and the trail is way more eroded than my last visit.
Anytime I am this close, I will always do the Max Patch loop hike!
Kodak looks around an old house
The walls were covered in newspaper and in some places wall paper.
Drive more random dirt roads before the long ride home.