We had decided to have a geocache day, but in our usual lazy fashion we didn’t leave the condo until noon; just in time for the rain to start. However, being intrepid cache hounds, we carried on.
There is a 31-cache series called Nuthatch on several roads around Pagosa Springs and a string of 5 or 6 of them were on Piedra Road that goes by Pagosa Lake and Hatcher Reservoir, and on quite some distance further to Williams Reservoir. We thought that would be a good place to start and managed to find the first one. We spent almost a half hour looking for each of two others, and decided that the series was going to be too much work for too little gain. Instead we passed by the Nuthatch caches and drove further up the road to find three others.We stopped at a nice gazebo beside Pagosa Lake and had lunch. The lavendar is in bloom all over the place in this area.
The scenery was magnificent. I have said this before but I will repeat myself: There are so many places we would never have seen but for our new hobby of geocaching. There is absolutely no reason I can think of, in the course of a pre-caching vacation, that would have taken us 10 km up that gravel road. And yet the challenge of finding a hidden container with piece of paper we can sign took us out of town where we were blessed to see some beautiful countryside. One of the caches we found today was very cleverly hidden in a bore hole in a boulder beside the road. John needed to find a long stick to push it through to the other side so we could get it out and sign the log. People are so clever!
At Lake Hatcher we saw a heron landing beside the water. Once he was standing still it was almost impossible to pick him out from the surroundings. We rounded a corner and there was a doe and her fawn eating the grass right beside the road. She dashed off as John slowly passed her and her fawn went lickety-split up the hillside after her. There was a cache attached by a magnet to the back of this sign and through the gate off to the side was an earth house. It didn’t look like it was lived in and had an unfinished, derelict air. These look distincly like Scottish Highland cattle. We were too far away for a good shot of the rock formations on this mountain but they looked pretty cool. Several times we had to pull over and take photos of the scenery. All of a sudden, as we came around a bend in the road we could see a chasm.
As it turned out, one of the geocaches we had come to find was up on a hillock at the crest of the cliff. It as a short walk to the top of the bluff and we spent quite awhile wandering around and looking at the cliffs, river, and distant fields. The view was spectacular in all directions.
And, of course, me being me, I wanted to see what it looked like straight down. Being older and a little wiser than I was in my youth, I did not go to the edge and look over (which is what I like to do) since the top was overhanging the sides. Instead I changed my camera from viewfinder to LCD display and held the camera out over the edge to get the pictures. There was even a small waterfall.
After we took all our photos we headed back to Pagosa Springs to make dinner and be ready for the night’s ‘movie’ – aka the sunset. The sky was full of billowing large clouds. Just as the sun began to set it started raining again. Since the best colours come after the sun has set we stayed inside in the hopes it would quit; and it did. Due to the heavy clouds the colours were not nearly as vibrant as the night before but it was still beautiful. On my way back to the condo I caught a glimpse of movement out of the corner of my eye and spotted this skunk directly in front of me. He had already spotted me and turned and raised his tail, but I quickly crossed to the other side of the road and in front of the parked cars and the skunk decided I wasn’t a threat and crawled into its house in the culvert. Sure glad he moved or I would never have seen him until it was too late. I shudder to think of the amount of tomato juice and baths I would have needed.