Today we took a long drive up a winding dirt road called Missionary Ridge. It is on the outskirts of Durango, and you need a four-wheel vehicle to be able to get to certain trail heads. Along the way, we had to deal with some traffic jams.
We parked the truck and found the entrance to Lime Mesa Trail at 11,480’. This was a 7.5 mile, out-and-back hike with approximately 1,240’ elevation gain, and it took us about 3.5 hours.
This backcountry was quite stunning with rolling hills, evergreen and aspen trees, pristine lakes, and mountains all around. At the beginning of the hike, we ran into some beautiful and friendly border collies that seemed happy to see us. Their owner was a little ways away from us attending to some sheep.
Here is picture of a herd of sheep grazing on the distance. You have to zoom in as they look like white rocks in the distance.
As we continued on, it wasn’t long before we come upon hundreds of sheep that were grazing all around for quite a distance, and several of them were on our trail. All of a sudden, two dogs (mixed breed) came running at us barking wildly and showing all their teeth. I basically froze and wanted to turn around. After all, wasn’t that what they were telling us to do?!?! Without providing any more details, Molly was able to get the sheep to move off the trail and the dogs eventually retreated. She is braver than anyone I know. As Scott said, she knows dogs and is experienced in handling them. There are no pictures to share as I was afraid to even take my camera out. The rest of the hike was magnificent. Just look at the lakes below, the clouds above, and the majestic mountain landscape. It’s like you are on top of the world.
In the picture below, I am pointing to Molly, but I can’t even find her camouflaged body!
Once we made it to the top of that ridge, we could see a herd of elk off in the distance. It is hard to make them out at first, but if you zoom in, you can see them more clearly.
They have this high pitched bird sound that doesn’t seem to suit their strong build. Take a listen for yourself.
I almost forgot about the beautiful flowers. We saw red and white Indian Paintbrushes. Gorgeous!
And, how could I forget the hail which we thought at first was snow.
On our way back to the truck, our animals friends were no where to be seen. Thank goodness!!