After several days of doing nothing but birding, eating and sleeping, we were both exhausted and ready to be home...if only there weren't 400 miles between us and home.
We woke up at 6:30 planning on leaving by 7:30. We were also giving a friend of ours Austin Hess, a ride back to the front range as well. We picked up Austin at 7:30, grabbed some breakfast and started the drive. We decided to take the long way again, because Austin wanted to see some scenary on the million dollar highway, but we had one last birding stop to make in durango before we really left.
Acorn Woodpeckers! I was reading about the durango area on the Colorado Birding Trail website and came across a site that has an active colony of Acorn Woodpeckers. It was on the way out and easy to find (according to google maps...) so we went for it. And we found it! It was great. We drove up and noticed two lage dead trees with thousands of tiny holes in them. and on the road in front of us was a pair of Acorn Woodpeckers! They flew up to the trees and hid in one of several cavities. We waited a good 30 minutes set up the scope and got a few poor pictures of the little clown-faced guys. It was all very exciting!
After we'd had enough of barking farm dogs we piled back in the car and started the drive...and we drove, and drove, and drove. The farther we went the harder it was to keep going. We drove over 4 mountains passes, and stopped in almost every town after gunnison for coffee and snacks. We left at about 8 in the morning and arrived back on good ol C470 at 6:00. We dropped Austin off to meet his mom in highlands ranch (he lives in Fort Collins and still had a ways to go) and made our way home. We didn't even go home at this point, Jordan's father had offered to us a chance to go see the new Star Trek movie...it was too hard to turn down. So we went! It was great by the way....but it was nice to be home. To be in familiar territory and always know what the speed limit was. It was a fantastic trip but i think i may try flying into Durango next time.
|Turkey Vulture sitting in the Acorn Woodpecker tree|
|Snowing on Monarch Pass|