Early morning in Durango

These were the views outside my bedroom windows early this morning.

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And off the back deck of the house.

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And after I drove a few miles north to a spot overlooking Durango itself.

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I hope to eat dinner in town starting tomorrow night so will post pictures of what I find there.

Various sides of Chimney Rock

Yesterday I posted two photos of Chimney Rock National Monument rock formations as seen from Route 160.  Those were taken in the early evening, after a storm had passed.  I went back to Chimney Rock this morning and took pictures from various locations with the sun hitting the formations at different angles.

These were from roughly the same vantage point as those I posted yesterday.

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Next I went to the turnoff from Route 160 onto a paved road which takes you to the gravel access road.  This gives the best illustration of a chimney on a rooftop.

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These were from the paved road (Route 700, I believe).

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And I noticed a third formation, not visible from Route 160.

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Then I reached the gravel access road.  These were from the entrance.

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And finally from near the Visitor Center itself.

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I then drove east on Route 160 towards Pagosa Springs and South Fork.  Later in the day I decided to return to Durango rather than continue the loop north and got this shaded silhouette shot from some distance away.  I tried getting the same shot the day before but it had just rained and it was too blurry to post.

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Hummingbirds near Chimney Rock

As I was getting ready to leave Chimney Rock I heard a buzzing sound.  While taking pictures around the Visitor Center I hadn’t even noticed the hummingbird feeders.

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I actually took these first few photos will my smartphone camera (it really takes some awesome pictures!).

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They seemed a little afraid of the man in the silly Safety Sam vest so I got the digital camera out and waited further away.

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Prairie Dogs near Chimney Rock

As I was driving out of the Visitor Center and back towards the paved road I noticed a bunch of prairie dogs running around.  I had seen prairie dogs in the Badlands when I was up in South Dakota at the beginning of my trip but I didn’t have my digital camera then so the pictures weren’t all that great.

I waited until one popped his head out to see if the coast was clear.

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Then I parked my car and waited for more to appear.  It didn’t take long.

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Wild Turkeys near Chimney Rock

As I was leaving Chimney Rock a flock of turkeys trotted across the road well out in front of me.

Tom/Hen/Chick/Flock.  But it’s not quite that simple, bucko.  An adult male may also be called a Gobbler.  A newborn may also be called a Poult.  Male offspring are called Jakes and females are called Jennys.  And a group is called a Flock if wild, but if domesticated they are called a Rafter.

Oh, the things you learn on johnboystravelblog…..

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Wolf Creek Pass Overlook

When I met Earl Valdez while getting gas in Fort Garland yesterday (you’ve met his dog, Nia) he told me that when I drove through Wolf Creek Pass there would be a scenic pullout with a fantastic view overlooking the valley to the west.  It was raining when I got there yesterday and visibility was not good, so I went back today as part of my big loop east of Durango.

Boy, was he right….

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