Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day 16: Raspberry Gulch to Highway 50

I woke to the sound of cattle in a nearby field. The trail passed through high grassy meadows sparsely populated with tall pines. Rain still clung to the plants, and the fresh smell of damp vegetation hung in the air. My feet appreciated hiking on the soft, damp, sandy dirt and pine needles of the trial. Cattle grazed freely near and even on the trail, and we saw several groups grazing through the trees.

We stopped for lunch at Squaw Creek. Looking up from my food, I was startled to see two huge dark brown shapes staring at me. Skittish but thirsty, we watched as the cows took a drink, then bolted away when we moved, only to meander back to the creek again.

Just past the Angel of Shavano Trailhead, something darted across the trail in front of Sierra, startling her. The snake slithered onto a nearby branch, then stopped. The snake sat patiently as we leaned in for a closer look. Sierra stroked his back, learning the smooth, slippery, scaly feel of his skin.

The final descent to Highway 50 traversed an arid hillside sparsely covered with pinyon pines, flowering cacti, and other hardy plants. Grandpa was waiting at the trailhead, and whisked us away to dinner amid a torrential downpour. We are now just over halfway!

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