For our next move, we only went about 9 miles to a forest service campground. After camping free for most of the summer, it was a real shock to pay $9 a night ($18, if we weren’t old.) It is a really nice campground, though, with large spaces having huge ‘yards’. We even found one with enough sun for the solar. At least it would have been enough if it hadn’t rained every afternoon.
But the mornings were lovely and we hiked up the trail that leaves right out of the campground. We followed the trail up Columbine Canyon and turned up a side canyon after about 1 ½ miles.
It is certainly a well-constructed trail with impressive bridges.
We wondered what had dug out this tree trunk. Bear, maybe?
We enjoyed the beautiful woods . . .
And the trail sections along the creek.
Hey, I know the name of this one – monarda or bee balm.
And the weirdly-named cow parsnip.
On our way back down the canyon, we ran into a huge group of pack llamas. I thought this was the most ridiculous thing. They weren’t even going as far as we did, for goodness sake. Why do they need a trail guide and pack animals? Ron patiently explained that it was just for the experience. Huh.
The llamas were very well behaved and most just crossed the stream independently. But the guide did lead a couple of the newbies.
Continuing on our way, we had new obstacles to avoid.
The only butterfly I can identify is the zebra longwing and this isn’t it.