Just a few daze ago, Betty heard an essay on NPR/CPR (I affexionately label CLR –> “commie liberal radio”) about the dilemma of TOO MANY WILD HORSES ON PUBLIC LANDS. It had been years since we’ve visited the nearest accessible portion of the “Little Bookcliffs Wild Horse Study Area” — so she thought … let’s go there and (hopefully) see sum o’ dem feral equines.
The Cameo (name for a spot on I-70 just east of Grand Junction) trailhead for the Little Bookcliffs Wild Horse Study Area is a little over 20 miles from our house — so we drove over mid-afternoon a couple days ago. We DID NOT EXPECT to see …
The DeBeque Canyon bighorn sheep herd! So we were already off to a good wildlife-viewing start, before we even got out of the car.
Your (or “our”) stereo-typical high-desert landscape. This chunk of trail was the only bit of up- (& down) hill for this day’s sojourn. Take it slow, what we’re doin’ anyway. As Walt Stack used to say about running races: “start off slow and taper off.”
We parked at the end-of-the-access-road parking lot, up & over the hill to the next canyon to the north, walked maybe a mile, and there they were — a couple-hundred yards up on the hillside. We saw five in total for this particular herd.
Though we are not in the relatively whirled-(in)famous Utah red-desert sandstone area, we have geologic oddities and marvels — that balanced rock, for example. Left foreground is another — “hoo-doo”s. And the pillar just beyond in our sheep picture — a bulky boulder sits atop what seems to be a column of dirt!
The borderline-alpine aspen trees aren’t the only autumnal gold. The tamarisk changes with the seasons, as practically all non-evergreens do.
We wandered back just prior to sunset. Skies are blue-er than we expected — as there had been haze from the horrific California forest-fires floating over our area.