|Verde Lake - 6.42 miles as the eagle flies SE of Silverton, CO|
Treking into the Weminuche Wilderness to fly fish high alpine lakes for cutthroat trout.
|We were so well prepared that Adam only need a hat and a couple of knives to be totally outfitted.|
|We found dinner on a back street near the train station.|
|Maybe next time we'd come via the Durango-Silverton steam train.|
We got briefed by Bill Redwood who suggested that our trek to Highland Mary Lakes should take the gentle switchbacks up to the Continental Divide Trail because we were not that familiar with llama trekking. The other choice was a shorter path but would require negotiating a couple steep chutes in the early part of the trail. What's a chute? We of course took his advice. I mean, they're his llamas. We signed off on waivers and acknowledged their value at $4,000 for Grey Hawk and $2,000 for 5302.
|We started up; Adam and Grey Hawk leading the way with 60 lbs of camping gear.|
|Finally after 4 hours we were above the tree line and on the Continental Divide. But where were these lakes?|
|Bill told us to go down this valley and take the trail up the mountain on the right. "The trail isn't marked all that well but you'll find it."|
|Finally after 6 hours Verde Lake appeared. "This looks like a good camping spot," I said. "Everything looks like a good camping spot," Adam said.|
|I see fish rising.|
|Gaucho shepherd in the morning sun.|
|The way out.|
|Sheep dog in the center foreground brings my llama to a stonewall stop.|
|Hmm. We may just make it out of here.|
|Weminuche Wilderness via Cunningham Gulch trail head.|
- They are herd animals, they like to be together. If one gets loose it will stay near the other.
- They are aloof animals and do NOT like to be looked at directly in the eye, like pro football players or Ameraucana chickens (notice the Andean reference again.)
- They love to work out with a balanced load and can travel for days without water like their cousins the camels.
- They will let you know when something is wrong. You just have to figure it out.
- They only spit when they are upset and it is usually at another llama with whom they are having a pecking order problem.