Friday morning we drove up to Pagosa Springs and then north out of town on FR631 (Piedra Road) to where it crosses the scenic Piedra River. This is looking down the Piedra River Valley.
A cool, overhanging point made for a good photo op
Along the Piedra River. Too bad the rock is so frail...
We then drove up to FR639 to look for a campsite for the weekend. Along the way we spied this large horned toad.
We found a great site at the intersection of FR639/639E/639F/639H. Sound confusing? It was and that would be the theme for the next day's run. Allison and I climbed that afternoon at the Piedra River crag and in the evening the Birdsell's met up with us at the campsite for the weekend
Early to rise Saturday morning so we could be on the trail at 6am. Here, Steve waits patiently for me to take the photo so we can get to running
From our campsite we descended FR639F to trail 583 and followed that trail down the drainage to the Piedra River
Almost down to the Piedra River. The trail was mostly good but sometimes intermittent. It's known as the Piedra Stock Driveway and we could tell it didn't see much traffic other than cattle cruisin'
Down along the Piedra River we paralleled the river along the Piedra River Trail for half a mile before crossing the Piedra River on this bridge
A survivor and not a good map reader, apparently. The main Piedra River trail stays on the north side of the river.
Cattle call! We would inadvertantly herd cattle much of the day
Scenic running along the Piedra Stock Driveway
The area reminded me a lot of the San Pedro Parks, NM area. Intermittent trail, wide open meadows and lots of cow pies
At about mile 9 we made a wrong turn and once we realized we were off course neither of us wanted to go back up the long hill we had just descended. So we kept going. We ended up on a private ranch and ran into a friend of the owner. He was astonished to see us running down the road at him as he opened this gate and said while chuckling, "What are you boys doing in here?" We had a pleasant conversation and we continued on our way out to Piedra Road
It was a scenic ranch
Wonder where the hell we are
Whoops! We learned the ranch is 10,000 acres and the owner had just died of a heart attack last month. He left the land to a trust with a stipulation that the land could not be sold or developed. The owner was a bit of a conservationist. Hooray!
That's the place
So we ended up running another 11 miles on dirt roads to reach our pre-determined pickup spot. Allison drove down from camp (after her and Kay went for a run/hike along the Piedra River in the morning) and drove us back to camp. Dinner and hot springs soaking capped off the evening and we slept great!
Flower back at camp