Thursday, January 3, 2013
We headed south up Summitville Road to one of the hot spots listed in the “Rawinski” --along Pinos Creek south of Del Norte. It was sunny and cold as we started up Schrader Creek Road. The hike was pleasing but not much was stirring. After about two miles we walked back towards the truck and saw a Townsend’s solitaire and some mule deer in the distance. We heard a Clark’s nutcracker and a chic-a-dee-dee-dee.
Further up the road after the pavement ended we stopped and went into the forest. A red-tailed hawk flew from a tall pine and we heard a nuthatch. Then, twenty yards ahead in a small pine tree, we observed a small flock of pine grosbeaks.
We hoped that if we could get farther up the road to 11,000 feet we might see a ptarmigan. The road began dry but was snow covered as we climbed in elevation. We decided it would be best to turn around before we got stuck. However, in turning around the truck did get stuck, but with cool calm Diane directing me we got out by backing up. It is true what they say about a four-wheel drive truck, “It will just get you struck in a more isolated place.”
We stopped at the”Chicken Foot” and ate lunch, hiked a little and enjoyed the fabulous mountain vistas.
Later we rolled down the Summitville Road. We stopped to see a loggerhead shrike and a Stellar’s jay.
Back in Del Norte we strolled along the river walk and saw juncos, a chickadee, a downy woodpecker and magpies.