Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Rifle Arch Trail Hike

So Thursday morning we were up early again, and little sis and her husband brought us biscuits from McDonald's for breakfast, and took over the nanny sitting so off we went! Lucky for us it was partly cloudy, for this hike is in completely different terrain.  We leave the town of Rifle, and head about 7 miles up highway 13...

the roan plateau in morning light


...and to the trailhead...mostly out in the open but up in the higher elevation juniper/cedar/pinyon forest.  This one  is not long either....2.4 miles round trip.  


right away we scared 2 coyotes that we assumed were trying to snag a dove as there was a flock on the ground...we spooked the doves and the coyotes 


The trail crosses this thorn scrub meadow and then takes an uphill turn I turned around here and snapped the shot of the meadow we just crossed.  


that's the trail down there....we just hiked on, that thin ribbon in the dirt...and the highway beyond where we drove in 

on top of the hill there is a nice view to the West....


part of the Roan Plateau...then the trail heads downhill and across another thorn scrub open area...



and as you look ahead more trees come into view and another uphill...the arch comes into view a little...


Can you see it yet?

passed this gray flycatcher, 


AND a new bird for me, a horrible photo of the what I know as the Plain Titmouse, only to find out they were split way back in 1996..LoL so here it is the Juniper Titmouse. (the other is called the Oak Titmouse)  I think plain is the word, but sure looked good to me!
# 407!


Here is the arch! It's quite large...


there's a large boulder field right under the arch so we got a little closer and called that good...


this is a full sized tree on top there...


and from the ridge on the way back....



Another fun day in paradise!!




PEACE
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

6 comments:

  1. Really nice hike once again. I bet those Coyote's weren't to happy with you, but the doves owe you their life. The little gray flycatchers are so cute and Juniper titmouse is another cute little guy. The ones we have here have black heads with a white stripe in the middle I love watching so busy all the time.

    Rifle Arch is really cool

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    1. Hi Jo, sounds like you have the Bridled Titmouse in your area...I would love to see one!

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    2. I'll do a post tomorrow and put a picture up for you.

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  2. A good walk and a new spot too, 407 and counting. I picked it out on Google Earth. Its always a dilemma when you disturb animals, saving one and spoiling a meal for the other, but then thats nature, but sometimes with nature we can be too judgmental, me included here. It sounds a wonderful family holiday.

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    1. I was great fun, and we got it in just in time as now the weather is back to the rainy afternoons again. Nature sure can be cruel sometimes...like you say it's hard to be too judgmental about it but I'm glad we didn't see a coyote running off with a squealing dove in his jaws, this time. A young cooper's hawk has been hawking our feeder birds so we are on edge thinking we may need to being the feeders down.

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  3. Beautiful hike. How hot was it? Or not? I love the picture of the coyote -- I think they're a beautiful animal though I know many don't agree. Congrats on the new bird and really for spotting birds at all in that terrain! you are good!

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Comments are appreciated!