Weminuche Wilderness - 2006: Three weeks out with "Mercer," the llama.
From Monday, June 19th to Monday July, 10th, Karen and I backpacked with Mercer into the Weminuche Wilderness near Durango, Colorado. Our route took us up the Pine River Trail near Lake Valecito. After passing the spectacular, double waterfall on Pine, and camping under towering Ponderosas, we spotted a the nest of a Dipper (also known as a Water Ouzel). Other interesting wildlife encounters were a young bull moose at Divide Lake, substantial elk herds, and a remarkable cricket-like insect with incredibly long antennae. The peaks above Snowslide Canyon were phenomenal, as were Flint Lake, Rock Lake, and the Guardian, which looms over the West end of Rock Creek Valley


Despite having a fierce-looking under bite, Mercer was a perfect pack animal: docile, reliable and uncomplaining.  He loved to roll in the dust. Though we tried our best not to let him scare horses, they didn't bother him at all.

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