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Pagosa Ranger district schedules free August programs

The Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest provides free, entertaining, interpretive and informational programs for the public at various times and locations during the summer. We have a number of programs currently scheduled for August.

• Today, Aug. 6, at 9 a.m., take a hike in the woods with Susan Dussel. Susan will lead a slow-paced hike with wildflower identification on the Continental Divide Trail south of U.S. 160. Hike length will be determined by the group and weather. The hike will be a minimum of 3 miles and 800 feet elevation gain to the Rock Garden. Final destination could be the base of Alberta Peak. Meet at the parking area on the right at the top of Wolf Creek Pass adjacent to the interpretive signs. Wear walking shoes/boots, dress appropriately for the weather, and bring drinking water.

• Monday, Aug. 10, 10 a.m., take the Big Bang Tour of the Wolf Creek Valley with Glenn Raby. You will learn how Pagosa country came to be — the geologic history of our area from the beginning of the Earth to today. This area already survived the biggest volcanic blast on Earth. What might the future hold?

Meet Glenn behind the Arts Council building in Town Park on Hermosa Street in Pagosa Springs. This is a driving tour with a short hike at Wolf Creek Pass overlook at the end of the tour and typically continues until 4 p.m. Wear comfortable walking shoes, dress for the weather and bring water, lunch or a snack. Bring a rock hammer and hand magnifying glass, if you have them.

• On Friday, Aug. 21, 9:30 a.m. to noon, enjoy The Last Days of Summer with Susan Halabrin. Long before gardens fade in Pagosa Springs, the animals and plants of the alpine and subalpine prepare for the snow and harsh winter months to come. On an easy walk at high elevation along the Continental Divide Trail, join Susan to explore the special adaptations required for living in the high country. Wear walking shoes/boots, dress appropriately for the weather, and bring drinking water. This program is limited to 20 participants. For more information and to reserve a spot, call Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.

• Saturday, Aug. 22, 9 a.m., take a walk through aspen groves with Peggy Bergon. For many years, Peggy has collected photographs of arborglyphs: carvings on aspen created by Hispanic sheepherders dating from the late 1800s to the early 1950s. On this three-mile walk you will see many of their writings and artwork while learning about the early sheep industry. Wear walking shoes/boots, dress appropriately for the weather, and bring drinking water. Due to the nature of the walk, it is limited to 12 participants. For more information and to reserve a spot, call Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268. For more information about Peggy and arborglyphs, go to www.arborglyphs.com .

• On Saturday, Aug. 22 ,at 6:30 p.m., enjoy cowboy poetry with Bob Huff. Bob returns to the upper Piedra to share his experiences through his cowboy poetry. Bob has spent a lot of time in the backcountry of the San Juan National Forest and has served as a Forest Service volunteer for many years, packing equipment and supplies to support work projects and packing trash out of the Wilderness. He rides the range and has worked to develop and maintain trails. Join us for this special event that the entire family will enjoy. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on and be prepared for cool (possibly damp) weather. From U.S. 160, go north on Piedra Road to Williams Creek Road. Turn right and continue to the Teal Boat Ramp at Williams Creek Reservoir. Allow about 45 minutes for the drive.

• Saturday, Aug. 29, 10 a.m., take a geology tour of Ice Cave Ridge with Glenn Raby. Meet at the Piedra River Trailhead northwest of Pagosa Springs. From U.S. 160, go north on Piedra Road for about 14 miles. The trailhead is on the left a few hundred yards beyond the crossing of the Piedra River. Wear walking shoes/boots, dress appropriately for the weather, and bring drinking water.

For more information, contact Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.