Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Grouse Trip: Tricky Route Around Statewide Snowstorm

April 16, 2013

Rebecca Kosten: transcribed telephone call:

After staying in Montrose, we returned to the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park (Montrose) about an hour before sunrise.  We drove to the Visitor's Center and back to the Campgrounds without finding a Dusky Grouse.

The ranger came by about 6:30 and opened the closed gate (at the Visitor's Center).  Regrettably, a drive to the western end of the south rim drive did not find a Dusky Grouse.  First time I have missed them in either the evening or morning.

The rest of our day was spent driving to the Jackson County Greater Sage-Grouse Leks.  Fortunately, we stopped at the Rifle Rest Stop and received weather data on the internet.  Highway 13 to Craig, east to Walden through Steamboat Springs was under a snowstorm.  So was I70 to Silverthorne to Walden.  We missed snow by taking CO 131 to CO 134 (Gore pass) to Walden. 

Two Greater Sage-Grouse were standing 10 feet from CR 26 when we arrived around 7:00 pm. Shortly afterwards, snowflakes and then a blizzard hit Walden.  Perhaps we will be stuck in Walden at least through Thursday morning?

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