After running the Western Colorado Douglas Pass BBS route, I headed over to scout the Baxter Pass BBS I planned to run later in the week. The road to the starting point was bad and would be impassable with rain. In May, I had noticed the Uncompahgre Plateau route was vacant so I immediately notified the national and state coordinators saying I would like to run it instead. It all worked out and two days later I found myself up on the Uncompahgre for the second time in four days. Which lead to the second biggest surprise of the trip, a 10000 Foot Turkey Vulture.
The decision to run the Uncompahgre BBS route was a good move since I was familiar with the road and no scouting would be necessary. Plus the great scenery.
As I’ve written in the past the plateau is a high, mountain plateau with an average elevation of 9500 feet. While the temperature in the Valley was 95F, on the plateau they were 75F.
Previously on the plateau the cell service had been spotty. But as I went further along Divide Road it improved, to the point I had no problems.
So I’m not sure why Turkey Vultures at elevation were a surprise. I know there are Andean Condors at 15,000 feet. Maybe it was the lack of birds in general.