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  • Gillian Larson

Condor country


We had a pretty long day ahead of us today (30 miles) and the trail went through some interesting area, from pine trees, to old burn areas, to grassy meadows.

Easily the biggest highlight of the day was getting to have a close encounter with a California Condor. It's hard to describe how big that bird was. I was in front of Shyla walking down the trail when I saw something large and black moving on the ground near some bushes. For a moment even thought it might be a bear. As I got closer though it took flight and flew into a tree above us. Even the horses both stared as it flew, seeming to be in just as much in awe of its size as I was.

I figured out pretty quickly why the condor was on the ground; there was a deer carcass nearby so I had interrupted lunch. It was wonderful to see such an amazing animal especially since the condor has made an incredible recovery from just 22 individuals left in the whole species. It's one of the most remarkable comeback stories of any conservation effort.

#2017AZT