The more I see of the refuge the more I love it. Shana and I hiked up Elk Mountain again this time. The weather was perfect, cool and bright. There was a lot of wind, but until we got to the top we were not affected by it. As before, the beauty of the views more than made up for the strenuous walk. When we came down, we headed back to the campsite for a delicious steak dinner, featuring potatoes perfectly baked in the coals.
Dinner preparations were closely supervised by a posse of turkey vultures. I had noticed them cruising above the campsite the night before. This night they cruised around until sunset, then settled in to roost in a tree a few yards from our tent. All the jostling, pushing, and shoving in the tree sounded like someone bumping big cardboard boxes together as they silently shoved at each other with their powerful wings. Upon securing a perch the victor then had to rearrange his wings and get comfortable again while the loser took off and circled in to land on another perch. Once everyone was settled into a comfy perch they were silent until they took off first thing in the morning.