As we were nearing the Eastern Continental Divide, we spotted what we believed would be a rare sighting: a turtle by the road. Upon closer examination we discovered that it was a big snapping turtle. We thought that like the proverbial chicken trying to cross the road, that the turtle was misguided. It had a good stream behind it, why was it stuck at the edge of the road?
As we looked more closely, however, we saw that the turtle was not stuck, but laying its eggs.
It had excavated a small hole and pushed its bottom down deep. The crushed gravel was piled around it. The turtle was motionless and hoping (we assumed) that we would presently leave. We had hit the mother turtle jackpot!
We left her alone and then noticed a box turtle on the other side of the road, though it was not laying eggs. We were interested and pleased about our finds sure that other such chances would not manifest themselves quickly. But we soon changed our minds.
Within a minute we came upon another box turtle laying its eggs, then another, then a even larger snapper buried even deeper. We discovered that this part of the GAP trail had become a nursery for turtles.
We then started to look at the side of the trail and noticed that many sections were disturbed not with the skid of a bike wheel but holes that have been incompletely filled in. The local terrapin community has decided that the best place to lay eggs is on the boarder of the GAP trail.
We were excited by our find, but even more careful as we drove toward the Continental Divide; we were still in Turtle Town.