Friday, August 16, 2019

Hiking in Creede

Creede was established in a small opening amid rugged and beautiful rocky hills.

At the far end of the town, the opening in the rocks that you see below lead into a canyon cut by a stream. Caves were cut into the rock walls in the miners' hunt for silver ore.  Today those caves house the community center and meeting rooms.

We walked through the narrow part of the canyon where the caves are found and it opened into more beautiful views.

After a short walk we came to evidence of mining and a mill to process the ore.

This is the small stream flowing through the canyon.  To the left above the stream you can see the supporting structure for a rail line to bring the processed ore out of the canyon.

Here are more of the mining structures and what I think are called slag piles from all the rock brought our in the mining operation.

We had hiked up the canyon on a previous visit and it was good to see and appreciate these mountains and their history again.


We enjoyed time walking around Creede when we were parked there earlier this month.  We saw this small garden, complete with a mural and a young girl walking on the stone wall.  She reminded us of our granddaughter Kylie who used to balance on a wall near our home in Centennial.

The were flowers blooming everywhere in downtown Creede.

There were also a number of interesting sculptures, like this long-legged bird.

Our RV resort, Mountain Views at River's Edge, is beautiful.  We enjoyed walking around there, too.  Love this small lake and the reflections.

These sculptures are scattered around the resort.

The antler light fixture in the meeting hall is really impressive.

We will definitely stay there again, if we are in the area.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A Trip Over Wolf Creek Pass

After a few days at Bayfield, we drove over Wolf Creek Pass to the silver mining town of Creede, sitting 8800 feet above sea level. We passed by Chimney Rock.

The scenery was magnificent.

Anyone who is familiar with the Colorado mountains knows that all this dead trees indicate pine beetle attacks. Over decades, forest fires have been suppressed and the forests have become very dense and not too healthy. That gave the pine beetles a chance to come In and kill the trees.

There were more beautiful sights as we got closer to Creede.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Amenities 2

Full hookups—check
50 amp—check
Ambience and space—forget about it

Black Bear RV in Howard has what we need, just not what we like.
Amazing what we will do to meet those needs.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

It’s All About the Amenities

We began camping in a tent. We packed a Coleman stove, a gas lantern, charcoal, matches, an ice chest and ice. Daily, we bought more ice.

Then we moved up to a Coleman tent trailer. Everything was the same except we could plug in to 120 volt electric and use lights and a small forced air furnace.

A few years later we decided we needed more space and more insulation. We bought a 26 ft Komfort 5th wheel. We now had everything we needed—at least for a while. We had 30 amp electric, air conditioning, forced air heat, propane stove and oven AND A TOILET AND SINK!

Enjoying all those amenities, over the years we bought longer RVs with slides and then 50 amp electric with 2 air conditioners. We really enjoy all these comforts of home. For six years, the 5th wheel was our home—we lived in it full time.

We now have a 28-ft Airstream with 50 amp service, USB ports, 2 air conditioners, a propane stove and electric convection oven. We don't live in it full time. We still enjoy all the comforts of home, even without slides.

But recently we learned there are certain amenities we really don't want to live without. Since we like to stay cool in summer, we can run both A/Cs at once. Or we can use one A/C and the oven. We might even be able to use all 3 at once but I haven't tried. The only place I sometimes expect to have only 30 amp service is in some state park campgrounds.

So when the full hook-up site we had reserved in Bayfield only had 30 amp electric service, I was dismayed (to say the least). I didn't realize there were sites there that didn't have both 30 and 50 amp on every electric pedestal.

We did survive, of course. But I knew we could only run one A/C at a time and I doubted I could bake and air condition at the same time. It was a pain to keep thinking—do we have the power to use this?—every time we turned on something.

This hasn't been our only lack of amenities, unfortunately. Our Dometic refrigerator isn't cooling well, so we are supplementing it with an ice chest and daily trips to buy ice.

And we have added one more amenity to our (almost) must have list. Good cell service or good WiFi. When we were still working, going out in the trailer was a way to disconnect and not be available to anyone else for a few days. Today we don't have to get away. And we enjoy the internet to keep up our finances, read blogs, research anything and everything, recipes, contact with family, making reservations.

I know, I know, we are spoiled. But in our old age we really want all the comforts of home, wherever we are.

Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Driving Narrow, Winding, Beautiful Million Dollar Highway

We drove over the Million Dollar Highway in western Colorado twice in the past week, once to visit Silverton from Ouray and then, with the trailer, moving from Ouray to Bayfield. 

Why is it called the Million Dollar Highway?   I thought it was because that is how much it cost to build. Google tells me it is because of the views.  And they are impressive.

Much of the highway is narrow with lots of curves and no shoulder or guardrail.  It is certainly not for the faint-of-heart and must be really difficult for the many Texans who come to Colorado in the summer.

Last winter brought lots of snow and there were numerous avalanches along the highway.  Here we could see the trees knocked down and the dirt left from the snow that came down the mountain.

This view from our GPS shows us what the road ahead looks like.

The hillsides are often very green.

This is a view of part of the San Juan Mountains.

This area of Colorado saw lots of silver mining in the 1800s.  There is still some evidence of the mining buildings.

As if the GPS view wasn't bad enough, look at this sign--a 10 mph curve.  And obeying the speed limit is a very good idea.

Another spectacular view.

More evidence of avalanches.

Beautiful red mountain.

We both grew up in Colorado and were often in the mountains.  Since we no longer live here, it is sos good to spend a lot of time enjoying those mountains during this summer's travels.

Monday, August 05, 2019

Ouray Box Canyon

A must-see location near Ouray is Box Canyon.  Creek water has cut through the rock to create this narrow and deep canyon.  You can see from the pipes along and across the canyon that water from the stream is diverted to town.

A little further up the trail we could really see the rushing water below.  Colorado had impressive amounts of snow last winter, leading to heavy snow melt.  We have also had several days with rain since we arrived

In the winter, this box canyon is used for ice climbing.  This sign at the base of the trail/canyon illustrates where the ice climbing can be done.

In town, we saw sporting goods store with ice climbing equipment.  I wouldn't consider either rock climbing or ice climbing.  Scary--and really cold on the ice.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Trains and Churches

Silverton is not known just for it's flowers or the road you drive to get there, but for it's train, the Durango and Silverton Railroad.  This tourist train has been drawing visitors to Durango for years.  Each summer day, one or more trains depart Durango for Silverton, arriving about noon.  Passengers  head to the restaurants and souvenir shops in town.  Although those shops are open several hours a day, it is the hours from noon to about 1:30 or 2 when they do most of their business.  The train passengers are the main  reason the town is still alive.

We saw the train coming around the corner about the time we completed our shopping.

The large coal-burning engine came to a stop right in front of us.

As was true of most mining towns, Silverton had both saloons and restaurants, but also lots of churches.  There are several attractive church buildings within sight of each other.

We have ridden the Durango and Silverton train many times over the years, bringing our 2 boys on the trip at least twice. Once John's parents rode with us. It was good to visit the town of Silverton and see the train this time.