Friday, June 15, 2018

Thursday, June 14, 2018

From Black Canyon to Crested Butte

Cement creek forest service campground

Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP

CRESTED BUTTE, CO - -Our wandering now finds us in Crested Butte, a place we haven't been before.  It's more ski than summer destination, surrounded by rough peaks with and without snow.  We've been exploring the historic downtown, a sort of old west style with plenty of coffee shops.  It seems as if everyone (locals) is always fueling up.
     Our Forest Service campground ($8, no water and now no campfires) is rustic although quite scenic.  How the roaring water about 100' from our campsite got its name "Cement Creek" we've yet to find out.
     Prior to heading to Crested Butte, we spent two nights camping at Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP.  This steep sided canyon got its name because sunlight has a hard time ever warming the lower recesses.  The Gunnison river has cut a meandering route through the rock over past eons.  There were plenty of lookouts, but none could afford a photo opportunity to show the viewer what the canyon really  looks/feels like.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Bridal Veil Falls

Telluride (top left) and Idarado Mine (right center)

Bridal Veil Falls and generating facility

 You can take a shuttle to a number of vantage points
TELLURIDE, CO - - The leader's plan for Saturday was to hike to the top of Bridal Veil Falls.  Of course, Faithful Sherpa signed up.  It was four miles (one-way) to what looks like a speck from our base at the campground.  The Leader felt I might not make it all the way...heck, so did I.  But never underestimate the tenacity of sherpa-power.  However, I admit that by the time (4 hours, 10 minutes) I arrived back at the campsite I was whipped.  The 10,000' altitude will do that to you.
     Some whimpy folks choose to drive or go with one of the tour in this vintage (early 1970's) Steyr-Puch.  This military type vehicle was used mainly by the Swiss and Austrian armies with a few of the 4x4 sent to the U.S.  The vehicle looks cool, but there was no guarantee of a smooth ride on the very rough dirt "road."

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Want to go for a ride?

Coming down (left) or heading up and over (right)

Wan to go round trip?  it'll take 15 mins.

From the top:  Idarango Mine buildings middle far right
TELLURIDE, C0 - - Telluride is unique in that there is a Free gondola (6am to midnight every day) from town to Mountain Village.  You need a lot of petty cash to enjoy Telluride.  On the other side of the San Juan mountain range you find resorts,  condos and houses with soaring prices. As a super ski town you'd expect nothing less (see Aspen, Vail, etc).where very deep pockets set the elite apart from the rest of us mere mortals.
      The Mountain Village Telluride Gondola is a 2.5 mile trip (one way) and was opened in 1996.

Monday, June 04, 2018

We're now in Telluride

"Brownie" will get your attention

The historic district is quiet since school summer vacation hasn't started...yet.

There's a small river behind us...great for dog swims, but a bit cold for humans
TELLURIDE, CO - - After 5 days/nights in Ouray, CO, we headed out to Telluride.  It's 50 miles by established roads or 14 via the up and over rough 4-wheel drive route through the San Juan mountains.  My last pic of Ouray is a 'friendly' brown bear waving us goodbye.
     Telluride, at 8,750',  is a former silver mining town.  It was originally called Columbia, but a California town already claimed that.  So, the name was changed  to represent gold telluride minerals found in other parts of CO.  Naturally, after changing the name, none of the minerals were located here.
     Sometimes you get lucky.  We arrived in Telluride before 9am.  Headed straight for the Town Campground where we had stayed before.  With only 35 sites, this is a popular place.  In our favor is their rule that they do not take reservations. So we did the walk-around and found a site we had camped in before...empty.  It has a riverside location and great mountain views.  $14 per night if you're old and grouchy.  Lydia declined to do the sign-in so faithful sherpa did the honors.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

The staircase and the snail

The staircase...heading UP to the bridge

The snail...heading DOWN from the bridge
OURAY, CO - - These photos belong with the previous blog post...even if they may seem self explanatory.  

Follow the leader

I shot this from the 'down' side of the hike
OURAY, CO - - The leader, in this case, is Lydia.  And this is the first 2018 installment of what I term "follow the leader."  You may remember other missives from our 2017 travels.
     We saw the bridge in the photo last year, but didn't check it out.  This year we met folks at the campground who were setting out the hike to Box Canyon.  "Not too far" they said.  So this morning "The Leader" decided it was a good day for a stroll in the mountains.  Faithful sherpa followed.
     We got directions from a local when it looked like we were lost.  The trail was 'up' ...moderately strenuous (probably 8'500' and climbing) and then... The Staircase which had thick steel cable on the 'wall' side and a thinner cable on the down, way down side.  I used to take these challenges in stride...Not anymore.  So, like a snail, I crept upwards.
     Once at the top of the staircase we moved through a short tunnel and out onto the bridge.  There was fantastic view both toward the town and below my feet through the lattice work steel.  Going down was not anti-climactic.  No cables, but plenty of snail-slow movement requiring plenty of concentration.
     And, since I'm posting this blog, I must have made it.  Oh, I did gash a thumb on the cable and managed to drop my small camera.  Fortunately, both still work.  

Have an extra $300,000??

OURAY, CO - - The McLaren Supercar is a very limited edition of a rocketship on wheels.  Imagine seeing one parked on a side street in Ouray near an old hotel.  You can have one if you're on McLaren's list of those individuals with very deep pockets.  The McLaren name is most recognized as a long time competitor in Formula One auto racing.

Friday, June 01, 2018

The colors of Ouray

OURAY, CO - - There isn't a level street in town.  You either walk uphill or down.  Good for working out.  We're surrounded by mountains so it's 8am before the sun rises above one set of high level obstructions and the 5pm when the sun is blocked by mountains on the other side if the valley.

Santa Fe to Ouray and in between

The natural band shell...Echo National Monument

Storm clouds always add to the atmosphere

And so do logging trucks on long down grades
OURAY, CO - - This posting comes via Mouse's Chocolate & Coffee Shop wi-fi.  We left Santa Fe (NM) headed to Durango, CO.  On the way we stopped and wandered around Echo National Monument.  The wind, rain and blowing sand created, via erosion, quite a spectacular work of nature.
     Durango marked our first stop in Colorado then it was onwards.  Durango to Ouray is a scenic ride of 90+ miles on the San Juan (mountains) Skyway.  Impending rain,  an 11,200' pass and at least one logging truck added to the fun.  About half way, we stopped in Silverton for a tour of the T-shirt shops.
     We're at a commercial campground in Ouray.  It cost a lot more than our usual Forest Service or BLM sites.  BUT it has showers and campfires are allowed and town is only a short walk.
     Ouray is named after an indian chief of a tribe within the Ute Nation

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Santa Fe Sunday

Not all shops sell southwest products

Not open until dinner

Need directions??
SANTA FE, NM - - Sunday's free parking gets us into SF early.  On the day's schedule:  breakfast and wandering one last time.  Tomorrow we head for Durango, Co.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Santa Fe railyard farmers market snaps

The Saturday market draws large crowds

Most, but not all, in booths

You need bright clothing to grab attention to yourself

Chili and flower table/wall decorations

A barn owl from the ST Raptor Center

Hawks draw a lot of attention

Friday, May 25, 2018

Sun, shadow and adobe

SANTA FE, NM - - Three views of light and texture.  The subject is the Randall Davie Audubon Center & Sanctuary.  The 135 acre grounds and homeof the artist were ceded to Audubon to preserve as sanctuary of birds, animals and plants.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Another year, another snowstorm

"The Bus" gets an application of 'popcorn' snow

The pile on the back of the roof was about 4" thick

Somewhere on the picnic table our temperature sensor  is somewhat buried

More trains

SANTA FE, NM - - Aside from the parks commemorating something historic, SF has a scattering of railroad cars and locomotives on display.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Old Santa Fe

SANTA FE, NM - - Sunday morning we rolled down to SF  nice and early to secure a parking space close to the library (free parking on Sunday).  And to get a bit more breakfast than we've had lately...huevos rancheros for me and a fruity bowl of oatmel for Lydia.
     Once fortified we set out to walk to historic Fort Marcy.  On the plus side there were plenty of historic information markers on the grounds.  Alas the only remains of the fort were a few mounds left from the 1820-21 initial fortification.  However the location, with a great  view of the surrounding area was utilized numerous times...mainly for security.
     Santa Fe is the oldest state capitol but if Florida moved the seat of power to St. Augustine, we'd beat  them.  In the early to mid-1800's, Santa Fe was a major trade route.  The Royal Road of the Interior had goods flowing from Mexico to SF.  Then a version of what would collectively be known as the Santa Fe Trail added in a route from Missouri to SF.  Finally SF to California completed the matrix.  

Friday, May 18, 2018

The colors of Santa Fe

SANTA FE, NM - - Colorful items are seen on almost every street.