Sunday, September 17, 2006

September 06 Somewhere in Colorado
We left Colorado Springs, headed toward Alomosa and New Mexico. No idea where we would stop. Along the Arkansas River, at a hot springs resort, Walmart? We stopped in Salida at lunch time and when it came time to head south on 285 we instead decided (after looking at the mountain pass directory) to keep heading west toward the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. We always say our plans are made in JELLO and altho we didn’t have any for lunch our plans sure changed. We are a little ahead of schedule and needed to kill some time so what better way then to see new sites and old ones. We did have one pass to cross today. Monarch and it was really high. So high it was snowing. After we crossed over the continental divide the sun came out and it was beautiful. The aspens are turning. It is just a patch of yellow and gold here and there in the usually all green mountains. We ended up just west of Gunnison on Blue Mesa reservoir on a lake front site for $6 a night.
Wow, are we glad we went straight. We went to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

The south rim near Montrose was so beautiful and we read that the north rim was even better so we did that too. The drive back from the north rim to our camper was just as beautiful. We saw deer and elk on the drive along with incredible vistas, valley’s, fall colors and the mountains.

We left for another loop drive early in the morning. The book said it was the prettiest part of the loop that we only ½ did yesterday. It was pretty but not the prettiest. So we opted to return to the trailer following the same ½ of the loop we did yesterday only this time I drove so Bob could see all the beauty. Back at the trailer, Bob left me off to ready the trailer, while he went into Gunnison to top off with fuel. There was a price war going on so he paid $2.859. The cheapest yet. We hitched up and left for Ridgway.

The state parks out here want an arm and a leg ($21) so we drove another hour to a national forest park south of Telluride on the way to Cortez. ($8). Pays to be flexible and self contained. Along the way we saw beautiful mountains with snow covering their tops.

Wednesday morning we went for breakfast in Telluride, went to see the waterfall call Bridal Veil. Then we went to Ouray and
traveled up a portion of 550. Glad we didn’t take the rig up that route, but the scenery is beautiful. Back at the campground we hitched up and headed down to Cortez. Staying a the Elk’s.
We drove to Durango and purchased our tickets for tomorrows narrow gauge railroad then continued on to South Fork. Bob had traveled over Wolf Creek Pass in 1972 and wanted to revisit the area, including Pagosa Springs. It was a beautiful drive as usual.
Woke to heavy clouds and some rain but over to the RR at Durango we went. The first part was a bus ride up to Silverton and we didn’t get to see too much but what we saw was great . Then after 3 hours of wandering in and out of gift shops and saloons we boarded the RR for the trip back to Durango. The sun came out at times, it rained at times but it still was a great trip.
Our last day at Cortez we went to the 4 Corners and hammed it up. $3 a person for 10 minutes. The Indians are getting even for us taking their land year ago. We then toured Mesa Verde and went to 3 of the cliff dwellings, Cliff Palace, Balcony House and Spruce House plus the museum. The views were hazed over from the forest fires in MT.

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