Monday, August 10, 2015

Ouray and Silverton - Colorado

As with most geographic spectacles, it's impossible to capture the magnificence. But that's why we're out here, isn't it....tuh see it. Ain't no dang fotey-graf kin do it. But, perhaps these will inspire go see fer yerse'f.

The view approaching Ouray. Although this time of year is usually accompanied by "monsoons," this year has been particularly wet. The mushrooms have been fantastic! 

Ouray -- A name with many inferences. (My fav is that it's the British pronunciation (dropped aitches) of what the children in Captain Underpants books shout when the teacher announces recess.)

Immediately south of Ouray the road ascends a small hill to enter this valley...

Silverton...after a long steep descent (from either way). The Animas river flows along the right (SE) side of town with Mineral Creek flowing in from the NW. Their confluence, accessible from City Park, is about 500 feet behind the Visitor's Center...the white two-story building in the foreground (gray roof on right side of highway). It closes promptly at 5:00 p.m. 

The library is wonderfully welcoming with excellent wifi, many comfortable, over-stuffed chairs, couches and a large section for children. And dog-friendly too.

There are some nice homes awaiting renovation.

And, of course. there's the train.

The view a couple miles south. 

And for those who're uninterested in "yet another rock pile," there're flowers everywhere...

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Overlook Mountain Rd - Tween Ouray & Silverton

After cresting the summit southbound from Ouray, you might notice Overlook Mtn Rd. It's in a sharp turn and the only side road in the area. I camped here on my way up and got water from a spring that comes out of the hill near the car in the picture further down in the post. I mention it for all you folks who, like me, don't want to haul water over the top. It made delicious coffee, but I decided to leave it to you (yeah, I know, I'm a wuss) to let me know if it's safe without having been boiled.

The road's cut from the side of the hill so there aren't many flat least in the first mile, which is as far as I went. There's a campspot near the highway next to a small pond but hit whar too noisy fer me.

There's a pond just back of the bushes...

 I surmised up by that sunlit notch in the photo below might be good. 

And it was.

I mean...I mean!!! Can you believe this?!!! And for free!!! I've been at this for nearly six years and am awestruck...darn near every evening. And that's changing locations every day or two. 

I've been reading French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork and Corkscrew by Peter Mayle and it had me ready to book a flight. But I found some of the wines in the stores and am cooking some of the meals myself. The worst of it is the lack of good bread and fresh escargot...and well, the dearth of French women. 

But anyway...

Spring is in dark band of rock a hundred feet left of car

Enough sun to prompt the awning. The hood ornament's not just for looks, dontchya know. Note "refrigerator" hunkered near the front bumper and "instant toilet" tool below driver's door. I found the hat (on dashboard) for $1.00 in the thrift store in Socorro, New Mexico.

The summer issue of Overland Journal (Fall 2015, p. 111) has a great article on Anna Callou and Pablo Rey. They've been traveling in a small van for over 15 years; I was intrigued to learn they disdain even an ice chest. 

This year the elderberries (Sambucus) and the mushrooms celebrated the wettest summer in decades.   

Mil Gras to Ghglenn (see Comments) for identifying them; I hadn't a clue.

Old Growth Cottonwood - Delta, Colorado

They took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum...(Big Yellow Taxi, by Joni Mitchell).

The village of Delta is 40 miles south of Grand Junction. Besides the redwoods, this is the only place I've seen "old growth." 

I wonder if other kinds of women got to sit in council meetings?..perhaps a D.A.R.?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Baxter Pass, Colorado

Sometimes the surmisaling pays off. Figuring if there was a set of canyons on the west side -- Colorado Nat'l Mon -- I surmised there must be a corresponding set on the other. Baxter Pass Road looked like it might fit the bill. And although it wasn't nearly as dramatic, it kept us entertained for a few days. 

Near the top it got too steep and I walked most, not all, of the last mile. On my way back I watched as a jeep bounced it's way up and recalled a friend who confided that some day I too wouldn't miss my lost libido. 

Although I (still, thank god) hope that day never comes, I was able to savor the lost compulsion, tossed in a glacier-fed lake in Central Oregon somewhere in my mid-teens, to summit every hilltop. 

This herd of chukkars led the way for a while.

Friday, August 7, 2015


Olathe, Colorado is famous for its sweet corn. And, of course, where there's corn -- in today's vernacular -- there's tractors.

I couldn't hep muhsef. Ah HAD tuh stop.

I think I saw a similar hood ornament on a Ford Phaeton.

Wide Pontiac, huh?

Narrow U-turns!!

Red wheels with crank...cachet!

And across the street....

Blue and Orange!

Who'd've imagined?

Colorado National Monument

As everyone knows, National Monuments are special places. Thus, the discovery that I was in the vicinity of Colorado National Monument immediately inspired enthusiasm.

The enthusiasm blossomed into awe as I piddled my way along the rim drive.

Watch for "Monument Drive" as you approach the entrance. It's a local road that parallels the face of the escarpment where you'll see all the "lovely" homes clustered like lice around the canyons' entrances.

Eggbert's odometer recently passed the 200,000 mile mark. And although he's doing fine, maintenance is an ongoing need. I added the Paypal Donate button in the upper right in hopes some of you might have enough to share a bit. Alms, we cried...Alms for the poor. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Caught Out In Muh Altogether - Land's End Rd Camp

There are several spots. I chose the one about 1,000 ft below Wild Rose Picnic Area (see yesterday's post). It's barely 100 yards off the road but the entrance is steep enough to keep out the casual Lookie-Lou(ise)...or so I tho't.

But I ask you...what is it with some people's timing?! It was early morn, hardly past 9:00 a.m. but the sun was doing its thang and hit whar warm enough I'd put off gettin' dressed. So there I stood in muh birthday suit and boots when a pickup came down the drive. I'd draped my pants from Eggbert's door and quickly grabbing them adopted a brave stance. There was no cover....just the pants clutched at my waist. I watched and waited as the truck, too long to make the turn, backed up for a second try.

Suddenly, the sun's rays illuminated the driver...a woman only a few years younger than myself. And as I watched her complete her maneuverings she glanced over, gave me a big smile and a jaunty wave...and left.

I'm here tuh tell yuh, it made an olde phat man's heart glad!

And not another visitor the rest of the day.  (HURRRRRRAAAYYYY, cried the children)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Lands End Road - Grand Mesa, Colorado

The Lands End Road is the ONLY way to get to highway 50 from the top of Grand Mesa, Colorado. That is, I mean, unless you wanna drive all the way 'round.

It begins, assuming you're at the top, next to "The Observatory," a.k.a. The Visitors' Center, a building erected in the thirties by the Forest Service, Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Conservation Corp (The WPA and the Corp did everything in the thirties)

Although it appears to be permanently shuttered, its finely blended styles of modernist rockwork and olde European slatting give it a stately appearance even in its unused dotage....don't u tink?

Signed "Not Advisable for Vehicles Towing Trailers Over 35 Feet," it's narrow near the top but is otherwise well maintained. And though the switchbacks be tight, hit ain't nuthin' fer an olde hand used tuh wranglin' a horse trailer. 

Eggbert's hand-crafted hood ornament beats any olde Jaguar's.

Maybe a third of the way down comes Wild Rose Picnic Ground. Based on the architecture I'm gonna surmise THE CORP had a hand in the design of the restrooms.

Both sexes are two-holers prompting more surmisaling (and chin-rubbing) about the significance of going to the bathroom together; the presence of windows adds an ambiance obviously intended to encourage contemplation. The womens' gets paper towels albeit with an admonishment to: First pull UP then pull DOWN. 

It took alot of self-control to pass on seeing what'd happen when I pulled down and THEN up. But I figgered given the bold print and what with me not being properly genderized, the consequences would be dire.   

The lone sentiment upon the wall...

liked it overgrown. And as u kin see frm the supply of T.P. (above) duh place ain't nowhar near abandoned.   

I fnd this vid abt the picnik grnds on Utoob. Gi reddy tuh tap yer toe 'n' hum along.

There's a trail that crosses a polluted stream after about 100 feet in case yer desperate (see vid). The bear brush was thick enough to inspire me to call but none came. And so, after a while, I trundled on.