ContentsRearview Mirror - Summary of the past week
Headlights - Our schedule as to where we will be heading
Note: click on any photo for a larger image/slideshow)
Hikes and Day Trips
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Durango. Along with business, each day was filled with hikes and road trips (short and long). Here are a few shots from the first part of the week.
The famous Durango-Silverton narrow-gauge train runs parallel to highway 550, just the other side of the road from our park. Twice in the morning we heard the train whistle as the 8:30 and 9:30 trains chugged and puffed their way to Durango. Twice each day in the afternoon we heard them return. Thursday morning Jan and I walked the five minutes from BERT to the train tracks and set up our photo gear (on the tracks) awaiting the train. At 8:50 a.m. as planned, this old steam engine chugged north and I took a few head-on shots while Jan shot me shooting the train.
Note: We thought of tying Jan on the tracks (just like in the movies), and I would take shots as the train approached. However, since I had no rope, we decided against it. :’>
On to Vallacito Lake
After shooting the train, we broke camp and were out of Alpen Rose by 10:15 taking the short trip to Vallacito Lake and Blue Spruce RV Park. We stayed here three years ago and just love the place--trees, mountains, water--it has it all.
After setting up, we drove the half-mile to the San Juan Forest Vallacito Creek Trail trailhead and headed out into the Weminuche Wilderness for an hour-and-half hike.
Friday: The Challenging Hike
By 6:17 a.m., the four of us were at the Lake Eileen trailhead. The air was heavy with the sweet smell of pines, and the temperature was holding the line between light and medium jacket attire. The literature said it was a “challenging” two-mile trek up the mountain, but well worth the effort to make it to Lake Eileen. The literature was right on both counts. Our four-mile round trip took a full four hours. We walked up and up the rocky path full of switchback turns, going over/under/around fallen trees that blocked our path. With the constant bubbling of Vallecito Creek in the background, we stopped several times straining to locate the source of the sounds of buzzing hummers, singing mountain bluebirds, and tapping three-toed woodpeckers.
Twice we had to cross the speedy creek--one time the only option for the Pups was to walk over the racing water about 20 feet on the top of a fallen pine. Mountain Mitzy and Jerry the Wild were up to the task, fearlessly walking the dead trunk in the same fashion of the Great Farini high-wire crossing Niagara Falls.
Here are a few more shots from this gorgeous, yet trying, hike.
Saturday: Even More Challenging Hike
After breakfast, we took a 20-mile driving tour to Lemon Reservoir to see the sights, scope out possible future campgrounds, and hike the Burnt Timber Trail. All we knew about the trail is that it eventually hooked up to the Colorado Trail. Well, if we thought the trip the day before was challenging, then this baby was grueling! After 50 minutes of what seemed like straight up, we turned around and found some meadow trails that were more to our liking.
May 31-June 2: Sundance RV Park, Cortez, CO
June 3-7: Ridgway State Park, Ridgway, CO
June 8-9: Cedar Creek RV Park, Montrose, CO
June 10-13: One Mile Camp, Gunnison, CO
June 14-17: ???
June 18-22: Chatfield State Park, Littleton, CO
June 24-27: Cheyenne Mt. State Park, Colorado Springs, CO
June 28 on: ???
See you next week.