Friday, July 19, 2019

Vacation Mode Deactivated

The last day of a long trip is always a rough one.  We packed up, made coffee to go and slogged up Old Lime Creek.

We stopped just before pavement to air the Jeep back up and allow the girls one final time to enjoy Colorado.

A quick stop to Honeyville for wine, sandwiches in Durango, fuel in Cortez and into Arizona we went.

It is quite amazing how quickly the pines and aspens turn into Juniper.  And how much faster the Juniper's disappear into the tan vast and empty valleys of the Ute Lands.  I read off and on, we lamented about our trip and soon we crested into Flagstaff.  For a brief second we thought about camping the night, but the winds had been raging all day and we just wanted a long shower and a large, dogless bed.  More miles, less trees, more brown desert and the reappearance of saguaros.

We left Colorado at 9:30AM and 45*.  We were greeted home with a killer sunset around 8:00 PM and 105*.

Back to reality.  Back to work on Monday.  Until we meet again, wilderness.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Avalanches Part 2

We fell for this tiny lake in the bottom of a bowl on a dead end road a few years back.  At the time, we had the place too ourselves.  And because of uncleared avalanche damage we again had the place to ourselves.

We parked the Jeep, put Hope's coat on and hiked our way up several different avalanche obstructions until we reached our lake.  It is nameless on the map, but it is special to us.

"There's a marmot down there"

Spending time there was one of the best days of our trip a few years back, and I can honestly say that even though the damage made us sad, it was again one of the best days of our trip this year.  (Click here to see the lake with less snow pack and no avalanche damage circa 2017.)

Hope had a blast running through the snow and being so fortunate to have solitude in this area again is magic.  Silverton's trails are notoriously packed, but loads of travelers are lazy if they can't drive to something.

As a reward, we stopped and got a pizza from the Golden Block Brewery (amazing, must try), downloaded more episodes of Lavagabonde and made our way to camp.

After horsing down our pizza, we put as much camp gear away as possible, showered, and tucked inside to avoid the mosquitos.


We woke late.  Well, I did anyway.  Sleeping in a teardrop with two adults and two uncooperative dogs isn't ideal.  But after a bit of coffee, we made our way into Silverton, with the intention of hitting Cinnamon Pass.  But after passing a Cherokee full of Tucsonions, we discovered that Corkscrew offered up the opportunity to see some incredible avalanche damage.

Potato Lake

And incredible it was.  Neither of us could believe how much damage was caused this season.  No other season since we've started visiting here has been so bad.

This should've been a clue as to what we were about to see....

The continual damage along Corkscrew was stunning.  It looked like it flowed down the road for a while.  It must've been a chore to clear it all.

We finally cleared the worst of it and made our way to the pass.

At the top of Corkscrew, we decided we wanted to see what our little lake looked like......

Wednesday, July 17, 2019


We have a soft spot for Silverton, CO.

This marks our fifth time camping here.  There is just something about the massive peaks and passes, the smell of the pines that keeps pulling us back.

We dropped the teardrop along the tedious, yet familiar Lime Creek Road and made our way into town to see what passes were open.  It was a hellacious snow season for this area, so many passes are still closed.

Since we spent so much time in the Jeep yesterday, we kinda wanted an easy day.  We mosied down Lower Mineral Creek to peek at the waterfalls.

Third photo down in this post from 2016, shows you how 3 years can change a waterfall.

We then went into Silverton to restock on mosquito coils.  Lime Creek is wonderful to camp along, as long as you're prepared to be swarmed.

After a tiny bit of shopping, we motored our way back to camp for a lazy evening of dinner and Sailing Lavagabonde.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

North Rim, Lees Ferry and Colorado

One could easily spend a week in Kaibab and not see everything.  We merely scratched the surface.  But, by moving on, we've saved many more trails and overlooks to look forward to in the future.

On our way east, we stopped in Lees Ferry.  No schedule means, we'll get to Colorado when we get to it, and camp wherever is most convenient.

We dipped our toes in the cold river, saw off several rafters then made our way through the painted desert into the nothingness of northeast Arizona.

We motored through Cortez and camped in the NF outside of Mancos.  We struggled to find a quick, tucked away spot, and ended up right off a main road.

But we needn't worry, as no one other than cattle passed by the campsite til morning.