Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day 7: Farewell

Today would be our last day in Colorado. The boys began breaking down camp while Mandy and I made a simple breakfast. The trailer was broken down and prepped for travel. I gave our beloved little campsite one last look and we headed out.

Our plan was to do one more trail in Silverton before leaving. We began down a good dirt road.

The road became a one laner up a mountain. While we have taken the trailer up much more complicated terrain than this, we were not looking for a difficult morning. We had a significant amount of mileage to accomplish. All in all, we were less than impressed with the trail book we bought. The trail descriptions were less than accurate and the maps were difficult to read.
It was a beautiful area and I was sad to turn around but it was necessary.

We were looking at spending the majority of the day in the Jeep, zooming down countless miles of slab towards Arizona, so a play stop was in order.

One last look at Silverton. This small little town will have my heart until I find another more spectacular vista to cavort with.
Relucantly we bid adieu to Colorado and began the southern journey home. As the odometer counted up, the temperature rose, mountains shrank in the distance and trees became a memory. The dogs slumbered in the back while Mike and I discussed the weeks activities.

By dinner, we were in Showlow, Arizona. We pulled down a "forest" road and hasitly set up camp for the night.

A storm was quickly approaching. We had just enough time for a quick dinner before the lightening set upon us.

By morning, the camp was mud. Sticky, red mud. Paws were caked with it. Camp gear was covered in it. Our gear got dirtier on the last night than it did the whole week prior. Go figure. We packed up, played with lizards, and prepped for another long day in the Jeep.

Camping was tough. Driving home was tougher.

Colorado was an excellent vacation. A whole week where our only responsibilities were to ourselves and our dogs. No work, no chores, nothing but relaxing and enjoying the outdoors. I could seriously get used to this. I understand the compulsion to sell everything, pack up your vehicle of choice and explore the world. If it were possible, it would be done.

Parting words from the lid of a ice tea bottle. Words to live by....

"Spend more time on what makes you happy"

Monday, August 27, 2012

Day 6: Ophir and Telluride

We opted to venture away from Silverton today. Breakfast was consumed and the dogs were loaded up in the truck. Off towards Ophir Pass.

Elly was seriously gassing us out and this little grassy spot seemed like a perfect place to break them.

This was supposed to be a nice picture of the two of us. Yeah, not during a tickle fight. Which I lost.
 Ophir Pass
There was a small two door Jeep parked here with four marmots running around it like little car thieves. I don't know what interested them so much, but they were all over it.

Ophir Pass (look close enough and there is a tiny Jeep and a tiny FJ driving down that road)

The town of Ophir in the distance.
I had to walk a decent distance in order to shoot the Jeep/FJ driving down the pass. So here comes my greeting party when I caught up.

Just before the small town of Ophir, I found my house. It was even for sale....for a small fortune. A lot of the houses near Silverton/Telluride/Ophir look this great and cost well over a half million dollars. If only...

We hit slab and made our way to Telluride for lunch. I didn't actually take pictures of the town. It was cute, but high price and kind of snotty. They were extremely dog friendly which was nice. Telluride had more stores and shopping, but I preferred the quiet nature of Silverton better.

After lunch, we headed up the Last Dollar Road. A nice easy dirt strip.
Outskirts of Telluride

The recent rains left some deep puddles along the road. All indications pointed to not wanting to be on this road during a rain.

But of course, we stopped for play.
We could see a storm raging in the distance and the boys pushed us onward.

We aired up when we hit slab again and made our way towards Ouray. We didn't really have time to stop, but Ouray looked like a town right up our alley.  Hitting the Million Dollar Highway (550) we zoomed back towards Silverton.

We stopped at a mine reclamation project.

The sun peaked back out when we were almost back to camp.

Back at camp, the girls put their sweatshirts on before dinner was made.

Dinner, some relaxation and finally cozy-ing up on our RTT.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Day 5: Clear Lake

It rained most of the night. Consistent rain drops hitting the tent, making for a nice even beat to sleep to. The morning was chilly and fog lingered in our valley oasis.

After breakfast Mandy and I split from the boys to find a laundromat in town. To save space we did not pack a whole weeks worth of clothes and if we didn't find a washer/dryer today, it would be dirty underwear tomorrow.  The boys took off with the dogs in the Jeep to find a few short trails. Mike took over behind the lens.
Mining buckets

Dead End

The train pulling into town.

We met back at camp for a lunch of tacos-in-a-bag.  After the long tiring day we had yesterday, we were in need of a nice quiet day around camp.  That not being enough for Mike, he and I saddled up the dogs and drove up to Clear Lake. The road was right behind camp, so its not like it took long to find it, but it was 4 miles straight up...

Waterfall halfway up.

Clear Lake sits at the top of this particular mountain.  It was about 10-15 degrees cooler up here and the water was icy.

That didn't stop Rommel from jumping right in

We spent a healthy amount of time relaxing up here.

The reflection in this lower pool couldn't be wasted.

Alas, we couldn't abandon our camp mates for long and descended the mountain.  Along the way, we found them walking up with Meeka. The elevation was killing them and they piled in the back of the Jeep.

It was a nice quiet day. Short and relaxing diversions close to camp. I could get used to this.