Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 2: Valley of the Gods to Silverton

I woke early.  The sun was mostly above the horizon.  I dressed and snuck the busy threesome (Pete and Mandy brought their Weimaraner) out for a short walk so everyone else could wake in their own time.  Yesterday's cloud cover had dissapated and a beautiful morning was upon us. 
After Mandy and I made and cleaned up from breakfast, the RTT's were packed away and we started today's journey.  Up the Moki Dugway to Muley Point.

We spotted this road in the valley below. I believe it is part of Gooseneck State Park. Either way, we decided that when we return to Mexican Hat, we will take this one next.  Because we will be back.
Mike kept them on leash so Rommel wouldn't plunge to his doom.  Elly is perfectly content to follow me to the ledge to take pictures but it makes Mike nervous.

The sun was warming the desert very fast and we desired higher elevations and cooler climates. We got on 261 and headed west on Snow Flats Road. A nice dirt track that progressively got a little more complicated as the miles wore on.

It was boiling up into the mid 90's at this point and the footprints we observed in the road turned into bare foot prints. That generally means the heat has negatively effected the person walking and they are disrobing. What happens after that is not good.  We never found the owner of the footprints.....

Snow Flats Road everntually dumped us on US-163.  We stopped in Bluff, UT for fuel and to picnic under a large, shady tree.  After chow, we headed on westward to Colorado.  Crossing the state line was without fanfare or even a sign.  If not for our GPS's we would have never known it.
The scenery began to improve. The temperature remained fairly high for a while. We didn't stop much, as we wanted to reach Silverton by dusk.

Heading into Durango a while later, we were greeted by the Silverton/Durango train.  I very much wanted to ride it but we never managed to.

The sun was starting to set and we wanted to find a good camp spot.  We made it 100 feet off slab and heard a very loud, bad metal noise.  A leaf spring on the trailer broke. Big time. Mandy and I took the dogs on a short hike while the boys rigged up some straps and fire wood to elevated the trailer from the wheel.  We decided against the turn off we were on and made our way closer to Silverton.

Through Silverton to County Road 7/Mineral Springs. It was getting dark and most sites were occupied. We had no interest in the camp grounds but were restricted to at least desinated off site camping.  We found an unoccupied spot right off the road, in the valley, directly next to a clear mountain stream. Camp was hastly set up before dark and dinner was quickly made by we ladies. 

The elevation was kicking our butts. Camp was set up at 9500 feet.  Home is 1500 feet; just a small difference there. Small movements were exhausting and breath taking, literally. And cooler temperatures were gladly given to us.  The sun set and it got cold.  We bundled the dogs up in their fleece blankets and put them to bed. 

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