Monday, July 14, 2014

From Lands End to Silverton

It was a lazy morning.  At sunrise I got up to visit nature and noticed how colorful the sky was.  I kinda woke Mike up to get the camera and snap a few shots before heading back to bed. 

Mike woke later on and put Elly to bed with me.  He let Rommel out of the Jeep but left a door open.  Rommel climbed back in the Jeep and slept in until 9:30AM.  Everyone, dogs included, were starting to feel road weary.

It was overcast during our drive out of Grand Mesa NF. Apparently the opposing side of the mountain from our climb is littered with lakes.  We made a mental note to revisit this mountain for more play time.

We detoured towards Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  It was much hotter than we were expecting at that altitude.  The entire visit was hot, hazy, humid. 

As national parks go, it was small and expected.  Pull offs with short walks to overlooks.  It would probably be more enjoyable in cooler weather and better lighting.  Midday just wasn't fun.  All three dogs were pushed to their maximum heat limits and we cut our visit short.  But not before seeing another DGF deer.  This one I could've reached out to touch. 

Onward to Silverton.  Highway 550 (Million Dollar Highway) is a super scenic paved road that is always a pleasure to drive down.

We hit San Juan County and turned off towards Black Bear Pass.  The road was narrow and sketchy pulling trailers.  We made a left towards Porphyry Gulch.  We stopped off at a meeting place of two waterfalls that crossed the road. The guys pulled out the pumps and topped off our water supply.  The waterfalls both pushed through large snow embankments, making it icy cold.  Rommel didn't care and proceeded to get soaking wet.  The sun was setting behind the falls, so most of the shots I took ended up with sun spots.

We cruised a short way up towards Porphyry Gulch and found ourselves a small knoll to camp on (11,300 feet).  It provided amazing views of the adjacent mountains, the waterfalls behind us and the road up to Black Bear.  By the time camp was erected (we set up the dog tent today) and dinner was ingested, the sun had long set and rain clouds were moving in.  It rained and hailed sporadically overnight and we appreciated the lower temperatures. 

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