Do the trek from Fort Collins to Durango. I took the US-286 route
southwest from Denver instead of taking either Interstate (I-70 west to
Grand Junction then south or I-25 south then west to Durango). Some of
the central valley roads, how long they travel with nary a bend in the
road, is curious. This was, I think, the second time visiting Wolf
Creek Pass. It has some substantial parts.
Today is a guided Mesa Verde tour. The three of us will drive to the
north end of town to meet our tour guide. The four of us will be driven
to Mesa Verde with information of the place and people. Mesa Verde is
an interesting place. For people to think - let's live here and store
crops here. Different times.
The three of us drove to the tour shop at the north end of town to jump
into their tour bus for the drive to Silverton. At Silverton we split
into groups for the 4x4 tour. We went northeast out of town and up
Minnie Gulch to where the trail/road was blocked by snow from an
avalanche. From there we went down the trail and up to the Eureka
townsite for a bit of history. Leaving there we went back to town with
enough time to find lunch. A short walk over to the train we started
rolling south towards Durango. It was a great day to be outside - for
both the jeep trip and the train trip. We found some supper and then
set out near the hotel to watch the fireworks show.
I would split apart from Mark and Diann. My goal was to 1) see
Telluride via the typical asphalt road in and out of town and 2) travel
the road between Crested Butte and the Paonia Reservoir (and somewhat
see Crested Butte - didn't much happen - time was lacking). I chuckle
as the "big rock" that rolled down the moutainside and wrecked CO-145
between Doloris and Rico would be the road I would travel - and I
MISSED SEEING THE BIG ROCK AT THE ROADSIDE. There was one construction
zone - and I recall looking at the license plate of the car ahead - I
roll my eyes. V-8 head slap anyone? Anyway, the mountain scenery on the
way to Telluride was nice. Telluride wasn't too much of a parking lot
and I was able to get in and out easily enough - with a few photos of
the Black Bear Pass trail that I traveled in 2015 with Ken.
Out from Telluride I helped a couple with a flat tire. They didn't have
the security key and were stuck. I gave'm a ride to north of Montrose
where I split east towards Gunnison and Crested Butte. I planned to
camp somewhere west of Crested Butte but the campgrounds and
passenger-car-accessible forest campsites were taken. I looked at the
time and the distance and decided I could "freeway it home" and be home
by around 1am. The scenery on the road was GREAT and is an area I'd
consider visiting again (camping and visiting some local trails).
I had a treat of following a freight train east through Glenwood Canyon
and that ended the photos for the day.