Monday, August 25, 2008

Catch Up Blog!

Lets start with the Snowy Peaks Campground office. This is a family owned and run private campground, where everyone knows everyone else. They get together at a drop of the hat for most any reason. Sunday was biscuits and gravy. I had to pass on that one, as my belt is tooooo long now.

This is our site along the front road of the camp. We are directly across from the office. And we have the highway (with its noise) and the best view of the mountain.

The trees are really tall!

And this is the view across the road. Mount Princeton. From Wikipedia. Its 14,197 feet tall.

Mount Princeton is one of the Fourteeners of the US state of Colorado . It lies in the Collegiate Peaks, in the central part of the Sawatch Range, just west of the Arkansas River. While not one of the highest peaks of the Sawatch, it is perhaps the most dramatic, as it rises more abruptly from the Arkansas valley than the other peaks of the range.

Wish I could bottle up some of this and take it back to Kansas.

Now for the catch up. We went over to Gunnison yesterday and went West to the Blue Mesa lake. We are lake folks at heart, so we have visited three of the mountain lakes so far. Blue Mesa is on the West side of the continental divide, and the water from here ends up in the Colorado River. This is an upper river reservoir. It was several miles long and Highway 50 intertwined along the shoreline. Campgrounds were all along, but were mostly primitive.

As we came back over the divide, at Monarch Pass, I stopped in the parking lot to take a picture of the pass mountains and the store. We were above 11,000 feet. It says on the front of the store, if you make the picture big.

You can tell we are way high up because we are above the trees. The air was thin up here and we both felt light headed.

Now we fast forward to this morning, and we decided to go to Leadville. Half way to Leadville is Twin Lake. So we had to stop and take a picture of this place as well. The lake was really pretty, but there was no infrastructure. Just a concrete block pit toilet. No water, but parking for fishing. I didn't see a boat ramp either. The road was washboard gravel. About jarred the truck to pieces. This was about 9,000 feet up.

Next we arrive at Leadville. This is 10,200 feet high, and my head was again light. But I am determined to adjust, so we drove around. Loyce thought this Catholic church steeple against the town and the mountains made a nice picture.

Then we found Top of the Mountain Quilts. Thats when I lost my rider in the truck. This place specializes in antique fat quarters. They started as far back as the 1920's. I have pictures from inside, and will send them, if you make a comment.

Now I am free to take a 1906 steam train picture. The depot was there but not much to look at.

I hopped out of the truck, leaving it in front of the quilt shop, and walked the main street. Your common tourist trap. Sporting goods stores for the mountain fisherman, fudge shops, t=shirt shops, an old pharmacy, and hotels and restaurants. No casios! A bit different than Cripple Creek. Walking back up the hill to the quilt shop and the parked truck make my heart race, but I made it.

Another hotel.

We had made a lunch and went West to Turquoise Lake. This is a man made impoundment, with lots of campgrounds. We sat in a fishing pull out and ate our sandwiches. Promptly it became overcast, and when I hopped out with the camera it was too late to see the green of the lake.

We drove to the best of the campgrounds on the North side of the lake. This was in the trees and again was lucky to have some sites with electricity. The whole place is reserve camping, and with the big weekend coming up, there wasn't a single spot without a card. most folks had paid for the entire week in order to have it for this weekend. You could barely see the lake thru the trees, except 5 or 6 sites along the water. And of course these are primitive.

North of Leadville over Tennesee pass, is Highway I 70. It was only about 35 miles, so we decided what the heck! Vail is right on I-70 to the East, so off we went. The trip was very steep and cliffs were all along the road. Winding back and forth to almost 11,000 again, and then right down to 7,800 where the interstate goes thru.

Here is Vail in the summer, see the Ski Runs? They were ski lifting folks up the mountain even though there was no snow. We both wondered what was up there, that would be worth the ride. Perhaps the ride itself was the attraction.

Here again you can see the runs up the mountains. Construction was all over the villages, as they constantly build it bigger. Gas up there was 4.15. We are at 3.79 here in Buena Vista only 65 miles away.

By now it was 5 PM and we thought we had better get back over the pass and on home. And we were right, as the rain really began to come down. Once we climbed to 10,400, the lightning began to hit the top of the mountain we were going over. When there is no time space between the lightning and the thunder, it has hit really close to where you are.

We buzzed right thru Leadville, but both of us have decided that we will go back to this quaint little town.

So there you have it we are all caught up on our adventure. We haven't made plans for tomorrow, so we will have to wing it once we get up.


  1. Colorado is so beautiful! I love the mountains and the lakes. Maybe someday I'll get to see it!

    The best quilt shop I've seen was in Terlingua, TX just at the west entrance to Big Bend NP. Oh my, some lovely quilts! They weren't antique though. There also aren't any lakes, just the Rio Grande but lots of mountains!

  2. Crested Butte is a very nice quaint town as well if you have the time to check it out. Great Pictures!


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