Friday, August 29, 2008

Blue Mesa Reservoir to Lower Beaver CG

(Jan) We spend three busy days at Elk Creek Campground on the Blue Mesa Reservoir. We loved being able to walk on the paved roads through the CG and put quite a few miles on our sneakers! On Wednesday we took a boat tour up the upper Black Gunnison canyon. It began by walking down 238 stairs along a cascading stream and a half mile hike along the Gunnison River on an old rail bed to the dock. What an awesome experience getting to be at water level surrounded by the granite walls on either side. Until the 50’s there was a narrow gauge railroad that ran along side the river quite a ways into the canyon. ‘The Needle’ that you see pictured was the symbol for the Denver-Rio Grande Railway. The railway passed the dock is now under the waters of the reservoir that we traveled on. When we got on the boat the captain's depth finder read 12 feet; at our turn around point it was 90+. After the fascinating tour we began our trek back up to the parking lot. Remember those 238 stairs? This time we had to climb up and it took a little longer than going down. But we survived and met Freda, who happened to be staying at our CG and got to stop by and visit with her in the evening.
On the way back to our CG from the boat tour we noticed some brilliant colors reflecting in the sky. Our pictures did not portray what we were seeing but here is a link about circumhorizon arcs We watched it change and blighten and change hue for over 20 minutes. I'm so glad we got to see one

On Thursday we had a fun visit from Dave and Marie, fellow Boomers, who happened to be staying just three miles from us! We enjoyed an early Happy Hour talking and laughing about past adventures. Later that afternoon we loaded up and headed up the canyon to Lake City. We found a wonderful place to stop for the night on the shore of Lake San Cristobal. We toured Lake City that evening and the following morning drove quite away along the route to Cinnamon Pass. Along with the fantastic views we saw some beautiful (very pricey) mountain homes and properties.

Our next stop after driving over Slumgulion (11,361 elevation) and Spring Creek (10,901) Passes was the North Clear Creek Falls. It’s amazing in that you are driving through a fairly flat high meadow and suddenly the river falls into a gorge.

We arrived at Lower Beaver CG, N 37 36.905 W 106 40.592 - 8,540 elevation, near South Fork at Happy Hour and were welcomed in by Boomer friends Jim and Bobbie. We just had a great time visitng, campfires and cooking and sharing meals. Jim fixed a delicious rack of ribs and we also got to enjoy his famous biscuits and gravy. A couple of mornings Chuck and I made scrambled eggs, fruit and toast. On Sunday we drove up to Creede. We wandered through the shops on Main Street, took a dramatic drive climbing the steep canyons to see the remains of the Humphrey mill and shaft house and then visited the Creede Museum. They had pictures there of Jim’s grandfather’s transportation company of mule teams which delivered ore and goods in and out of the area. After that it was time for pizza at a great tavern on Main Street followed by some wonderful fudge for desert.

Chuck and Jim went trout fishing each day morning and evening at the reservoir further up the canyon fromour CG. They were quite successful and we enjoyed several meals of trout plus saving up for a future fish fry. Bobbie and I made pumpkin pie and chocolate ├ęclair dessert as well as several different salads to go with the meals and also, started walking daily and got on a Golf (the card game) kick. Thursday morning, Jim and Bobbie headed down to Alamosa to get ready for a car show. Chuck and I have decided to stay here at Lower Beaver and enjoy the mountains and South Creek for a few more days.

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