(Jan) As often happens, we plan to stop at a certain spot for a day or two and end up staying longer. That’s what happened at both Clear Creek Reservoir, 6 nights, and Salida BLM along the Arkansas River, 3 nights. Bruce and Dee joined us for the last nights at Clear Creek and two nights at Salida. Becky and Lonnie also joined us for a night at each.
On Friday Bruce & Dee and Chuck & I drove up the Lost Canyon Road or FR398 above Granite. It was a scenic, winding gravel road through aspen and pine forests that followed a pretty mountain stream for part of the way and past an abandoned miners cabin at 11,500 feet elevation and an old gold mining operation. As we climbed up to near the top, onto the tundra at 12,500 feet elevation, we were in the middle of a mountain snow squall. Time to head back!
We were delighted to be in the forest in the fall as the aspens are beginning to change color. We’re told that fall is a bit late this year and we’re hoping to see their golden colors in the next week or so. Did you know that aspens actually grow from one root system and the largest stand of genetically identical aspens encompasses about 106 acres?
Aspens above and to the right…..
…….and tiny little alpine flowers that were growing next to the miners cabin.
Saturday was a cool, windy day but that didn’t stop Bruce & Dee, Lonnie & Becky and Chuck & I from getting out and playing Bocce Ball. There was definitely no smooth grass to play on and plenty of rocks and pebbles so it made for an interesting couple of games. Guys 2, Girls 0 but a fun time for all.
Our spot here along the Arkansas River on BLM land is just south of Salida. It’s been real handy for making a Wal-mart supply run and a trip to the laundromat. It’s also just a 45 mile trip down along the beautiful Arkansas river valley and up over the hills to our friend’s place in Westcliffe. We met Dave & Marie in 2008 at the Mosquito Rang and were very happy to see them again. Bruce & Dee and Chuck & I drove over to see them on Monday. We met in downtown Westcliffe and roamed the shops for awhile and then relaxed and visited over lunch. (sorry, no picture this time)
Tomorrow we’ll end our stay here along the Arkansas river and head south to Eagles Nest State Park in New Mexico. We decided to skip Great Sand Dunes NP this year and save that visit for another time.