"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Montrose

 

After leaving sewer hookups a week ago Thursday, and electric on Monday, it was time to find some place to dump the tanks and charge the battery.  Most places charge from 10 to 15 dollars just to dump and fill the water tank, so we decided to get a spot in a RV park for a couple of nights.  It was also time to replenish the provisions and do laundry.  A call to Centennial RV park between Montrose and Ridgeway got us the last spot available.  Talk about a mouse amongst elephants.  Most everything else in here is forty feet long, with a Jeep and ATV parked front and rear.

We spent Saturday doing laundry, visiting City Market for groceries, and doing a little cruising of some back roads. 

As we went through Gunnison yesterday, it started a light rain which followed us all the way to Montrose.  It was cloudy and drippy most of the day, beginning to clear just before sundown.  Being in the middle of the Uncompahgre River valley, the opportunity for some sunset shots presented itself.

Looking West.

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Looking North toward Grand Mesa, which is about twenty five miles away.

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Possibly out of pocket for the next few days……jc

Friday, July 24, 2015

Failure, or Common Sense?

 

While talking with the host at a campground near Rosy Lane about hiking trails, she mentioned an aircraft crash site.  She gave me directions to a marker which documented the crash of a B-24 bomber during WWII.  According to the information she gave, the crash site is now a memorial to the lost airmen.  Sounded like something I would like to see.

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She said that there wasn’t a trail as such to the site, but more like a route flagged up a steep side of Taylor Canyon.  She was correct.  Though the route was less than a quarter mile, it was the roughest terrain I have ever dealt with.  The slope varied from 40 to 60 degrees, and required a minimum of one hand holding, or pulling on something.

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Pulling with both hands, finding footholds which ensured there would be another, I made my way upward.  Remember, this is just 800 feet above the canyon floor.  Piece of cake.

Breathing wasn’t the problem; it was the terrain.  I estimate that I made it to within a hundred feet of the top.  That’s when I encountered a section that was only dirt and pine needles.  No handholds, nothing to brace a foot against.

No problem, just go around it.

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It was at that point a voice asked “what are you doing”?  Up here by yourself!  On a hill covered with boulders, just waiting to break a leg or arm if you make the slightest slip.

I sat down and thought it out.  I really wanted to make it on to the top and see the memorial, as well as what was left of the aircraft.  Only a hundred feet or so and I would be there.  I could see the light at the top.

On the other hand I had nothing to help me down this steep terrain,  Everyone knows going down is much tougher than going up.  If only I had some rope. 

The battle raged for quite some time.  Finally, common sense prevailed.  I started my “SLIDE” down the slope.  Two hands, two feet, and one butt in contact with the ground most of the way down.

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Made it safely to the bottom with only a scratched knee, more disappointed than relieved.  Maybe another day.

Sally and I did find the River Trail later in the day.

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Onward toward Montrose, Ouray, and Silverton…..jc

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wrong Trail

 

While talking with the host here at the camp ground, he mentioned a trail that paralleled the river.  The trailhead was in another campground downstream.  The plan was to hike it up to where our campground was, take a few pictures along the way, then back track to the trailhead.

As luck would have it, there were two trails at the parking area,  Neither one was marked, so I started out on what appeared to be the most traveled.  I soon realized that It definitely wasn’t the riverbank trail.  But, what the heck, it’s a trail.

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Some areas were paved with concrete blocks filled with soil.  Definitely would not have enjoyed getting them up there.

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Up and up I go, till I finally break out near the top.  Looking down on most of the surrounding landscape.

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I enter an old burned area with lots of grass, shrubs, and flowers.

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From there it’s on through as aspen grove.

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Soon I reach a turnaround point.  The whistle pig gave a warning as I entered his domain.

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I sit for a while looking out over the surrounding area.  Pull out my phone to see the time and realize I have a signal.  Call the neighbor back home to check on things and chat for a while.  Drink a bottle of water and ponder the descent.

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Soon I was retracing my steps.  No fantastic vistas or historic ruins were found on the hike.  Just two and a half hours of hiking along, wondering what may be around the next bend, enjoying it all.

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I did run into these guys later in the day.

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Interesting hike planned for tomorrow….jc